For many would-be homebuyers, saving money for a down payment can feel like an insurmountable hurdle. But people looking to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma may be able to get some assistance.
Tulsa Remote, the program which has been paying remote workers $10,000 to move to the city since 2018, has now offered to sweeten the deal. While the program would previously pay its members $10,000 in installments over the course of their first year living in Tulsa, it is now offering to pay $10,000 toward the purchase of a home in one lump cash grant.
With a median home price of $188,000 as of January according to the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors, that $10,000 payment could account for a substantial piece of a down payment at more than 5% of the total median price.
“This new program makes home ownership more attainable for many program applicants,” Sofia Noshay with Tulsa Remote said in a written statement. “With greater flexibility in how to apply the $10,000 grant, it not only gives members the opportunity to reach long-term financial goals but also establishes them in our community through home ownership and immediate connection with our network.”
The goal of the program is to “build a thriving community of remote workers in Tulsa, offering social and networking opportunities, group activities, connections to local volunteering, civic engagement opportunities and more,” according to Tulsa Remote.
Mike Bodulow, one of the cohorts from the first round of Tulsa Remote, was working remotely from Washington, D.C. for a biotech company when his partner’s job freed the couple up to move. They found lots of restaurants, bars and other things to do in Tulsa, but the prices were lower and the waits were shorter, he previously told Fox Business.
“I’m happy to be in Tulsa,” he said. “The cost of living is unbeatable.”
Taylor Brown, chief technology officer at You Need a Budget and another Tulsa Remote member, said in a statement provided by the program that he and his wife “have been thrilled with our decision” after moving to Tulsa from Austin.
“We found a house we love in a great neighborhood close to everything – within walking distance to restaurants and parks, and only a few minutes’ drive to everything else,” he said in the statement. “My wife and I were looking for a place to raise our son and Tulsa has been a great fit for our family.”
The cash isn’t the only benefit of the Tulsa Remote program. It offers $500 travel reimbursement and a $150 Airbnb coupon for members coming to get acquainted with the city. Tulsa Remote can set up members at a coworking office space. It also hosts events and meetups for members to make connections and engage with local groups.
To qualify for the program, one must be a permanent U.S. resident, have consistent income, be 18 or older, live outside Oklahoma and be able to work remotely and willing to commit to living for at least one year in Tulsa. And to opt for the new up-front cash option, the money will be paid upon purchasing a home.
And chances are anyone accepted by the program will want to stay longer. Tulsa Remote said it has a 90% retention rate of members staying beyond their initial year, and one-third of its members have purchased a home in Tulsa.
Anyone interested in the program can visit tulsaremote.com. The website has more details about the program as well as the application.