In the face of declining or slowing population growth, some cities have decided to get aggressive about their survival.
Some cities are giving away free land, while others are literally handing out stacks of cash to folks who agree to move. If you’re in the mood for a new town, why not have the town pay to have all of your awesomeness?
Here are the 6 cities that really, really want you to move…
1. Detroit, Michigan
We all know the trouble Detroit has had in recent years and it seems they’ve decided to do something about.
For starters, the town is giving away 100 beaten-down homes that are in need of some TLC. They’ll even give you $150,000 to help with the renovations. Some of the houses are pretty cool looking, but they’ll no doubt need more than $150,000 in repairs…
Another program in Detroit is offering college graduates a $2,500 first year allowance and a $1000 second year allowance towards the cost of renting an apartment/condo in the city. They’re also offering up to $20,000 in forgivable loans for new homebuyers who purchase a property in the city.
In order to participate, you’ve got to work for one of the companies that have partnered with the city to offer this program. Some of those companies include Compuware, Quicken Loans, and Strategic Staffing Solutions.
You can find all of the information on the city’s website: http://www.detroitlivedowntown.org/
2. Lincoln, Kansas
Anyone who’s ever driven cross country via I-70 knows that Kansas is in no shortage of open space. Kansas has had a declining population growth since the early 1900’s, so towns like Lincoln and Osbourne have taken to giving out free plots of land in order to entice new residents.
Depending on the city, there are different qualifications that you need to meet. You usually need to agree to build a single-family home on the land and live there for a set amount of time (5 years or so).
Check out all the cities that are giving away land at: http://www.kansasfreeland.com/
3. Anywhere, Alaska
This is probably the most famous example of a city/state giving away cash. Since 1976, Alaska has paid its residents to live there via its Permanent Fund Reserve. The payouts are funded by Alaska’s oil royalties and are divided up evenly among citizens.
Over the years the payouts have varied from the smallest ($331.29 per person in 1984) to the largest ($3,269.00 per person in 2008 when a one-time $1,200 Alaska Resource Rebate was added to the dividend amount), but the average is usually around $1,250.
In order to be eligible for the rebate, you must not claim residency in any other state or country.
For more information check out: http://pfd.alaska.gov
4. Any City in Saskatchewan, Canada
In an effort to attract more college graduates, Saskatchewan is offering both Canadians and immigrants $20,000 CAD to live and work in the city for 7 years. You’ve got to be a recent graduate though (after 2006).
The “Graduate Retention Program” use to be just a tuition-reimbursement program for natives, but was expanded in 2008 to help entice graduates from all over the world. The $20,000 bonus is paid in chunks each year when you file your taxes.
For more information check out: http://aeei.gov.sk.ca/grp
5. Camden, Maine
If you’re a business owner in need of land, Camden will give you a prime 2.8 acres if you agree to create 24 new jobs in the city. The town recently spent $1 million dollars to restore the site and the land is currently valued at $175,000.
You have to put up the initial cash for the deal, but the town will refund you your money once you meet all of the requirements.
Get all the details and fill out an application at http://www.freelandinmaine.org/
6. Curtis, Nebraska
How’d you like a prime piece of golf course real estate for free? That’s the message currently coming out of Curtis, Nebraska.
The towns all-grass, nine-hole Arrowhead Meadows Golf Course (apparently one of the best in the state) has 8 plots of land left and if you agree to build a house, they’ll give it you for free. All of the lots utility ready and located on paved streets.
Claim your free land here: http://www.curtis-ne.com/amlots.php
Good luck Penny Hoarders!