Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

Get Paid to Move: 9 Cities that Pay You to Move There in (2023)

Our website is supported by our users. This post may contain affiliate links - which means we may receive compensation from purchases made through links on this site. To learn more, read about our Affiliate Disclosure and Editorial Process.

Are you a full-time remote worker who’s struggling with the ever-rising cost of living?

You’re not alone in this.

The largest cities in the United States have seen crazy surges in rent, food, and gas prices. Without a similar increase in income, life can get pretty rough.

Luckily, you can work around that by moving away from city centers where prices aren’t as crazy.

And an interstate move can help you get better services for the same prices thanks to different tax rates.

Better yet, you can get paid to move to a state that’s offering an incentive program to attract new residents. Here’s everything you need to know about it!

Can You Get Paid to Move?

vector graphic showing an illustration of how to get paid to move

Yes, you can! The past few years witnessed a change in attitude when it comes to working from home because of the pandemic.

All of a sudden, people realized you could accomplish just as much for a company even if you’re not physically there.

Companies developed a less rigorous approach to hiring talent from different states.

As a result, more remote workers consider moving somewhere with a more affordable cost of living compared to major cities. That way, they can stretch their budgets and improve their savings.

This isn’t lost on local governments that see this as a chance to attract new residents, who pay income taxes and liven up the local economy.

Financial incentives like student loan debt forgiveness and generous cash incentives can help bring in more residents, so they do just that!

How Much Can You Make By Moving to a Different State?

The answer to this question goes beyond the cash amount a city or state doles out to get more people to move there.

Some cities, like Topeka, Kansas, can give you up to $15,000 in cash, but the real value lies in the additional incentives you can get.

Savings on rent, food, and lower taxes can make your move even more financially rewarding than you think.

For example, Alaska and Florida have no income taxes, while California has a whopping 13.3% maximum tax rate.

Sales taxes and median home prices also affect how far your money can go in different states.

Therefore, even if the immediate reward isn’t that enticing, think of how much you can save up by moving to a new city, whether it’s on this article or off it.

The Best Ways to Get Paid to Move (Overview)

Full List of Ways to Get Paid to Move

We’ve included an overview of our top picks above. For a full list and detailed information on each pick, scroll down.

  1. The Shoals, Alabama
  2. Shawnee County, Topeka, Kansas
  3. Baltimore, Maryland
  4. Southwest Michigan
  5. Rochester, New York
  6. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  7. West Virginia
  8. Vermont
  9. Alaska

What You’ll Need to Get Paid to Move

Each city or state has a list of prerequisites that determine whether you’re eligible for a cash grant to move there or not.

Some states offer relocation programs for remote workers, while others have housing initiatives for would-be homeowners and people looking to build a new house or flip an old one.

Here are the most common eligibility requirements for cash grants:

  • Being 18 years old or older at the time of the application.
  • Being eligible to work in the United States, whether you’re a US citizen or have a Green Card (permanent resident status).
  • Being a full-time remote employee or being self-employed in a business run out of state.
  • Buying property in the city that offers the incentive package.

Where to Move

Here are nine options to consider when you’re planning your next move:

1. The Shoals, Alabama

screenshot of the Shoals Alabama homepage

The Shoals area in Northwest Alabama consists of the cities of Muscle Shoals, Florence, Tuscumbia, and Sheffield.

A few years ago, an incentive program called Remote Shoals was launched to encourage workers with full-time remote positions to move to the area and make the most of it.

Living in the Shoals, you’re bound to find something you like, even discounting the lucrative incentives the cities put out.

From affordable housing and a lower cost of living to a bustling cultural experience, it’s a haven for remote workers looking for a change in scenery.

What You’ll Need:

  • Be 18+ years old and eligible to work in the US.
  • Be able to move to the Shoals within six months.
  • Have a minimum annual income of $52,000.
  • Have full-time remote employment or be self-employed outside Colbert and Lauderdale counties.

What You’ll Get:

  • Up to $10,000 divided as follows:
    • The first 25% is paid upfront to help with relocation costs.
    • The next 25% is paid after six months of living in the area.
    • The remaining 50% is paid after a full year of residency.
  • A diverse, friendly community.
  • A much lower cost of living compared to other metropolitan areas.
  • Creative cultural events and outdoor activities.

2. Shawnee County, Topeka, Kansas

screenshot of the Shawnee county Topeka Kansas homepage

Offering one of the most lucrative incentive packages out there, Topeka, Kansas is giving on-site workers a chance to receive up to $15,000 in funding for relocating there under the Choose Topeka incentive.

