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Where You Buy a House May Have an Impact on Your Career!

Did you know where you choose to live can affect certain decisions you make in your career - either opening doors or closing them? Here we explore 5 ways your home and career are linked to one another. Read on...

There’s a lot that goes into buying a home of your own, and it goes without saying that your job is one of the most important factors that goes into the real estate equation. 

We often move to locations nearer to our workspace, and rely on our paycheck to be able to qualify for financing plus afford the price tag.

But did you know that the opposite applies too? Where you choose to live can affect certain decisions you make in your career - either opening doors or closing them. 

Below are five ways your home and career are intrinsically linked to each other. 

1) Location is key

Location, location, location - we hear it all the time. But how does that apply to our career? 

Let’s talk about proximity to your workspace. It only makes sense to want to live as near as you can to your job, as travel often eats up a lot of unnecessary time.

In 2018, the average length of commute for Malaysians working in Petaling Jaya stood at a whopping 60 minutes. As a result, increased travel time is likely to increase dissatisfaction with your job.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should move to the middle of nowhere for the sake of your job either. If your job requires you to relocate to an area completely foreign to you (or even overseas), you’re essentially tying your home and therefore yourself down to your employer. 

Suppose your company falls upon hard times and you find yourself unexpectedly unemployed. In such a scenario, you might be forced to move once more. Hence, it’s always wise to make sure your vicinity is relatively wealthy with job opportunities. 

2) Your job can limit your pool of property choices

For new homebuyers, qualifying for your home loan is one of the biggest hurdles you will face in your home buying journey.

Lenders view various factors to assess your lending risk, but a high income and low debts alone aren’t a surefire way to cut it. Lenders also take into account your employment stability. 

This means the number of jobs you’ve held, how often you’ve switched jobs/industries, and the very nature of your job - which are all relevant. In general, self-employed individuals have to go to greater lengths to prove their creditworthiness.

Translating this to your career, this means that working along the lines of freelancing, running a small business or working on primarily commission may limit your ability to qualify for more upmarket homes in premium locations.

3) Your home can open or close new doors in your career

When it comes to how we associate our home with our career, we often think of our job simply as a means to afford our home and all the expenses that come alongside it.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the two are closely intertwined. Tying yourself down to a home can also mean tying yourself down to the job that helped you get that home in the first place.

As such, you may find yourself hesitant to accept other opportunities as and when they come. Job transfers can become tricky business too. 

For those who haven’t really settled down or established themselves in their field, making the commitment to buy a home might hinder your chance to land your dream job. 

If you want to make the switch and go solo, it can be difficult to do so with a mortgage on your back. Buying a home is a long-term commitment. Ideally, you’d want your career to be able to match up to that term.

4) High job placement areas could mean higher property values

Property valuation is by no means an easy subject to master. As a homebuyer however, you should be savvy enough to know to look at the health of an area’s local job market when property hunting.

If you’ve got a stable job on your hands, you might not think to concern yourself with the job market. But situations can change, and in the event you get laid off, you’d want the assurance of a variety of job prospects within your general vicinity that you can look towards. 

Job prospects aside, properties in high job placement areas are likely to enjoy better appreciation. Your new home may not necessarily be your forever home, and you’d be grateful you factored the area’s job market when you need to look for buyers.

Ideally, the job market should also enjoy the presence of a variety of different employers and industries as a safeguard.

5) Work from home? Consider the property’s infrastructure

So far, we’ve touched upon how your property can impact your career and vice versa. Career is a very general term however, and the different ways your property can impact your career also depends on the nature of your work.

For remote workers, which at this point makes up a good many of us, your home’s infrastructure can affect how well you work from home too. 

These include internet availability and speed, sound pollution and lighting - all of which can impact your WFH productivity, efficiency and enjoyment. 

In the end, it all boils down to your respective situation in your career and life. Our advice? Look beyond the present, anticipate all scenarios and allow yourself the flexibility to deviate from your current arrangements if need be.

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