Job Hunting and House Hunting Can Go Together in Philadelphia

The variety of neighborhoods in the city provides a range of housing opportunities with manageable commutes for job seekers. Here are a few factors to consider when job hunting and house hunting at the same time.

Combining a job search and a new home search can be challenging, but you’ll also find advantages to completing both at once. In Philadelphia, the variety of neighborhoods in the city provides a range of options. Here are a few factors to consider when job hunting and house hunting in tandem.

Factor In Your Commute

Your expected work commute is an important factor in a combined job and home search. The amount of time you spend in a train or car greatly affects your overall quality of life. In Philadelphia, the SEPTA bus, train, and subway system provides commuter access from the suburbs to the city and vice versa, so living close to a transportation station opens up your living options. Should you find a job before choosing a home, test out your commute during rush hour to make sure you can tolerate your drive or ride time.

Finding a Job in a Specialized Field

For those in specialized fields, finding work may take a bit longer than a traditional job search. If you’re new to Philadelphia, rest assured, the city has a great diversity of employment opportunities. According to Select Greater Philadelphia, the four largest employers in the region are university and health care organizations. For those in the corporate world, many large businesses have offices in the Philadelphia area, including Comcast Corporation, as well as major financial, technology, and pharmaceutical employers. For those working in the arts, the Philadelphia Culture job bank provides a listing of current opportunities.

Research Preferred Neighborhoods

If you’re offered a job far from your ideal Philadelphia neighborhood, consider what you liked about the area, then look for these same options closer to your job location. Looking for great schools in the city? Check out Great Philly Schools, an informative website that ranks city schools and provides information on charter school applications. Searching for a thriving social scene away from Center City? Certain suburbs such as King of Prussia or West Chester offer plenty of shopping, restaurants, and nightlife.

Ask Yourself: What Can You Afford?

Another factor in your job and home search may be how much you can afford in a home. If you’re working on the Main Line, but can’t afford the high residential price tags, try expanding your search into nearby suburbs or smaller home models. Obtaining a mortgage while job hunting may also be difficult. Most lenders look for a certain period of employment prior to approving a mortgage. Once you find a job, consider renting for a year or two and saving for the home purchase in the neighborhood you prefer.

Consider Job Security

If job security is a concern, you may opt for a home in a centralized location. Should you switch employers and alter your work commute, easy highway access may prevent you from needing to move again. Center City living is expensive, but should you switch jobs, the proximity to other urban employers means you might not need to move. If you prefer the suburbs, you may want to look at homes in central Montgomery County, where the East-West and North-South Turnpike meets the Schuylkill Expressway, placing you close to highways in the event you switch jobs and must alter your commute.

Searching for a job and a home in a new city can be stressful. To achieve your ideal work and living situation, take the time to learn about the city’s best living and employment opportunities. A successful search ends with a job you love and a home in a Philadelphia neighborhood that’s a great fit for your lifestyle.

Image Source: Flickr/Tom Ipri

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Jennifer DiGiovanni is a freelance writer and a partner in a real estate investment firm focusing on residential properties. She previously worked in the financial services industry and has earned an MBA from Villanova University. Jennifer enjoys writing about real estate, home improvement and small business.

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