Housing Market Slip Likely to Affect Job Searchers

job interview
job interview

It seems as if the housing market has suffered a relapse as of late, reports The Wall Street Journal. Although other parts of the economy, ranging from high-tech hiring to the stock market, are recovering, housing prices have fallen once again. In October, across 20 metropolitan areas, home prices fell 1.3 percent, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index. A number of economists expect the decline to continue at least into the spring of 2011.

What does this mean for your job search? Plenty.

Leverage housing-related skills, contacts.

If you're in an industry directly related to the housing market, be it selling real estate or as a mortgage broker, then you'll need to take stock of your transitional skills and figure out how to apply them to opportunites that are currently viable. Such opportunites might include handling rental properties, working for a property management company, or working in short sales.

Relocation less likely.

Many employers are reluctant to pay for employee relocation these days. This coupled with the fact that it's unlikely you'll be able to sell your house for a decent price, means you might have to forget about relocating for the moment. Alternatively, you could rent out your house and pay for the move yourself. If you are stranded in a geographical area that has no sign of recovery, searching for work in an area that is thriving economically such as Utah or Washington, D.C., might make sense.

Strategically skip out on mortgage.

If your current mortgage is underwater, it's likely to sink even more given the current state of the economy. So you might consider what's called "strategically stiffing" your mortgage company. Such a decision will involve planning ahead regarding the purchase of big-ticket items, including possibly the purchase of another home. Remember that once your credit rating gets hit, your purchasing ability is likely to be dramatically impacted.

If you continue paying your other bills on time, then the hit to your credit score will be somewhat mitigated. This is another reason to find your new job, and get an offer letter in hand, before doing anything that might harm your rating. Such consideration is especially important for industries like financial services where you won't be hired if you skip out on your mortgage.