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Remote work is no longer a rarity, which makes it possible for some lucky workers to live wherever they please without having to search for a new job. Certain states, cities, and counties are taking advantage of this fact and offering financial incentives to encourage people to relocate from other states. Some of these programs are only for remote workers and others include in-person workers. Often these incentives only apply to very specific areas, so it’s important that you choose the right house location to meet your needs, especially if you intend to buy a home. 

If you’re looking to buy a house in a different state, here’s a closer look at states that pay you to move there and how much you can earn. 

Alabama

Moving and buying a home can be stressful, but throwing some money at the problem can help. Making Alabama your sweet home is possible if you choose to move to the Shoals area in the northwest part of the state. Through the Remote Shoals program, you can receive up to $10,000 to move to, live, and work remotely in The Shoals. 

The way this program works is that you receive 25% of the funds up-front to cover moving costs, and after six months of living there you receive another 25%. You receive the final 50% after living in Alabama for a year. 

To qualify for this program, you must:

  • Earn $52,000 or more a year
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be able to move within six months of acceptance

People who are self-employed can get paid to move to the Shoals area of Alabama as part of this program only if their place of work is outside Colbert and Lauderdale counties.

Alaska

You can get paid to live in Alaska, and those funds keep coming year after year. Alaska is an incredibly beautiful part of the country, but has a reputation for being difficult to live in. That’s why this state’s incentive program dates back to 1976 and has nothing to do with the new remote work craze — the Permanent Fund Dividend pays residents annually to live in Alaska. 

How much does Alaska pay you to live there? 

The amount the state pays to residents varies by year. In the past this incentive has been as high as $1,600, but for 2021 it was $1,114. The 2022 amount hasn’t yet been finalized, but may be the largest in the state’s history

While this award may seem small, over the years it can add up — and you aren’t limited to one incentive per household. (That means you and your spouse could both get paid to move to Alaska.) All you have to do to qualify for the Permanent Fund Dividend is live in Alaska for an entire dividend year. Plus, you don’t have to pay state income tax in Alaska, which might help add to your overall savings.

Kansas

If you find that Topeka, Kansas or the surrounding area can meet your needs, then you can stand to earn as much as $15,000 for making a move here. You’re only paid to move to Kansas if you settle in Shawnee County — but unlike with many moving incentive programs, you don’t have to be a remote worker to qualify for Choose Topeka. (People who do work remotely need to have an employer located outside of Shawnee county.) 

In fact, you can actually benefit from this program more if you aren’t a remote worker and plan to work an on-site job in Topeka. (Your employer has to be willing to participate in this relocation incentive.) You can receive up to $10,000 if you’re renting a home, and you can get paid up to $15,000 if you’re buying a home. 

This award can only apply to one person per household and you earn less if you’re a remote worker — $5,000 for renting and $10,000 for buying a home. 

Find out whether it's better to buy vs rent a home.

Oklahoma

If you want to get paid to move to Oklahoma, you’ll have to settle in the great city of Tulsa, which provides financial assistance for people who want to relocate. The Tulsa Remote program launched in 2018 and provides $10,000 grants to eligible remote workers and entrepreneurs looking to move to Oklahoma. Alongside that $10,000 you also gain free membership to a local co-working space for a year as well as assistance in your home search. This program also creates opportunities to meet up with others in the community to really make Tulsa feel like home. 

To qualify for Tulsa Remote, you must 

  • Be at 18 years of age or older 
  • Work remotely full-time — this can be through an employer or self-employment
  • Relocate to Tulsa within 12 months of acceptance to the program

Vermont

Over the past few years, Vermont has offered paid grants to people interested in moving there. Last year eligible transplants received up to $7,500. A new version of the relocation program with incentives is forthcoming, after new legislation was passed in 2022. You can check Think Vermont for the latest information on how much you could potentially be paid to move to the Green Mountain State. 

West Virginia

The Ascend West Virginia program provides $12,000 payments and access to free outdoor recreation for people who move to West Virginia. 

The requirements to get paid to move to here are as follows:

  • You have to be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have a full-time job (self-employment counts). 
  • You must be able to work from home while employed by a company located outside the state of West Virginia (unless self-employed).
  • You have to officially move to West Virginia within six months of acceptance to the Ascend West Virginia program. 

People who qualify for the program will receive $10,000 the first year paid out in installments. If you choose to stay in West Virginia for a second year, you can earn an additional $2,000. To sweeten the pot, program recipients gain access to free outdoor recreation gear rentals, such as golfing and climbing equipment, which can help them take advantage of all of the beautiful nature their new home state has to offer. 

Countries that pay you to move there

Plenty of us have daydreams about living abroad, but sometimes we need a push to make those dreams a reality. Plenty of countries around the world offer financial incentives to make a major move. Sometimes these incentives come in the form of big pay days, like the state-based programs we looked at, and other times they provide you with the opportunity to buy houses for shockingly low prices — as low as $1 when you agree to renovate the home. 

Usually these programs involve moving to a specific region or city in the country, which aims to revitalize the area due to any number of issues like low population, a dwindling economy, or an abundance of dilapidated properties. These moves aren’t for the faint of heart and are likely a better fit for retirees, remote workers, or entrepreneurs who can run their business from anywhere they have a solid internet connection. (You’ll also do well if you’re the type who doesn’t mind buying a fixer upper.) That being said, you would be in for the adventure of a lifetime. 

Currently there are moving incentive programs in the following countries:

More and more international moving opportunities are popping up every day, so keep an eye on your dream country to see what they may offer you to make a move.

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