Places That'll Pay You To Live There

If you're looking for a change of pace and you're tired of your one-horse town, why not pick up and move? Sure, moving is stressful and expensive, but there are a lot of places around the world that want to make it easy for you. So, if you're low on cash and itching to get out, check out some of these places that'll make it worth your while.


Do you like dark cold winters and tons of barren land? Well, move to beautiful Alaska!

Due to the climate and remote area, Alaska is happy to incentivize new citizens to move to the 49th state. The Alaska Permanent Fund takes money earned from the state's reserves of oil and gives it back to the community. Each and every Alaskan gets almost $2,000 from the government just for living there. Have a brand-new baby? Well, even she's $2,000 richer because literally every person gets it regardless of age.

So, if you like mountains, icebergs, fishing, and summers that can average 65 degrees, you might want to consider moving way up north.

New Haven, CT

When you picture Connecticut, you typically imagine rich white people discussing their latest boating and yachting adventures. But not all parts of the state are as rich as they seem. The city of New Haven, home of Yale, has had its share of problems. In 2014, they were ranked the second-most dangerous mid-sized city in America. You wouldn't think those Ivy League kids would get into so much trouble, but apparently their town isn't the safe haven you'd assume it to be.

So, New Haven is shelling out some good money to get people. Re:New Haven is the state program created to increase interest in the city. If you're a first-time home buyer, they'll give you $10,000 interest-free to help with the down payment of your home. If you live in the home for more than five years, according to Re:Newhaven, "the loan is 100 percent forgivable"

Not enough? Well, you can also get $30,000 to upgrade your home with new energy-saving features. As long as you stay in the house for ten years, you never have to pay the money back. If $40,000 isn't enough to entice you, they're also giving out scholarships to any student in good standing who graduates from a New Haven public school. It's not some $500 and a free candy bar scholarship, either. Your kid could get 100-percent free tuition to any in-state school. That's a pretty incredible offer. So, sure, it might not be the most crime-free city in the world, but it might be worth a possible mugging to get that much free stuff.


Another city that has a bad time with crime is Baltimore. It's listed as the seventh-most dangerous city in America, so you can see why people aren't clamoring to start anew there. Plus, The Wire wasn't the greatest tourism ad for the city. But Baltimore wants to change and wants you to do it with them! Baltimore will give you $5,000 to buy a house anywhere in the city. All you need to do is attend a Buying Into Baltimore event to be eligible. It sounds like some kind of timeshare scheme, but they really are giving the money away.

If $5,000 isn't exciting enough, you could get double the money. All you have to do is buy an abandoned house and the city will give you $10,000. You could get a spooky, broken down house all of your own, practically for free! Jokes aside, Baltimore does have some very lovely features and is a city with great promise. $5,000 to give it a try doesn't sound too bad.


Everybody knows Detroit is in trouble. From the many YouTube tours of abandoned buildings to the Pontiac Silverdome selling for $583,000 in 2009, it's clear that the motor city has fallen. But Detroit ain't down yet. Citizens are determined to make it better one Robocop statue at a time. The Silverdome has already greatly increased in value. The people who bought it are trying to sell it for $30 million. Sure, it's still a completely abandoned stadium, but maybe the high price is a sign of better things to come.

Live Downtown is a program designed to bring more people to the city center. You'll get up to $20,000 in forgivable loans if you chose to buy property in the area. Even renters get a break. New renters get $2,500 the first year toward their payments and $1,000 every year after. What's nice is Detroit isn't screwing over people who've been living downtown before the program existed. Current owners and renters both get money to go toward a new lease or home improvements as long as they keep themselves downtown. Though the press on Detroit is usually dire, it's a city full of wonderful architecture and history. It could be the next place hipsters decide to inhabit, so get in while the price is still good.

Most of Kansas

"We're not in Kansas anymore," said everyone. Kansas really wants more people to move in, and whether you're interested in rural or city life, Kansas is willing to pay you to stay. The town of Lincoln will give you free land to build a home in their 3,500-person city. They boast low crime and good schools, so if you want to make a move to the simple life, Lincoln's not a bad choice.

