Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is Buying a Home Good for Your Career?

Many new graduates I talk with are saddled with huge student loans and wonder about when they can afford a home, or even a car, of their own. So many are renting, sharing space with roommates, and riding Metro (here in DC). It's understandable that they would want to settle down some day in their own homes, with no landlord to worry about.

The more I read about our economic recovery, however, the more I wonder if the American dream of owning a home is bad for our careers. Time magazine reports that the outlook for economic recovery and job growth may turn out to be very dependent on where you live. According to a report commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, New York City may see a good job market in two years, but L.A. may not see a good one for seven. Of course, results like these are in the mayors' best interest, and I try to take these things with a grain of salt.

Still, I'm starting to think I may need to start asking career counseling clients if they intend to own their homes in the next decade or if they will rent. It may make all the difference to their career decisions. If your dream job is available across the country but not locally, can you afford to move? And if you can't afford to buy, maybe that's good news, in a way. You're free to move to that job in NYC.

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