It pays to live in small cities. Literally.
As young people flock to large metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York, some smaller towns face dwindling populations or even shortages in certain sectors, such as tech.
To remain competitive, these cities are doling out lucrative perks to get people to move there, such as cash handouts, student loan repayments and housing incentives.
While you may not the find the hustle and bustle you’d get in larger towns, the trade-off might be worth it for a shorter commute and a lower rent. Surveys show that smaller cities have far less traffic congestion, making a trip to and from work that much faster.
The cost of living is also cheaper in smaller cities, according to an analysis of the most and least expensive cities for renters by money advice site Earnest. While Los Angelenos fork over a median rent of $2,600 a month, those in Toledo, Ohio pay just $550 per month.
If, like many millennials, you’re still figuring out where you want to settle down, consider these eight cities offering a host of incentives to entice you to move there.
1. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Want to get paid to relocate and work from home? In Oklahoma you can, through Tulsa Remote, a program offering $10,000 grants and additional benefits to eligible applicants who agree to live in Tulsa, Oklahoma for one year to work remotely.
To be eligible, you must provide proof of employment, be at least 18 years of age, work for a business that’s based out of Tulsa County and pledge to live in Tulsa for a minimum of one year.
2. Baltimore, Maryland
Known for its harbor, fresh crabs and the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital, Charm City offers two housing incentives for would-be residents.
First, the Buying Into Baltimore program gives home-buyers a $5,000 forgivable five-year loan. And if you’re game to move into one of Baltimore’s abandoned homes, the Vacants to Value incentive offers $10,000 toward down payment and closing costs.
3. St. Clair County, Michigan