If Lincoln is a little too big for your britches, you can get free land in Marquette. The 600-person town has an adorable little downtown that looks like it's from the turn of the century. The city is offering free building lots perfect for retirees and families alike. If you're looking for killer nightlife, you may want to go elsewhere. But if you like large plots of land with pretty sunset views and you don't like a lot of people around, Marquette might just be ideal.

Kansas still isn't done giving away things for free. If you chose to live in one of their 77 Rural Opportunity Zones, you'll get state income tax waivers for up to five years or student loan repayments of up to $15,000. Since Marquette is in McPherson county, only one of 28 counties that aren't eligible for this incentive, that should give you some idea of how rural some of these places are. But if you're itching to live on the land, Kansas really wants to give you money to move.

New Richland and Harmony, Minnesota

If you like the idea of free land, but would prefer to live in a place that's freezing much of the year, check out a couple towns in Minnesota. As long as you build a house within one year of getting the deed to the land, you get the land for free. The 1,200-person town has golf course and sits near St. Olaf Lake. So, if you're a Golden Girls fan, you can build near where Rose grew up for free!

If Golden Girls love isn't enough to get you to New Richland, you can still get some perks by moving to Harmony, Minnesota. If you build a new home in their town, you can get a $5,000 to –$12,000 rebate in cash. The place is known as "The biggest little town in Southeast Minnesota," so you know there are hip happenings going on.

Pipestone, Manitoba

Perhaps you're a Democrat who's threatened to move to Canada in the past. This might be your best chance.

Pipestone, Manitoba, isn't giving away land for free, but they are offering steep discounts as long as your build on the plot in a year. For a deposit of $1,000 you reserve your lot, and the land itself is only $10. Plus, if you want to start a business, the city is offering grants of up to $32,000. Now, that's $32,000 in Canadian Dollars, so it's only $24,000 in USD, just in case that $8,000 was a real game changer.

Maatsuyker Island, Tasmania

Now, moving somewhere in the US or Canada may not be drastic enough for you. Well then, how about Tasmania?

Maatsuyker Island off the coast of Tasmania is about as far away from the US as you can get, and they're giving away jobs and housing. Job singular, really, since they needed a couple to come live in their lighthouse and take care of some land and housing maintenance on the island. The couple would also have to provide weather reports and deal with living in utter isolation with only each other as company. That could be considered a downside.

If taking your love down by the lighthouse sounds like your dream job, you are out of luck for now. The position is currently filled, but keep an eye out for Maatsuyker Island news. They'll surely need another lighthouse keeper when the current one decides to move on ... or goes insane.

Mishima Village, Japan

Sick of being single? Then go to a place where single people are treated right. Like Mishima Village, Japan. The village is on three small islands, and the population is only about 400 people and mostly made of senior citizens. To get new life and boost their numbers, Mishima Village is offering Japanese citizens 100,000 yen (about $840) to go toward moving expenses and a monthly stipend in your first three years of living there.

Plus, housing is insanely cheap. You can rent a three-bedroom house for under 23,000 yen ($207) a month! That's not all. If you're with someone and have a kid, you'll get money to help with the cost of birth and schooling. If you're single, they'll pay for some of your dates. And last but not least, they give you a cow. One free cow you can call your own. This sounds like a pretty perfect deal.

Pitcairn Island, South Pacific

If your true heart's desire is telling you to live on one of the most remote islands in the world, you might want to consider Pitcairn Island. With a population of 50, the citizens want to entice new people to live on their island paradise. So, each immigrant gets completely free land just for showing up to this two-mile island.

So far, few have taken the bait. As of 2015, only one person applied to move there. Maybe it's because there's one general store in town that's only open three days a week and you have to order anything else you need from New Zealand (3,000 miles away) every three months. But if you like a nice beach and an almost Castaway-like experience, go ahead and be the second person to move to Pitcairn Island!