7 States That Will Pay You to Move There

Quick Answer

Some states and cities are willing to pay people to move there, and if you have the freedom of remote work or you're thinking about making a change in general, keep these destinations in mind.

Open moving truck in front of apartment building.

If you're thinking about relocating, there are a lot of factors to consider when deciding on a place to land. One you may not have considered, though, is that some states and cities are willing to pay you to move there.

Here are some of the top offers that are currently available.

1. Alabama (Shoals Area)

If you move to the Shoals area, which includes the cities of Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia, you could earn $10,000.

  • How it works: Eligible remote workers can get $10,000 in cash if they move to an eligible city in the Shoals. They'll receive 25% of the incentive upfront, 25% after six months and the remaining 50% after one year.
  • Eligibility requirements: Eligible candidates must be at least 18 years old, have a minimum annual income of $52,000 and have full-time remote employment or be self-employed outside of Colbert and Lauderdale Counties. If approved, you must be able to move to the region within six months.
  • How to apply: You can submit an application online through the Remote Shoals program.

2. Alaska

The state of Alaska offers most residents a Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) payment every fall. In 2022, the payment also included an energy relief payment, which brought the total amount to $3,284. The payment for 2021 was a more modest $1,114.

  • How it works: Eligible Alaska residents who reside in the state for a full calendar year receive a distribution of the PFD upon approval. Payments begin in September.
  • Eligibility requirements: You must establish residency in the state and remain a resident for the entire calendar year. If you were absent for more than 180 days, it must be an allowable absence. You also can't claim residency in any other state or have certain convictions or be incarcerated.
  • How to apply: Learn about the qualifications and create a myPFD account through the state to fill out and submit your application.

3. Iowa (Newton)

Through 2023 (or as long as funding is available), the city of Newton, Iowa, is offering a $10,000 cash incentive to residents who build a home valued at $190,000 or more.

  • How it works: Eligible residents will receive the $10,000 when they close on the financing to purchase the home.
  • Eligibility requirements: The home must be a new construction that's worth at least $190,000, exclusive of the land value. It must also be owner occupied as a residential single-family home, so investment properties are ineligible.
  • How to apply: Contact the Newton Housing Development Corporation for more information and details on how to apply.

4. Kansas (Topeka)

Move to the Sunflower State's capital city, and you could get up to $15,000 in cash incentives, depending on your work status.

  • How it works: If your employer participates in the program and you purchase or rent a home in Shawnee County within a year of moving or starting your position, you can get $10,000 in the first year for rent or $15,000 for a home purchase. If you're a remote worker with an employer outside of the county, you can get up to $5,000 toward rent the first year or $10,000 toward a home purchase.
  • Eligibility requirements: For on-site workers, your employer must participate in the program, and you must be eligible to work in the U.S. For remote workers, you must wait three months after moving before you can apply and meet other requirements.
  • How to apply: You can learn more about the program, including some of the more complex rules, by visiting the Choose Topeka program website.

5. Ohio (Hamilton)

If you're a recent college graduate with an eligible degree, you can receive what's called a "reverse scholarship" worth up to $10,000 from the Hamilton Community Foundation if you move to the area.

  • How it works: If you move to or live in one of the Urban Neighborhoods or in Armondale or Highland Park neighborhoods in Hamilton, you can receive $300 per month, up to a total of $10,000.
  • Eligibility requirements: Eligible candidates must have graduated within the past seven years from a STEAM program, which includes science, technology, engineering, the arts or mathematics. You also must work full time within Butler County or have a full-time remote position in a professional role. While not required, people who have a desire to give back to the community are preferred. If you leave the area or cease employment before you receive the full incentive amount, you'll forfeit any remaining monthly payments.
  • How to apply: You can learn more about the scholarship and submit an application through the Talent Attraction program website.

6. Oklahoma (Tulsa)

Move to the city as a remote worker, and you'll receive $10,000 in cash, free desk space at a coworking community and other incentives.

  • How it works: If you move to Tulsa within 12 months of approval, you'll get $2,500 upfront to help with relocation costs, $500 per month for your first 12 months you're in the city and an additional $1,500 once you've completed your first year. You'll also get a 36-month membership at a local coworking space, plus access to other resources to help you get settled.
  • Eligibility requirements: You must be at least 18 years old and eligible to work in the U.S. You'll also need to secure full-time remote employment or be self-employed outside of Oklahoma.
  • How to apply: You can learn more about the incentive and its limitations and subscriptions and submit an application through the Tulsa Remote website.

7. West Virginia

Remote workers can move to one of three communities in the Mountain State, and you can receive $12,000 in cash plus a full year's worth of free outdoor recreation valued at over $2,500 and free access to a coworking space. Eligible communities include the Morgantown Area, Greenbrier Valley and the Eastern Panhandle.

  • How it works: You'll receive $10,000 over the first year in monthly installments, then $2,000 after completing your second consecutive year in the state. You'll also get a year of free outdoor recreation, including vouchers and gear rentals, and free access to coworking space in the host town.
  • Eligibility requirements: Eligible candidates must be at least 18 years old and be a U.S. citizen or have a green card and either work full time remotely or be self-employed outside of West Virginia with the ability to work remotely. They must also be able to relocate within six months of acceptance.
  • How to apply: To learn more about the program and apply, visit the Ascend West Virginia website.

The Bottom Line

If you're considering a move and you're a remote worker or self-employed, these are just some of the cities and states offering incentives to move within their borders. Keep in mind, though, that most of these programs require that you stick around for a while, so it's important to consider the cost of living, social activities and other personal preferences you may have to determine if a city or state is the right place for you.

Whether or not the program you're considering offers relocation assistance, look for opportunities to reduce your moving costs to maximize your savings.