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Livability: This Iowa town will pay you to build a house there


Many people commute from surrounding communities to work in Marshalltown, Iowa. A unique housing incentive program is encouraging more of those people to live in Marshalltown as well.

Make Marshalltown Home asks potential homeowners to build a house in Marshalltown, at which point they would receive a $10,000 incentive if the home is valued at $180,000 or higher at the time of closing.

The City of Marshalltown has a current population of about 27,000 residents, and Mayor Joel Greer has gone on record saying he wants that number to increase to at least 50,000 within the next few years.

Besides the city, the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce is also a major backer of the initiative, with chamber officials saying that the $10,000 could be ideally used as a down payment by every potential new homeowner.

“Marshalltown hasn’t grown in population over the last decade, and growth is important for any community,” says John Hall, president and CEO of the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce. “We want more services, retail, restaurants and employers, and that requires development within a growing and thriving community.”

Also see: These 13 cities, states, and countries will pay you to move there

Available lots in Marshalltown

Hall says Marshalltown has plenty of land to construct new homes, with vacant property lots available in all quadrants of the city.

“Houses can be built anywhere in Marshalltown. There are currently about 40 to 50 lots available,” he says. “Things are starting to happen, with some new houses currently under construction.”

“Marshalltown normally averages about 10 new homes being built a year, and this program is finally starting to generate more activity,” Hall says. “We have an entire marketing campaign that primarily involves social media and website advertising, including on sites like Zillow

and We also install informational yard signs in front of every home under construction.”

Read: Some cities and states want to pay you thousands to move there, but is it worth it?

11 homes and counting

The $10,000 incentive program has an overall budget of $1 million, and the list of contributors to the program includes the city, chamber, companies and individuals. The initiative started in June 2021, and by June 2022, a total of 11 home construction permits had been issued.

Also see: People are keen to move out of big cities due to inflation. They are eyeing these sunny locations for lower-cost living.

Gaining momentum

Hall, who has been Marshalltown chamber president/CEO since August 2021, says he is committed to seeing the incentive continue to gain momentum.

“There are cities our size in Iowa that are dying out because they aren’t growing in population, and we’re not going to let that happen here,” he says. “This is an attractive program, and Marshalltown is a nice town to live and raise a family,” he adds.

“Our job now is to get the word out, and we will do that until positive results start rolling in.”

Read the original article on Livability.

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