Finished college. Now what?

5 Replies

Hello! I am finally done with my college program and am having trouble deciding where to go next. My long term goal is to have enough capital to start house hacking within two years. I moved from GA to central FL 2 years ago for my program and family, but there are much bigger markets and opportunities for my career (UX/UI/Interactive Design) in Atlanta or up North. I've listed the pros and con of moving away vs staying put. I would love your input for those faced with a similar situation. It's essentially quality of life vs expenses. I'm single and have no dependents. What would you do? 


  • More pay
  • My college friends are here!
  • Bigger City 
  • More opportunities for career


  • More expenses
  • State Income Tax



  • Closer to family 
  • No State Income tax
  • I could live with family rent free, but I REALLY want to move out


  • Smaller City
  • I don't like the city atmosphere
  • Tolls everywhere
  • Smaller market for career
  • less pay

First of all, congratulations on getting your degree!

Professionally, you can always move from a larger market to a smaller market but it's tough to do the reverse.  Since there's a lot you like about Atlanta, I'd start looking for a job there, knowing that your expenses (and likely pre-tax pay) will likely be higher.  I certainly wouldn't let state income taxes drive (or even influence at this point in your career) your decision.

How much more expenses? Honestly better pay and being close to friends seems like a no brainer to me.

Am I missing something? When I graduated college last year I lived in the same state I went to school in and was close to some friends. I’ve since moved twice and lived in 3 different states. So I can speak to both ways.

@Caleb Heimsoth

The average rent is slightly higher in Atlanta. My family are telling me that Orlando may be smaller but I'd save up more and faster by living with family and not having to pay for food or housing. But at 24 I’m ready to leave the nest though I’m worried that by moving it’d eat up my savings and income and delay my goal to invest.

@Sarah T.  let’s jusr crunch the numbers.  Post average rents for one bedroom apartment in the areas you want to live in Orlando or Atlanta.  If you were to live at home, then make it zero. 

Then estimate how much money you could save in both senarios and then make a decision.  If there are other factors youd need to consider like salary in one place or the other or student debt then maybe also post that too.

It’s definitely possible if you are frugal and save.  That’s all I’ve done and I already own several rentals.    Graduated college 18 months ago.  I educated myself and saved for 10 months then jumped in and haven’t looked back since.  

@Sarah T. depends on your real estate goals. if investing is something you plan to take seriously I would highly recommend you start studying both markets to see what underlining pros and cons you may face with future investing. unless your planing to be a absentee landlord. from my experience most small businesses fail when the owner is absent and real estate is a business like many others you have to be present for things to get done correctly.