Everyone wants to move to New York City or San Francisco -- or at least everyone wishes they could afford to.
But given the sky-high housing market, cities like Nashville, Tennessee, and Portland, Oregon are appearing a lot more glamorous as a relocation destination. (And, for the time being at least, a little less crowded.)
Trying to buy or even rent housing can be challenging in today's economy, no matter where you hang your hat. But some American cities offer attractive financial incentives to those willing to relocate within their limits. From New England to the Great Plains, these cities lure potential citizens with down payment grants, coworking space memberships, and even cold, hard cash.
If you're in the market for a new place to call home, consider these five cities. Each comes with relocation bonuses.
1. Baltimore, Maryland
The Live Baltimore project's host of attractive incentives help Charm City live up to its nickname. The Buying Into Baltimore program offers prospective homeowners $5,000 toward the purchase of a home anywhere in the city limits. If you're interested in a fixer-upper, the Vacants to Value Booster hands out $10,000 to put toward your down payment on one of Baltimore's abandoned homes. And the Live Near Your Work Program offers grants of between $2,000 and $5,000 for those who purchase homes in the vicinity of participating employers.
2. Detroit, Michigan
Opportunity Detroit invites potential residents to come "live it up in the D" and take advantage of one of the most affordable housing markets in the country. What's more, there are several homeowner incentives available for both new and established residents, including 0% loans, grants, and down payment assistance.
Have a small business idea? Detroit is a hotbed of venture investors looking to get a leg up on Motown's renaissance. And the Downtown Detroit Partnership is committed to keeping the city safe, clean, and beautiful as its growth spurt continues.
3. New Haven, Connecticut
If New Haven isn't on your relocation radar, it might be after reading this. Depending on your circumstances, you could earn over $100,000 in incentives for moving there. And no, that's not a typo.
The city is offering $10,000 in down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers, which is a pretty nice perk on its own. Plus, the loan is forgivable as long as you live in your home for five years, and you could get an additional $2,500 if you're a city employee or teacher.
On top of that, you can receive up to $30,000 for energy-saving home upgrades -- which, again, is forgivable (though this time you'll have to stay put for a whole decade). And if you really set down roots, you might even save your kids some debt: The city guarantees free in-state college tuition to any student graduating from a New Haven public school, a value of approximately $22,000 per year.
4. Niagara Falls, New York
Become neighbors with a natural wonder of the world by moving to Niagara Falls. Participating in the town's Downtown Housing Incentive Program, you can be eligible for student loan reimbursement of up to $6,984. In return, you'll reside in one of the city's "targeted neighborhoods" for a period of at least two years. But according to the website, eligible areas are within walking distance of Niagara Falls State Park and the Niagara Gorge. How bad could it be?
5. Tulsa, Oklahoma
If you work remotely, you might seriously consider relocating to the Sooner State -- because this city's incentives make the Great Plains look even greater. Through the Tulsa Remote program, eligible workers will receive a $10,000 cash bonus to help with relocation expenses, as well as a $300 monthly stipend. You'll also get a free membership to 36 Degrees North, one of the hippest coworking spaces in the city.