6 charming places in Europe that will pay you to move there

    Sardinia, Italy.

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    These European towns want you to move there — and they’re offering cash to help you do it.Several small cities across the continent have generous grant programs for would-be residents.Business Insider rounded up the European locales that are paying people to move there. 

    If the high cost of living or toxic political climate in the United States has become too much, there are a handful of European countries that are more than happy to welcome new residents — so much so that they’ll pay you.

    Regions in Italy to cities in Croatia are offering a variety of cash incentives, as high as $32,000, to entice people to give their town a go.

    More often than not, you won’t be living in the more popular — or populous — parts of the country as these programs’ concern is, generally, combatting a lack of residents. But that doesn’t mean you can’t end up in a picturesque part of the world with a brand new way of life.

    Tuscany, for example, created a $3 million fund to motivate people to move to the countryside and help fix up some of the neglected homes there.

    “The purpose of the intervention is to favor and encourage the repopulation and socio-economic revitalization of mountain areas, acting in contrast to the marginalization of these areas,” a translated page from the program’s website reads.

    US cities have implemented similar programs to help positively influence and diversify the local economy with some success.

    Business Insider found six European programs offering cash to movers.

    Albinen, SwitzerlandAlbinen, Switzerland.

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    In an effort to replenish its aging population, the small Swiss village of Albinen is offering non-residents 25,000 francs (about $27,900 USD) per adult and 10,000 francs (about $11,100 USD) per child to move to the remote Alpine locale.

    Albinen implemented its relocation program in 2017 after an influx of locals began leaving the small village in droves, resulting in a population of less than 300 people. Many of those who left were young or had families, Travel + Leisure reported.

    The Swiss village, located in the Leuk district in the canton of Valais, is quintessential quiet living. There is no school, bank, or post office, and only one remaining pub.

    Those who dream of leaving the bustle of city life behind in favor of remote relaxation must meet some requirements. Applicants have to be under 45, able to buy a house worth more than $200,000 francs (about $223,200) in the village, and willing to live in Albinen for at least 10 years and become Swiss citizens.

    Those who don’t stay the required 10 years will be required to fully reimburse the town’s housing grant.

    Albinen’s relocation program briefly went viral last year, garnering about 100 inquiries a day, Albinen mayor Beat Jost told Swiss media in 2023.

    The program is still up and running on the town’s website as of July 2024.

    Antikythera, GreeceAntikythera, Greece.

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    The Aegean island of Antikythera is seeking families and willing to pay for them. This Greek paradise boasts crystal blue waters, rugged cliffs, and a score of historical charm.

    Beginning in 2019, local authorities started a program that provides families with three or more kids with a monthly stipend of 500 euros (about $542), free accommodation, and free food if they permanently relocate to the island.

    Population numbers in the small community, which is nestled between Crete and the Greek mainland, had fallen to just 24 as younger residents fled for better economic opportunities, Yahoo Finance reported in 2019. Local authorities told Greek media that fishermen, bakers, builders, and farmers would be especially welcome on the remote island.

    Later that year, Lonely Planet reported that the island had ended the program after selecting five Greek families to make the move to Antikythera.

    But four years later, the island appeared to restart its relocation program, this time teaming up with financial backing from the Greek Orthodox Church, according to Greek media.

    Once again, families with three or more kids can pocket a monthly allowance of 500 euros for up to three years, totaling 18,000 euros (about $19,500).

    The program is primarily aimed at Greek families, but non-Greeks will be considered, Express reported last year.

    Legrad, CroatiaLegrad, Croatia.

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    A tiny Croatian community is trying to woo more residents by selling 13-cent homes.

    Legrad, a town located in northern Croatia, is home to about 2,000 people after years of declining population numbers.

    Local authorities started an inventive program back in 2018 and announced earlier this year that a new crop of homes was available for less than a quarter, according to CNBC.

    Applicants must be under 45 years old, in a marital or extramarital partnership, have a clean record, and cannot already own property.

    Legrad Mayor Ivan Sabolic told Reuters in 2021 that the town was fielding inquiries from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Argentina, and Colombia following media coverage. However, because of Croatia’s difficult immigration process, the town opted to keep the program focused on Croatian nationals “for now,” the outlet reported.

    The relocation funds have already resulted in rising population numbers — the town is building a new daycare because more children are living in Legrad today than there were five years ago, local Croatian media outlet HRT reported.

    In addition to the cheap homes, the town has also offered extra monetary support for new residents. In 2019, Legrad gave incoming families about $3,500 to pay for necessary renovations, CNBC reported.

    Ponga, SpainPonga, Spain.

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    For those who don’t have three kids or tens of thousands of dollars to spare, the idyllic Spanish town of Ponga may be the best bet for a European relocation.

    Ponga, a quaint town located in Spain’s northern mountains, is offering 2,000 euros (about $2,100 USD) to every person who picks up and plans root in the village.

    The program aims to kick-start the local economy, which serves a population of less than 600 people. Families with children who move to the town can score up to 3,000 euros (about $3,200 USD), and those who have a baby born in the village will get an additional 3,500 euros, TimeOut reported last year.

    Those who make the journey must commit to staying at least five years in Ponga. But they’ll have plenty to do with nearby hiking trails, beach access, and cities close by.

    Sardinia, ItalySardinia, Italy.

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    An Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea is willing to pay 15,000 euros (about $16,200 USD) for movers who want to live a rural lifestyle.

    Sardinia’s government has a fund of 45 million euros set aside for 3,000 people to each receive a grant. The island of Sardinia has a population of over 1.6 million, but the government expects you to reside in a less populated area.

    According to a translated page from the Sassari Chamber of Commerce, the local government is implementing this plan to combat the island’s depopulation and isolation.

    Applicants must move to a town in Sardinia with less than 3,000 residents, live there full-time, and make Sardinia their permanent residence within 18 months. Also, according to CNBC, the 15,000 euros must go toward renovating your home.

    Tuscany, Italy
    Tuscany, Italy.

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    Last month, Tuscan officials launched a residency program that will pay people to live in the rural Italian countryside.

    The “too-good-to-be-true” program is drawing on a $3 million fund to support aspiring Tuscan residents in starting a life in the mountains of Italy. The incentive program is part of Italy’s effort to stabilize its decreasing population numbers, offering people the financial backing to fix up old homes at the same time.

    The grants will cover 50% of renovation costs for a home in one of 76 Tuscan cities, all of which have fewer than 5,000 residents.

    Aspiring applicants could pocket up to $32,000 in renovation funds, according to the program’s website. Italians, other European Union residents, and non-EU citizens with long-term residency can choose among several locales, including on the island of Capraia Isola or amid the natural beauty of Casciano dei Bagni.

    But act fast. Applications for the program close on July 27, 2024.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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