Whether you pay rent, a mortgage, or just plain old property taxes, making ends meet can be tough. But what if I told you there are places to which you can actually get paid to move? You may not get rich or anything, but here are 7 towns that will actually give you a kickback to become a resident. Better call U-Haul.
1. New Haven, Connecticut
The site of the world-renowned Yale University, you might wonder why New Haven would be trying to attract new residents. But actually, despite the prestige of the city's most famous institution, New Haven's population has declined considerably since the 1950s. While that trend has begun to turn around in recent years, newcomers can still derive quite a few benefits from making their homes here on the beautiful New England coastline.
Specifically, you could apply for an interest-free $10,000 loan for downpayment on a house, a forgivable $30,000 loan to upgrade an older house, plus free college tuition for any youngsters in the family who graduate in good standing from a Connecticut public school. So be sure to bring the grandkids along with you!
Plus you'll have the joy of living in a city rich with culture, art, and historical charm. Founded by the Puritans, New Haven was the first planned city in America.
Looking to get a little further off the beaten path? Chile is offering some pretty great incentives to new arrivals, particularly those who are looking to start businesses. So if you've always dreamt of running away to South America -- particularly to a country increasingly famous for its wine -- this could be the time.
Via the Start-Up Chile program, incoming entrepreneurs can receive as much as $50 million in equity free funding from the government. Of course that's in Chilean dollars, so it comes out to approximately US $80,000. But still! You can also qualify for mentorship, networking opportunities, and a one-year working visa to start. If you've always dreamed of being your own boss (and who hasn't?), Chile could be the place to try it.
Chile is the world's longest country, with a wide diversity of landscapes to inspire you, from mountains, to deserts, to quaint Pacific fishing hamlets. And did we mention the wine?!
Interested in learning more about Chile? Read 5 Adventures That Await You In Chile.
3. Candela, Italy
How would you like to live in a South Italian town, Baroque streets lined with terraced houses, immaculate green hills fading into the distance? It may sound like an unaffordable dream, but not in the case of Candela, a small community halfway across the Apennine peninsula from Naples.
A prosperous little tourist town between the 1960s and 1990s, known for offering all the charm of Naples but without the hustle and bustle, Candela has since gone into sharp demographic decline. From a population of 8,000 thirty years ago, the citizens have dwindled to just 2,700. Younger generations have abandoned Candela, off to seek their fortunes in more urban, cosmopolitan centers, leaving behind an ever-shrinking old guard.
But Candela's mayor has resolved not to let his town vanish from the map without a fight, and city hall is now paying people to move here.
Candela is offering €800 ($934) for single people, €1,200 ($1,400) for couples, €1,500 ($1,750) to €1,800 ($2,100) for families of three, and €2,000 ($2,335) or more for families of four or five. You can also get special write-offs for municipal services and utilities.
The catch? You'll have to have a job paying at least €7,500 ($8,758) per year.
4. Pipestone, Manitoba, Canada
Sure, it may not offer the shining lights of the Toronto skyline, or the explosive music scene of Montreal, but there are other rewards for those willing to move to the small community of Pipestone in southwestern Manitoba.
The municipality is issuing grants as high as $32,000 Canadian for newcomers looking to start their own businesses. So if you have an entrepreneurial dream and a yearning for peaceful prairie life, Pipestone may be just the place for you. The local government is also selling plots of land for $10 with a $1,000 downpayment, and there are also potential grants to help build houses.
Half and hour from nearby towns and only about 40 miles from North Dakota, Pipestone would be the perfect place for a quiet semi-retirement.
Apart from offering a long list of loans and grants for people moving to Alaska, the state also literally pays its residents for living there.
In the 1970s, Alaska started paying a dividend to citizens out of its oil revenues. Anyone who resides in the state will receive an average annual bonus of $1,200. You don't even have to stay for the winter, since anyone who stays in the state 190 days out of the year qualifies for the pay-out.
Drill, baby, drill! (Except don't, because that's awful.)
You've probably paid off your student loans by now, but if you know anyone who hasn't, tell them to move to Kansas. They'll help you pay those pesky buggers back.
The state has designated 77 counties as Rural Opportunity Zones, and in order to attract new residents, they're offering to help snuff out college debts. Each of those 77 counties is offering either $15,000 over 5 years to help pay back student loans, or up to 5 years of state income tax waivers for those who didn't go to college or don't have any debt remaining.
Not a bad deal to live somewhere over the rainbow.
You can see a map of which counties in Kansas have been designated by clicking here.
7. Detroit, Michigan
I know what you're thinking. The transformation of Detroit from an industrial ventricle of America's heartland into a vestige of its former self is one of the great travesties of recent history. But the image many people have of Detroit as unlivable ghost town simply isn't accurate.
In fact, things have slowly begun to turn around in Motor City since the city went bankrupt in 2013. All kinds of creative and entrepreneurial people have shipped into town with an eye to rejuvenating the place, thanks in part to generous incentives. Until very recently, the city's Live Midtown program offered new residents up to $20,000 in forgivable loans to help get settled.
That program has ended, but you should consider visiting Detroit even if you're not inclined to move there. It's true the city is not what it once was, but there is lots to see and do downtown. Your tourist dollars can help the recovery of a great American community.
Whether you're looking to make a little extra dough on the side to cut down on the cost of living, or you're just interested in building a life somewhere new, we hope this list gave you something to think about. Happy trails!