Not so fast

21 06 2009

Reading my last post, I had to smile at how quickly the emotional high of thinking I sold my condo went away.  I say “thinking” I sold my condo because after signing the deal Sunday morning, I got a call from my attorney on Tuesday morning to tell me that the buyers had backed out of the deal, without giving a reason.  Our deal lasted all of about 48 hours.  Now I know that the way housing contracts are written, it’s not a binding contract until after your attorney reviews and approves the contract, so the buyers were well within their rights to do what they did.  But even though it was perfectly legal, I can’t help but think it’s not really the right thing to do.  Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I believe that if you tell someone you have a deal, then you stick by your word unless there was bad faith involved in the negotiations or a material change in circumstance (i.e. house inspection turns up major issues).  Given how quickly they backed out, I just can’t help but think they just found a better deal somewhere else and decided to go with that instead.  If they weren’t sure they wanted to buy my condo at the price we agreed on, they should’ve thought of that before they signed on the dotted line.

OK, so enough ranting.  The good news is I’ve gotten another good offer for the condo and am now in the process of negotiating price with this potential buyer (my realtor should be calling me back today with an update on their latest counter-offer).  If we do reach agreement (which looks pretty likely), it will probably be for slightly less than the last deal, but still within the range of prices I’d be happy with.  So I’m keeping my fingers crossed on that.

In other preparations, since I couldn’t find my original vaccination records, I had to take a blood test to show I’ve had all my shots.  The results should be in early next week, and then I can send in my health forms to the school and cross that off the list.  The core course waiver information also became available last week and I’ve sent in the paperwork to waive out of the core accounting class this fall.  I had thought about maybe not waiving it and use the course as a refresher since it’s been a few years since I did any accounting work, but in the end decided it would be better to use the opportunity to take more electives.  Still haven’t heard back from my chosen lenders on whether I’ve been approved or not for my student loans, so I should probably follow up on that next week.


3 weeks to go

12 06 2009

It’s hard to believe that I only have another 3 weeks at work.  As much as I’ve been looking forward to resigning and starting school, now that it’s getting close it’s also starting to feel a little weird.  The last time I was unemployed was September 2001 – the summer after I graduated college.  For the last 8 years, a large portion of the time I’ve been awake has been spent working.  It’s the only company I’ve ever had a real adult job at, so I’m sure it’ll be a little weird leaving the office for the last time, knowing that this part of my life and career is behind me.  Looking back, there were some definite highs and lows, as I think all jobs have, but overall I wouldn’t change anything.  I’ve learned a lot, worked with some really incredibly talented and fun people, and gotten to experience things I’d have never imagined.  I will definitely miss my colleagues – many of whom I now count as friends – and really hope to keep in touch in the future.

My school to-do list is getting shorter by the day.  I’ve finished all the pre-enrollment courses, submitted my 360 degree self-assessment and sent out requests for others to assess me, accepted financial aid and started the loan application process, figured out plans for my drive to Evanston and made hotel reservations for my mid-way overnight stop (yay Toledo!) and this weekend am going to my doctor to deal with the medical records.  I’ve been procrastinating a bit on this one.  The last few weekends have been so nice I could think of many better things to do than sit in a doctor’s waiting room.  One other bit of good news: I may be close to reaching a deal on selling my condo!  I say “may” because I haven’t actually received the offer yet, but my realtor tells me it should come today.  It’ll be real nice to have that monkey off my back.  KWEST trips were also announced and I got one of my top choices!  I’m very excited, and very much looking forward to it.  I’m sure the way time has been going by that before I know it I’ll be on the way to O’Hare with 20 new friends .

Financial Aid update

9 06 2009

I spoke with someone in the financial aid office yesterday.  My file has now been entered into the system, and I will get my final award notification this week.  Then I just have to let them know which lenders I plan to use by the end of the month.  The financial aid officer said Kellogg won’t start certifying loans until July, so I’m really not in danger of missing any deadlines.  Once the loans are certified, I sign a master promissory note and we’re done.  I’m glad that this seems to be sorted out, although I won’t be 100% convinced it is sorted until I see that email in my inbox.

Oh, and we won’t actually get any money in our bank account from the loans until Sept. 21 (the official first day of classes), so I need to make sure I have enough cash on hand for living expenses through then.

MIA: My financial aid

8 06 2009

I still haven’t received my final financial aid award letter from Kellogg, which I need to start applying for my loans.  Deadline to notify Kellogg financial aid office of what aid we’re accepting and to start the loan process?  June 30.  After Kellogg financial aid never responded to an email I sent asking about this about a week ago, I gave a call out to the financial aid office on Friday.  The aid officer I spoke with said that she would look into why my award hadn’t been entered into the system yet and call me back.  I’m still waiting, and will call out there again today to find out what the deal is.  I have to say, I’m less than impressed with the service of the financial aid office so far, and can only hope it’s not indicative of how other departments – especially career services – respond to the needs of students.

Had a really fun weekend, including a completely random trip to Atlantic City.  As much as I’m looking forward to Chicago, and think it’s a fun town, I’m really going to miss being within an hour’s drive of the ocean.  I’m sorry, Lake Michigan just isn’t the same.  I’ve booked a few weekend trips with friends to go down the shore over the next 2 months, so definitely trying to take advantage of it before I move.  It’s hard to believe how few weekends are actually left before August, and how quickly they’re getting filled up.

