Small, rural towns where everybody knew everybody once were the backbone of the American Dream.
Now, many people have abandoned these areas for the excitement and opportunities that cities and their crowded, expensive suburbs provide.
But if you’re sick of drowning in your mortgage, spending hours in traffic, and thinking about ditching it all for a simpler way of life, then you’ll want to take a look at these amazing offers!
Small towns in the U.S. and abroad are all experiencing the same problem… the kids are growing up and leaving in search of bigger and “better” things.
Local small businesses are closing-up shop as people turn to big box stores and online shopping.
Couples are looking for the latest and greatest for their kids – fancy parks, museums, the best education, and lots of attractions.
In providing all the “best” for their families, people are leaving small towns for the big cities and their suburbs for opportunity and convenience.
It’s a sad scenario, not only for the towns they’re leaving behind, but also for our culture. It seems that, more and more, small towns are shrinking – and about to disappear altogether.
Enter a plan to rebuild populations in endangered towns all over the world. Free land, dirt-cheap housing, and even tax breaks are on the table as townspeople band together and practically beg you to move there.
Are you sick of the rat-race?
If you enjoy commuting hours every day to work in heavy traffic, working way more than 40 hours just to pay your mortgage, crowded public places, and never-ending construction – read no further.
(Also, I don’t believe you.)
But if you yearn for a simpler time – a slower pace – where you can actually get to know your neighbors and be a real part of your community, you may want to start packing.
Little House on the Prairie…
I know I’m always knocking millennials, but I remember living in a rural area where the closest shopping mall was 45 minutes away.
No cable, no internet, just riding bikes and catching tadpoles in the creek. We knew every single neighbor and we could always count on them.
But today’s young people seem to think that it’s boring to live out in the middle of nowhere – even though nearly everyone has internet, 500 TV channels, and a Walmart available to them.
That small-town sense of community seems to shrink the more we “connect” through technology and it’s a crying shame!
But if you’re looking for a change – or you’re an old soul – there are several small towns in the Heartland of the U.S.A. that want you!
They want you so much, they’re willing to offer free land.
Looking for old-fashioned values and a place to raise your family where you can really build something to be proud of?
Several towns in Kansas – Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne, and Plainville to name a few – are giving away free land. So is Marquette, which is Kansas’ “best-kept secret,” according to the town website.
All you have to do is complete an application, build a home on the land within a year, and live there for at least one year.
So even if you find small-town living isn’t for you, you’re only under a one-year obligation – but, I’ll warn you – it may just change your life for the better.
Rolling corn fields, actually hearing the birds singing, walking down the street without pepper spray, home town parades and front porch sitting…
These towns want you to build relationships, settle down, and help them maintain the population.
Sounds like a great deal to me.
Other states offering free land include Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota.
And in Camden, Maine and Muskegon, Michigan, free land is being given away to budding entrepreneurs.
If you’ve always wanted to run a little antique store or be the next Mrs. Fields by owning a bakery, these towns would be a great place to start.
All they ask in return is that you employ 20 or so locals to bring jobs back to the community.
These “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” offers are meant to rejuvenate great American towns – maybe even bring them back to their heyday – and offer you a better quality of life in the process.
But wait, there’s more!
Curtis, Nebraska is also offering free land – and they’ll help pay for your move!
If you’re still on the fence about rural living, this isn’t quite in the middle of nowhere. Curtis has great schools and lots of activities for families.
The free lots are already cleared for building and hooked up for utilities. It’s also a college town, and families with children get an extra financial incentive of a thousand bucks.
Plus – it is said that movie tickets at the local theater are only $3!! If nothing else, you’ll save thousands of dollars over the years on entertainment. Really, who needs IMAX?
And Hamilton, Ohio is looking for hard-working young people to bring their skills and talents to the area.
If you bring your A-game and contribute to the well-being of the community, they’ll pay you $300 a month for 30 months. That’s $10,000 grand, people!
And in Tulsa, Oklahoma – an actual, decent-sized city — they’ll give up to $10,000 to anyone who has a job that allows them to work remotely and can easily relocate.
They’re even offering free office space in the hopes that you’ll spend your disposable income on helping make the city even greater, thus building the economy and population.
There are plenty of opportunities all across the nation to earn financial help and tax breaks if you move and help keep these small towns from shrinking away to nothing.
So what are you waiting for?
What else ya got?
Well, if you have wanderlust but don’t think small-town U.S.A. is for you, how about a romantic European village?
It’s a sad fact that, just like in the U.S., young people are fleeing small farming and fishing villages all over Europe, as reported by MSN.
They don’t want any part of the family business – they have their sights set on big-city careers where they don’t get their hands dirty.
In Arranmore, Ireland, this has caused their population to sink to less than 500 residents.
And if the youth continue to leave, while the existing population ages, Arranmore will be no more – unless you help.
It’s a fairytale island, and town representatives actually sent letters to people all over the U.S. and Australia last spring singing the town’s praises.
They highlight access to the best diving areas, great seafood, high-speed internet, and Irish whiskey – with the mention that it’s a great place for people who work remotely.
They’re desperate to woo you to their little slice of heaven. I’m just wondering why I didn’t get a letter. This one’s a no-brainer.
There are also several small towns in Italy with dwindling populations.
Locana of Turin, Italy has seen their population decline over 75 percent in the last twenty years. Now, there are less than 1,500 residents.
The town is offering to pay people to settle down there with their children – more than $10,000 if you move there for at least three years.
The big problem here? Yep, those darned young people again. They’re moving away, ruining the economy and shutting down local schools in the process.
It’s a quaint little mountain town, full of fresh air and perfect for hiking, biking, and skiing. Isn’t that the type of place that hipster millennials are always looking for?
And Sambuca, near Sicily, is trying to revitalize the area by offering homes for a dollar! Yes, one dollar.
They’ve gotten a good response so far, and the only catch is that the homes are tiny and in need of renovation.
But a dollar compared to thousands a month for an apartment in the city sounds pretty fair – and the only traffic you’ll see is a herd of sheep crossing the street.
Same with the little commune of Ollolai, although you’ll pay a bit more — $1.25 for a house, according to MSN.
You’ll need to spend at least $25,000 to renovate, according to the deal, but that’s still far less than buying a home anywhere else.
And perhaps the village most in need of help is Monti Sciaga in Switzerland. Population zero.
It’s only an hour from Milan on the Italian border, and while the village has fallen into disrepair, there is still modern plumbing, lake views, and beautiful stone houses.
I don’t care how damaged these homes are. Can you just imagine how beautiful this place must be?
You won’t even mind sleeping in a tent while you renovate, and if you need some alone time – well, a lot of alone time –- this place is calling your name.
How did this happen?
Well, not to generalize, but it appears today’s youth don’t appreciate their roots and aren’t thinking about putting any down for future generations.
They’re leaving small town life behind for money and convenience, and they haven’t quite gotten to the point in life where we more mature folks have.
Part of that is the understanding that preserving traditions matters. Wide-open spaces, a slow pace, and simple pleasures are good for the heart and mind — and there’s nothing like getting your hands dirty while building something you can be proud of.
These towns are literally giving away a chance to experience what’s real and true and important in life. If people don’t start moving back, these little gems will fall off the map forever.
Change is hard, but it’s always worth taking an opportunity to try something new.
And you’ll never find better deals than what these small endangered towns are offering.
They’re not only good for your wallet – they’re good for your soul.