Looking to Move? Don’t Forget to Secure a Job First
When making a move, it can be hard to know where to start. Our friends at The Washington Post Jobs suggest the best place to start is with finding a job. Here’s why:
When looking for an apartment, one easy place to start is with your budget. How much are you able to pay per month for an apartment? It’s difficult to gauge this without having a consistent income. Sure you might have savings, but you don’t want to drain it on rent until you find a job either. Securing a job will help you strategize as you search. Knowing your salary will also help you determine if you need a roommate or that you can confidently afford a place on your own. The DC Metro area is comprised of companies with great opportunities that cover the full career spectrum including, entry level , mid-career on through senior executive, to assist in setting salary expectations.
The DC/VA/MD area is a great place to put down roots: it has great neighborhoods, school districts, restaurants, and shows, but it all comes with a price. Not only do you want to be able to afford all the opportunities for fun in this area, but most importantly you want to be able to afford your rent. Understanding your budget will also help you narrow down priorities – maybe you can afford to live alone but you know you like to put a lot of your income toward exploring the DC nightlife, or maybe for you, location is key.
Planning your Commute
Obviously, you don’t have to live a stone’s throw away from your job, but another huge factor you’ll need to consider when choosing your apartment is your commute. Are you driving, taking the Metro, or the bus? If you’ll be using public transport, you’ll want to designate which Metro line or bus route you’ll need to be near to get to a new job. For example, if you work in Farragut, you have a variety of transportation options. Many bus routes end and pick-up at Farragut and there are Blue/Orange/and Red line trains that will deliver you to Farragut Square, which opens you up to apartments in MD, DC, and VA. If you need to work in Bethesda, you might want to live by the Red line or find an apartment with parking. No matter the location they are a large variety of companies in MD, DC and VA with access to public transportation.
Determine your priorities and comfort level when it comes to your commute. Ask yourself if you are firm on a specific neighborhood and willing to make that work, or if a quick, easy, and affordable commute is a top priority for you. Another great benefit to living and working in the DC Metro area is many companies offer the option of telecommuting. As you research and interview with companies inquiry about this option so you can now live in your favorite neighborhood worry free of an extended daily commute to the office.
Practically speaking, you’ll need to present proof of income in the form of pay stubs or an offer letter to get approved for most apartments. It’s easy to forget that not only do you have to be sold on a new apartment or building, but that the leasing office also has to be sold on you as a resident.
Strive for Security
Not only should you secure a job before moving for the aforementioned reasons, but ideally you want to go a step beyond simply securing the job. The DC Metro area offers very competitive salaries as well as a strong Federal government market with great job security. If you are able, try to give yourself time to make sure the new role is the right fit before committing to an apartment. If you already live in the area, you may have to bear with a longer commute while testing out the job. You could also try living with a friend or relative who lives nearby for a trial period and save additional emergency funds. Feeling secure in your job and having some padding in your bank account for the worst case scenario will make you feel much more confident when you do decide to sign a lease.
Priorities vary from individual to individual; ultimately you have to decide your own approach for choosing an apartment. However, most people start with budget and location, two factors that are typically tied to work.
Luckily, you have two essential tools right at your finger tips: seek out The Washington Post Jobs to hone in on some excellent job leads and then be sure to use Apartment Showcase when you’re ready to start scoping out your new apartment home.