Unlike other incentives on this list that involve remote work, Shawnee County is looking to encourage job opportunities in the local area.

This also aims to rejuvenate the real estate market by including additional perks for prospective homeowners up to $5,000 compared to their renting counterparts.

This should cover the relocation expenses retroactively, which isn’t too bad in this economy!

What You’ll Need:

  • Be eligible to work in the US.
  • Confirm the employer’s participation in the incentive.
  • Move to Topeka for a full-time, on-site employment.
  • Within a year after being hired or moving, buy or rent a home in Shawnee County and use it as your primary residence.
  • Complete the “Choose Topeka” survey.
  • Participate in a “Choose Topeka” immersion program.
  • Send your application before you permanently relocate there.

What You’ll Get:

  • Up to $10,000 in funds for renting an apartment or a house.
  • Up to $15,000 in funds for a home purchase.

3. Baltimore, Maryland

screenshot of the Baltimore Maryland homepage

Keeping up with the incentives that encourage homeowners to invest in local properties, the city of Baltimore, Maryland has launched two initiatives for that purpose.

The first one is called Buying into Baltimore, which puts out $5,000 and a 5-year forgivable loan geared toward a down payment and closing cost assistance.

The initiative is a lottery-type event with 20 potential beneficiaries from the pool of eligible candidates.

The second incentivizes rehabilitating old buildings (that were subject to a vacant building notice for at least one year) and repurposing them as homes.

The Vacant to Value initiative offers up to $10,000 in funding, if eligible, as well as a 5-year forgivable loan.

What You’ll Need:

  • A homeownership counseling certificate (valid for 12 months after completion).
  • Have the home listed as your primary residence.
  • Put a minimum of $1,000 (from your money) to buy the home.
  • Not surpass the FHA mortgage limit of $632,500 for a single-family home.
  • Apply and be approved before closing on your home. The program funds don’t work retroactively.
  • Have a fixed-rate mortgage only. Co-signers, cash sales, and owner-financing aren’t permitted.

What You’ll Get:

  • Up to $5,000 and a 5-year forgivable loan for the Buy into Baltimore initiative.
  • Up to $10,000 and a 5-year forgivable loan for the Vacant to Value initiative.

4. Southwest Michigan

screenshot of the Southwest Michigan homepage

If you’re looking for a beautiful place to live but still want access to a big city, Southwest Michigan can give you the best of both worlds.

Known for its sandy beaches, great cuisine, and laid-back atmosphere, it’s also a mere 90-mile drive from Chicago!

The Move to Michigan initiative offers up to $10,000 in funds for relocation if you’re a remote worker, and the figure jumps to $15,000 if you have children in a public school there.

That’s not to mention over $5,000 in super useful bonus perks.

Let’s say the state stands by the area and knows what it’s selling!

What You’ll Need:

  • Proof of full-time employment in a remote job outside of the state of Michigan.
  • To not currently reside in Michigan.
  • To not have a current home under contract or work with a local realtor.
  • To buy or build a residence that costs a minimum of $200,000.
  • Have the home in one of these areas:
    • Lake Charter Township.
    • The Village of Stevensville.
    • The City of Benton Harbor.
    • The City of St. Joseph.
    • St. Joseph Charter Township.
    • Lincoln Charter Township.
    • Royalton Township.
    • Oronoko Charter Township.
    • Benton Charter Township.
  • Place your child(ren) in a public school for the first two years of residency, where they’ll be present on both count days (1st Wednesday in October and the 2nd Wednesday in February). This is optional for further funding.

What You’ll Get:

  • $10,000 in funding for your home purchase or construction costs
  • $15,000 in funding if you have children attending a Michigan public school
  • Two of the following perks:
    • For one year, car transportation to and from regional airports is provided.
    • Membership to the Renaissance Athletic Club (annual).
    • An annual pass for the South Shore Rail.
    • Membership to The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speaker Series.
    • Membership to Harbor Shores Driving Range and Practice area (annual).
    • Membership to a co-working space for one year.
    • An annual pass to Berrien County Parks, St. Joseph, and Benton Harbor Beaches.

5. Rochester, New York

screenshot of the Rochester New York homepage

If you think you’re dreaming that you can get paid to live in New York, you’re not! In fact, the Greater ROC Remote initiative offers one of the most generous cash incentives on this list.

If you’re accepted, you can receive $10,000 directly in relocation compensation, as well as an additional $9,000 in home-buyer incentives.

That’s not too shabby, considering the Greater Rochester area is the 5th best city for remote workers, in the top 20 for the best quality of life, the #1 metropolitan area for future growth, and the 2nd best wine region in the US.

