There are a lot of decisions that go into making a move, and one constant will always be the cost. If you’re lucky enough to work remotely, one of these places that will pay freelancers to move might just tip the scales.
I am a firm believer that every city in the world has at least one redeeming quality. And if you’re lucky, the place you find yourself in will have a whole host of them. Of course, these qualities vary based on the person assigning value to them, or perhaps the weather at the time of question, or even, in some cases, what they’re willing to give you to move to them in the first place.
Let’s stack on top of this that every developer, in the throes of a nearly-impossible-to-find misplaced comma or at the doling end of the phrase “but it works on my machine…” has also thought “I should give this all up and become a carpenter,” or “You know what sounds stress-free? A small farm,” and these places just might fit the bill for you.
All across the country there are communities that are growing, evolving, and embracing the change recent years have brought us. And in that spirit, they’d like you to be a part of it all. Let’s take a look at some of the places in the U.S. that will pay you to join in their noble endeavors, while also taking advantage of their relatively low housing prices.
- What you get: $10,000 towards a home, $3,000 welcome package
- Stipulation: Home must be a minimum of $190,000
- Website: Housing Initiative | Newton, IA – Official Website
- Average cost of a house: $161,000
Located just 30 miles east of Des Moines, Newton is the most populous city in its county, at 15,700 people. It’s also home to the Iowa Speedway, a 25,000-person stadium that hosts, among other things, an Indy Car race every year. And for the artist in the family, be sure to check out the Iowa Sculpture Festival, held in Newton every fall.
- What you get: $10,000
- Stipulation: Must be a full-time remote or self-employed worker
- Website: Tulsa Remote
- Average cost of a house: $190,000
As they say on the “Tulsa Remote” site, Tulsa is a “tight-knit community meets a population large enough to support world-class music and theatre, sports venues and one of the most impressive park systems in the country.” Winters are fairly mild, summer temps feel palatable due to low humidity, and you’re only a couple hours from the natural beauty of the Ozarks.
- What you get: $10,000
- Stipulation: Must have graduated from a STEAM program in the last 7 years
- Website: Hamilton Community Foundation | Scholarships | Scholarships for Recent College Graduates (TAP) Scholarship
- Average cost of a house: $180,000
Named after the first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, this suburb of Cincinnati is home to just over 60,000 people. Its nickname is the City of Sculpture, with 45 different pieces on display throughout town, and it’s in close proximity to both Columbus, OH and Louisville, KY, home to the Kentucky Derby.
- What you get: Free land to build on
- Stipulations: Must provide financial documentation regarding a building project, along with the plans for the home build.
- Website: https://www.livelincolncounty.com/free-lots-residential/
- Average cost of a house: $108,000
If you’ve ever dreamed of living the small-town life, Lincoln, Kansas may be exactly what you’re looking for. Boasting just over 1,100 people, and situated as the county seat, it’s the kind of place where everyone knows everyone, and you can create the kind of opportunities larger towns have long outgrown.
- What you get: $15,000
- Stipulations: Open to remote workers and those open to relocation, this offer is applicable to both buyers and renters.
- Website: Apply – Greater Topeka Partnership
- Average cost of a house: $185,000
The capital of the Sunflower state, and named after a Kansa-Osage word meaning “a good place to dig potatoes,” Topeka is located just 45 minutes west of its larger, more well-known sister city of Kansas City. It is rife with history, parks, arts, and museums, waiting for you to explore.
West Virginia (various towns)
- What you get: $12,000
- Stipulation: Must bring remote work with you
- Website: Remote Work Offers and Incentives to Move to West Virginia : Ascend
- Cities: Open to people moving to the Greenbrier Valley, the Morgantown area, and the Eastern panhandle.
- Average cost of a house: Greenbrier: $149,000; Morgantown: $285,000; Martinsburg (panhandle): $250,000
Having grown up close by, I can attest to the natural beauty this long-maligned state is privy to. A stunning array of mountains and rivers is home to unending opportunity for the outdoor enthusiast, with parts of the panhandle sitting just 90 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C.
- What you get: $10,000
- Stipulations: Open to remote workers making a minimum of $52,000/year.
- Website: Remote Shoals
- Average cost of a house: $168,000
Amazing beaches? Check. Within two hours of three major airports? Check. Grade A clean air? Check. We could go on about the other boxes this area checks, but you can also check it out yourself (see what we did there?). It’s got a rich music and arts scene, incredible food, and plenty of places to play outdoors.
If moving out of the country is more your speed, you can always check out the places that offer extended-stay visas for remote workers. While not all places will pay freelancers to move there, exploring the country and the world are just one of the many benefits that come along with freelance work. Where will it take you next?