Want a new life? 5 places pay you to relocate
Believe it or not, several U.S. municipalities and states will do just that. These areas are often suffering from low population or low economic growth, and they're looking for people like you to help create vibrant communities. These areas often also have low costs of living, meaning you not only get paid to move, but you also save money once you settle in. If you're looking for a new place to call home, why not consider one of these relocation incentives?
1. Detroit, Michigan
You might remember that viral Buzzfeed article about the 23-year-old man who bought a house in Detroit for $500. But you might not know that Detroit is ready to pay you to move in. Live Downtown provides incentives to people who move to downtown Detroit instead of choosing to commute.
These incentives -- tied to employees of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Compuware, DTE Energy, Marketing Associates, Quicken Loans or Strategic Staffing Solutions -- include a $20,000 forgivable loan toward a new home and a $2,500 allowance toward your apartment rent. Even more surprising, if you already live in downtown Detroit and work for one of these companies, you may also be eligible to receive Live Downtown benefits to put toward your rent or home.
2. Harmony, Minnesota
What could be better than living in Harmony? This southeastern Minnesota town offers $5,000 to $12,000 to people who build a single-family home through its Residential Home Construction Rebate. The size of your rebate depends upon the estimated market value of the home.
If you decide to move to Harmony, be prepared for those famous Minnesota winters. You should also be ready for life in a small town -- Harmony's population is 1,020. Might you become resident 1,021?
3. Niagara Falls, New York
What could be more romantic -- and adventurous -- than living near Niagara Falls? According to a recent Fusion report, the city of Niagara Falls will pay young people up to $6,984 toward repaying their student loans if they commit to living in the city for two years.
Niagara Falls doesn't offer many employment opportunities, but if you're a freelancer or location-independent worker who wants to take a chunk out of your student loans while living near a beautiful natural landmark, this could be a good option. Look at Live NF for details. Only five people have taken advantage of this offer so far, Fusion reports.
Alaska is far from the rest of the United States, and it gets quite cold. However, if you want to live in a beautiful state with many unique communities, Alaska is ready to pay you to do so.
The state's Permanent Fund Dividend Division pays residents who both live in Alaska and -- here's the catch -- "have the intent to remain an Alaska resident indefinitely." This isn't the type of move where you drop in, get your cash and move out. You need to be ready to take on the adventure and challenge of Alaska living for the foreseeable future.
In 2014, more than 640,000 Alaska residents received fund payments of $1,884, according to Newsminer. The payment amount varies each year depending on the fund's growth or decline. If this sounds like something that interests you, go west. Then north. Then north some more.
5. Curtis, Nebraska
Receiving funds to relocate is one thing, but what about free land? Would that be enough to convince you to move?
Curtis, Nebraska, offers free land on its Arrowhead Meadows golf course, as well as its Rollin Hills addition, to anyone willing to build a single-family home on the land. As Curtis' website explains, "Our course is believed to be, by popular accord, one of the best public nine-hole courses in the state."
Curtis only has 939 people. However, the community has much to offer, including a volunteer-run movie theater, a fall festival and a historical society. Sometimes the best thing about moving to a small town is having the opportunity to take a leadership role and help the community grow -- and, in this case, getting free land in exchange for your hard work.
If you're ready to start a new chapter in your life, looking for a community where you can play a significant role in its development, or simply want a way to save money while you build up your freelance business or work on a location-independent project, consider moving to one of these five places.
We'd love to hear from you: Do you know of any other towns, cities or states that offer relocation incentives?