What You’ll Need:

  • Be 18+ years old at the time of the application.
  • Be eligible to work in the US.
  • Live 300+ miles away from downtown Rochester.
  • Have a full-time job working remotely.
  • Be able to relocate within six months of being accepted.

What You’ll Get:

  • A $10,000 direct relocation cash incentive.
  • $9,000 in home-buyer incentives.
  • Special events and opportunities designed to connect, create a sense of community and belonging, and establish a local network.
  • Qualified candidates will receive an invitation to visit the area and reimbursement of travel expenses up to $500 for an individual and $750 for two or more people.
  • Access to partnering realtors to find housing.
  • Support to family members seeking employment in the Greater Rochester region.

6. Tulsa, Oklahoma

screenshot of the Tulsa Oklahoma homepage

For remote workers looking for a city that understands their needs and is willing to cater to them, Tulsa, Oklahoma is the place to go.

Tulsa Remote is a fuss-free initiative that incentivizes remote workers with $10,000 in cash divided into monthly installments.

The city also throws in a year-long subscription to a co-working space, so you’d get the chance to network with other professionals working remotely.

The great thing about this initiative is that it has no housing or real estate requirements; you just have to focus on your work and figure things out as you go!

What You’ll Need:

  • Be 18+ years old at the time of the application.
  • Be eligible to work in the US.
  • Have a full-time job or be self-employed outside of Oklahoma.
  • Be able to relocate within 12 months of being accepted.

What You’ll Get:

  • $10,000 cash incentive.
  • A year-long subscription to 36 Degrees North, a city co-working site brimming with entrepreneurs and professionals.
  • Tulsa Remote-allocated apartments near Downtown Tulsa to help you settle down in the heart of the city.

7. West Virginia

screenshot of the west Virginia homepage

If you’re a fan of John Denver, then West Virginia’s country roads are an enticing adventure to take on.

The state has an initiative called Ascend West Virginia that offers a $12,000 cash incentive as well as free outdoor recreation for remote workers willing to move there.

The Ascend WV initiative encourages applicants to move to the Morgantown Area, Greenbrier Valley, Eastern Panhandle, and Greater Elkins.

Each has its own charm, whether you want natural beauty or a bustling city.

What You’ll Need:

  • Be 18+ years old at the time of the application.
  • Be eligible to work in the United States.
  • Provide proof of a full-time remote job or be self-employed outside of West Virginia, while running the business from within the state.
  • Reside outside of West Virginia during the application process.
  • Be able to relocate within six months of being accepted.

What You’ll Get:

  • A $12,000 cash incentive.
  • A subscription to a co-working community.
  • Access to free gear rentals and a complimentary welcome trip focused on outdoor activities that are worth $2,500.
  • Social events and exclusive perks to aid in networking.

8. Vermont

screenshot of the Vermont homepage

The state of Vermont started its relocation incentives after Vermont Legislature allocated $3.09 million to the cause.

The initiative works by reimbursing relocation costs up to $7,500 for both on-site and remote workers in the state.

Both on-site and remote worker grants are more or less the same.

However, there’s a requirement for the employers of on-site applicants to attest to the agency responsible for the grant that they were unable to fill the position from among Vermont applicants.

What You’ll Need:

  • Be 18+ years old at the time of the application.
  • Move to Vermont and become a full-time resident.
  • Make a Vermont livable wage of at least $15.33/hour.
  • Be subject to Vermont income tax.
  • (For the New Relocating Worker) Become a full-time employee for a Vermont employer at a Vermont location.
  • (For the New Remote Worker) Be employed full-time for an out-of-state employer and work remotely from a home office or co-working space located in Vermont.

What You’ll Get:

  • If you haven’t relocated yet, you’re eligible for up to $7,500.
  • If you have relocated to Vermont, the grant is given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

9. Alaska

screenshot of the Alaska homepage

Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend is one of the oldest relocation incentives in the country, starting in 1980.

It’s also one of the simplest, as it pays residents for each year they live in the state. In 2022, the dividend check was for $3,284, a record high.

What You’ll Need:

  • To be an Alaska resident for an entire calendar year before your application and intend to remain an Alaska resident indefinitely.

What You’ll Get:

  • A yearly dividend check for all eligible Alaska residents.
  • No income tax.

Why You Should Consider Moving to a New State

Moving when you’re a remote worker can be a lucrative way to get some cash to help you settle somewhere new, but it’s not the only reason to pick a new home.

