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The Cities That Will Actually Pay You To Live In Them

Thinking of moving? You might as well earn some money along the way.

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Rochester New York stunning natural waterfall next to downtown skyline at sunset
Natural waterfall in downtown Rochester, New York. Alamy Stock Photo
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Small towns, big cities and middle-of-nowhere locales are actually giving out cash, land or other incentives to live there. Why pay to move somewhere else when you can live in a spot that makes you feel like royalty instead? Sure, there may be a few catches (we’ll fill you in, don’t worry!) — but these places are totally worth considering.

Home of Purdue
People enjoy drinks at the Thieme and Wagner Brewery along Main Street in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette

West Lafayette, Indiana

The offer: This package is all about Purdue University, so you must love living in a college town. You’ll get a $4,000 relocation stipend, $1,000 toward food and drink at the Purdue Memorial Union restaurants, access to Purdue University libraries, free public transportation, discounts on continued education, professional development programming, networking events and a monthly book club.

The catch: Purdue University launched this program in 2022 to recruit remote workers to its campus. The goal is to attract higher-income residents to the area. That’s why you must relocate here from another state, be a remote worker, be a United States citizen and require a minimum salary of $50,000.

Learn more: Apply for the opportunity here.

Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge along Rochester, NY skyline.
Jonathan Spurr

Rochester, New York

The offer: It’s a great deal if you work remotely and don’t mind cold weather. You’ll receive up to $10,000 in relocation incentives and $9,000 in homebuyer grants to live in this vibrant city with tons of jobs, culture and universities.

The catch: You must have a full-time remote job and be able to move to Rochester within six months. To apply, you must live at least 300 miles from downtown Rochester.

Learn more: Click here.

A narrow street in Maenza, an Italian village near Rome, Italy.

Maenza, Italy

The offer: Homes for 1 Euro in this European city within driving distance of Rome. It’s an amazing deal, but you’ll have to put in some sweat equity and be willing to uproot your entire life to live in another country.

The catch: The homes are in terrible shape, having been abandoned years (if not centuries) ago. The small town of Maenza is attempting to revitalize the area, hoping for about 100 new owners. You must make about a 5,000 Euro deposit that you’ll get back once you renovate your property, which you must do within three years. The homes are about 800 square feet, and renovations are estimated at 5,000 Euros. The house doesn’t need to be your primary residence, so you can use it as a vacation home.

Learn more: Email town officials about properties for sale or check Maenza’s website.  

Mattoon, Illinois - United States - March 19th, 2023: Exterior of the historic Carnegie Library, built in 1903, on a Sunny Spring morning.
The historic Carnegie Library in Mattoon, Illinois.
Alamy Stock Photo

Mattoon, Illinois

The offer: Nearly $12,000 in incentives, including $5,000 for your move, $2,555 in gift cards for local businesses and $500 in vouchers for local restaurants. You’ll also receive a one-year membership to a co-working space, a six-month family membership to the YMCA, along with Internet, self-storage and more.

The catch: You must currently live more than 100 miles from Mattoon, commit to staying for at least two years and be a full-time remote worker earning at least $45,000.

Learn more: All the details are here.

Topeka Kansas Capital Capitol Building Fountains Downtown City Skyline
Capitol building fountains in Topeka, Kansas.
Getty Images

Topeka, Kansas

The offer: Live in the state Dorothy once called “home.” Topeka is offering up to $10,000 for rent your first year and up to $15,000 toward a home purchase. After the first year, they will reimburse half of your relocation incentive to your employer for employee retention. Living in Topeka costs 17 percent less than the national average, so you’d be off to a great start.

The catch: Topeka launched these incentives to battle their low employment rate and to support local employers. To be eligible, your employer must participate in this incentive, you must move here for a full-time position and this must be your primary residence. Your minimum salary needs to be $50,000.

Learn: Find the program and eligible employers here.

Would YOU ever move to one of the towns above? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow Article Topics: Money