Parade magazine did a piece on this during the past year. Small towns are giving away land to get people to build on it and increase the tax dollars coming in and increase the town's population. My husband's hometown of Parsons Kansas was doing this. The trouble was you had to build a home work at least $60,000, which in that town you could buy a house for about $30,000 easily so a $60,000 one would be pretty overpriced there. The property taxes there are pretty high too.
I read that many people are taking advantage of this tho.
One good article would be people moving to the midwest to retire as things are so much cheapter. My parents live in Oregon but their relatives are still in Iowa. Iowa is SO much cheaper for real estate than Oregon, it's amazing.
We move to Texas because housing is so much cheaper than Oregon. however, some things aren't cheaper here, like electricity (highest in the US).