Here are the financial reasons why you should consider moving to a new state:

  • A lower cost of living and cheaper housing in rural areas than in a capital city, which usually has higher food, gas, and rent prices.
  • A more affordable median home price if you want to be a homeowner.
  • Better community resources and chances to network in a new environment.
  • Lower income and sales taxes.

Problems With Moving For Money

Moving to a new place has the potential to open up countless opportunities for your career, or it can be an unsound decision that makes you miserable.

Here are a few problems you might face if you decide to take this step:

  • Inability to Assimilate in the New City or County: That could be due to differences in the local culture from your own.
  • Having Issues With the Local Legislature: Based on your political leanings, you could have a hard time finding representation.
  • Weather Issues: Not liking the weather in your new state.
  • Lack of Job Opportunities: This is an especially big problem if you’re self-employed.
  • Social Life Problems: Failure to make or maintain friendships.

How to Move: A Step-By-Step Guide

Now that you know where and why, here’s how to move to a new city or state and come out financially unscathed by it:

Step 1: Research Before You Take the Leap

Learn everything you can about the new place and relocation initiative you’re considering. Search online forums and join local groups to get a feel for what’s coming.

Step 2: Consult With an Accountant and a Lawyer

To get all your documents and legal matters in order, consult with both your accountant and lawyer. That way, you’ll know what your rights are and avoid getting into legal trouble with how you spend the cash.

Step 3: Look Into State Laws

If you find something in the tax, social, or labor laws you don’t agree with or can’t abide by, choose another state that’s a better fit for your lifestyle and work.

Step 4: Create a Budget and Stick With It

To make the most of the financial grant you’re receiving, try to keep every element of the move under a reasonable budget. This way, you can track your spending and come out on the winning side.

Things to Consider When Moving for Money

Here are a few things to take into consideration if you decide to move for the cash incentives:

  • A $10,000 Cash Incentive Could Be Meager or Exorbitant, Depending on Where You Are: The cost of living varies widely among states, so the same amount of cash could tide you over well in one state or disappear in seconds in another.
  • Take the New City Out for a Test Drive: Some initiatives offer an introductory trip so you can get a feel for the new city and decide if you like it or not. Don’t apply to a city without visiting first because you might end up not liking it.
  • Don’t Commit to Real Estate Before You’ve Lived There Long Enough: If you can help it, avoid putting your life savings into real estate before you’re certain the city is for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Relocation Initiatives Work if You’re Broke?

Relocation initiatives are designed to attract tax-paying citizens to an area with a dwindling population. If you have no money, likely, you wouldn’t qualify for one, especially if you’re unemployed.

Are There Any International Relocation Initiatives?

Some countries have initiatives where they pay you to move there and rehabilitate old buildings; these include Italy and Greece. Others have entrepreneurial initiatives, like Chile.

Similar Ways to Get Paid

Here are other ways you can get paid doing something you like!

Wrapping Up

Finding a place you want to move to can be a challenge.

Thankfully, some cities and states want to make the decision easier for you by offering you cash.

Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and you’ll be expected to work for the perks.

However, if you’re a hard-working individual who wants to make it, this should be a great incentive for you to go for the grind big time!

Even if you don’t like it in your new home, you can move on to somewhere else after the legally-binding stay period is over.

So what do you think?

Is moving for money a good idea?

Comment below to let us know your opinion and share this if you found it helpful!

Leave a Comment

FRH Article Default
  • Get Paid To

How to Get Paid to Move to Tulsa In 2023

August 9, 2023
10 min read
FRH Article Default
  • Get Paid To

How to Get Paid To Move to Montana in (2023)

August 9, 2023
13 min read
FRH Article Default
  • Get Paid To

How to Get Paid to Move to New Zealand in (2023)

August 9, 2023
13 min read

Explore More within Gigworker

Other App-Based Gigs
Get to work faster with jobs in the gig worker industry.
post explore

Browse Our Gig Headquarters

The gig economy is booming, and thanks to COVID-19, more people than ever are getting involved. But what is this new sharing economy and how does it work?

Important Gig Economy #Fundamentals to Understand

gigworker logo icon
What is the Gig Economy?

Side Hustle Ideas

Get inspired with our list of 750+ side hustles. Sort by category, rating, and other custom taxonomies.

Browse Side Hustles

Gig Companies

Browse our complete list of gig economy companies, and the gigs they’re hiring for.

Browse Gig Companies

Helpful Content

Read thousands of informative posts, written specifically to help you excel in your favorite gigs.

VIP Membership

Unlock access to VIP-only benefits like content, downloadable, and resources – all ad-free.