With remote working and home prices on the rise, many homebuyers are looking to relocate to more affordable areas. What you may not know is that there are states and cities that will pay you to move there. Often due to labor shortages or a lack of businesses hiring, they’re wooing professionals through generous relocation programs. Here are four to consider.
1. West Virginia
West Virginia’s Ascend WV program offers $12,000 to qualified remote workers, with no reservations on what’s done with the money—from making a down payment on a home to buying a car. They also provide co-working opportunities and can point you to professional development and “entrepreneurial assistance” programs. If affordability is at the top of your list, West Virginia may have you feeling right at home. According to Ascend WV, housing costs are “16% below the national average” and the median home cost is $134,800 (though that may have gone up in the pandemic). Additionally, through a partnership with Airbnb, you can test this relocation program’s featured cities before making a move. More details are available on Ascend WV’s website.
2. Topeka, Kansas
Topeka’s relocation program, Choose Topeka, offers up to $15,000 to professionals who settle in the city or its county—Shawnee County. Eligibility and benefits vary depending on whether you’re considered an on-site employee or remote worker. On-site employees can receive up to $15,000 toward a home purchase, and median home prices are around the mid-$100,000’s according to the National Association of REALTORS®. But you must be employed by an employer who participates in the Choose Topeka initiative. Note that several major companies have offices in the area and Choose Topeka’s website says to ask employers to confirm participation.
Remote workers can receive up to $10,000 to buy a home and their employers must be outside of Shawnee County. If you’re self-employed, you may also qualify for the program. To learn more and apply, visit Choose Topeka’s website.
If you work in education, your next classroom could be in Iowa. Their Teach Iowa Scholar Program provides a maximum of $4,000 per year for up to five years if you’ll teach in an area where they have a teacher shortage. To be eligible for this relocation program, you must:
- Have graduated from a teacher preparation program (internship programs can qualify) during an eligible year.
- Have been in the top quarter of the program you completed.
- Earn a full-time position for the 2021–2022 school year in an approved area.
- Be licensed to teach in Iowa and have an endorsement from the area where you will teach.
According to the Motley Fool’s The Ascent in August 2020, an average Iowa home was valued at $155,781. An expert also described the state “as one of the most affordable places to buy a home.” More program details are available through the Iowa College Aid website. Special aid is also available to healthcare professionals and veterinarians, but incentives apply to student loans.
4. State Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
If you’re starting over after a job loss or ”are threatened with job loss,” you may be eligible for job search and relocation allowances in a variety of states. The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program is a federal program that offers a range of support to people who’ve lost jobs due to changes in international trade. Links to state programs are available at the Department of Labor’s site. You can read more about eligibility and benefits on the TAA Program’s FAQs page and in this PDF on 2021’s offering. Currently, benefits are only open to manufacturing sector workers.
Be aware that many relocation programs have limited spots, so the sooner you follow up the better. For more leads, see sites around the web such as MakeMyMove.com that are tracking popular programs. And if you’re ready to get moving, contact us to get pre-qualified for a mortgage that could help you set a budget for your next move.
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