While the national housing market has been officially “in recovery” from the housing crash and Great Recession for quite some time now, some cities are facing a serious population shortage that is being exacerbated as current residents age, retire from the work force, and often move elsewhere. To combat this trend and fend off negative population trends, some cities are offering new residents incentives to establish households there. Those incentives may be as straightforward as cash-on-arrival when you move in or more complicated, such as a contest for entrepreneurs offering some serious start-up money with the requirement that the business be located within the city limits.
Here are three cities presently offering these types of incentives:
- New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven has a three-tiered incentive program that offers $80,000, cumulatively, to new homeowners. Not only can first-time buyers receive $10,000 in interest-free loans for a down payment, but they can also snag $40,000 for college tuition at an in-state school if their kids graduate from the New Haven public school system. The remainder of the incentives take the form of funding for energy-saving upgrades on the new residence.
- Baltimore, Maryland
The city’s “Buying Into Baltimore” program hopes to attract new homeowners using cold, hard cash. They offer $5,000 to new residents of the city and will give you an additional $5,000 if you purchase your first home there. Another related program offers $10,000 to buyers willing to invest in a vacant home and renovate it, but this program is only available to individuals who will make the home their primary residence. However, properties and buyers are eligible if the property is a duplex, triplex, or quadplex, so the program does not entirely eliminate investors willing to live in their small multifamily property.
- Ludington, Michigan
Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Ludington is a small town offering big money to small businesses and startups. The city hosts an annual competition that comes with a $50,000 prize for the best startup idea. The money comes with the requirement that the new business be headquartered in Mason County, where Ludington is located.