Preparations continue

28 05 2009

It’s hard to believe how quickly the time is passing by.  I’ve got just over a month left until I leave work, and just over 2 months until the big move to Evanston.  There’s still quite a bit to get done between now and when I leave for Evanston, so it’s going to be a busy few months.  I have a moving company coming by today to take a look at how much stuff I have, and give a quote for the move to Evanston.  The internet quote they gave me was $2200-$2600, depending on actual weight, so it seems like it’ll be pretty reasonable.  I also decided to do the drive to Chicago in 2 days, since a 12 hour drive seems like a lot for one day.  I’m trying to decide where to stay overnight; there’s really nothing too attractive along I-80 between NJ and IL.  The trouble with all this is: I still don’t know exactly when I’ll be moving.  My lease starts 8/1, and I’d like to move the week of 8/3, but if I get a good offer on my condo and the the deal is contingent on a closing date before 8/1, I’ll need to move my stuff out sooner and shack up with family for a few weeks.  Of course, since I still don’t have any serious offers on my condo, that situation is looking less and less likely by the day.

I’m still waiting on my final financial aid award from Kellogg, so I can start the process of applying for loans.  I’ve already done my comparison shopping, and have decided to go with Discover Student Loans for Stafford and GradPLUS loans.  They have a good deal on waiving most fees, and the GradPLUS is at 8.25% .  I’ve decided to stay away from private variable-rate loans, since I think interest rates are going to spike up in the near future.  Now I just need the official award letter from Kellogg so I can accept the aid, and start the application process.  I know a bunch of other admits that have gotten their letters, so if I don’t hear by tomorrow I’m going to give the financial aid office a call to see what’s up.

I’ve got another hockey game tonight.  The team we’re playing has a reputation for being jerks and playing dirty.  Watching them play their game before our game last week, there was a lot of stickwork and stuff after the whistle, and nearly a fight in the parking lot afterwards.  Guess they didn’t get the memo that this is just a rec league and there is no big silver cup waiting for the winner. Should be fun.

Update from Starbucks

16 05 2009

Probably the biggest pain of selling my condo, other than having to constantly keep my place in showroom condition, is having to be out whenever realtors want to come show the place to prospective buyers, or during open houses.  Some realtors are pretty cool about it and give a 30 minute window when they’re planning to stop by, but some give a much bigger window (e.g. between 1pm-3pm) – requiring me to vacate my apartment for long stretches of time.  Today, I basically have to be out of my apartment all day, since there will be a procession of realtors showing the apartment throughout the day until about 4pm.  It’s sort of bittersweet, on the one hand it’s a pain being temporarily homeless, but on the other hand it’s good to have so much interest in my apartment.  I can only hope to get an acceptable offer soon so this part of the selling process will end.  That reminds me, I need to add “Call my lawyer” to the to-do list so he’s all set once I do accept an offer and we start dealing with the sales contract.

So while I’m sitting in Starbucks I decided to work on putting together a detailed budget for next year.  Once I get my final financial aid letter from Kellogg I’ll need to decide exactly how much loans I’ll be accepting, and other than a few back of the napkins calculations I hadn’t yet thought about how much exactly I plan to spend.  It actually wasn’t too hard to put the budget together, but somewhat shocking how quickly the number got to be very big.  My budget ended up being a little higher than the school’s budget, since I’ll still be making car payments (which aren’t contemplated in the student budget) and I included costs for KWEST, ski trip, and Evanston rent during the summer months since I don’t think my internship salary will be enough to cover 2 rent payments.  Let me say, while many of the items on the to-do list help to build the excitement of going to school, dealing with the details of exactly how much this little adventure costs isn’t one of those items.


15 05 2009

Well, not really an anniversary, but it was almost exactly one year ago today that HBS released its application essays and I started seriously working on my applications.  On the one hand it’s hard to believe that another year has gone by so quickly, but on the other hand so much has happened in that time that it seems like a distant memory.  As I watch (virtually) this year’s crop of applicants beginning the process, I can’t help but feel relieved that that portion of my MBA is done with.  After two years of going through the emotional ups and downs of applications, and the endless waiting for decisions, I’ve finally (or just about finally) reached the payoff.

On the preparations front, activity is starting to pick up:

  • Our final financial aid award letters are due to be sent in the next few days, so I’ll have to nail down which lender(s) I’m going to use.  I think I’m going to stick with federal loans (Stafford and GradPLUS), since interest rates have nowhere to go but up and I’d rather lock in an interest rate now.  So there’s not much comparison shopping to do, just looking at who offers best deals on fees. 
  • Pre-enrollment courses are now up and running.  Is it weird that I’m actually excited by this?  I don’t know if that means I’m a nerd or just that bored with my job right now.  I breezed through the accounting course yesterday and started on the math class.  Not really any new material, but the math has been a helpful refresher on some material I hadn’t used since I was an undergrad. 
  • I’m making slow but steady progress on selling my condo in NJ.  There have probably been about 5 potential buyers that have come to look at the place, but none have turned into offers yet.  My realtor is having open houses each of the next two weeks so hopefully that generates more interest.  And hopefully that interest turns into actual offers.  There’s still plenty of time so I’m still generally relaxed about this.

Also on the to-do list: finalize my preferences for KWEST trips (registration is May 20th), find my vaccination history to send to the school, and deal with moving companies to start getting that organized.  Only about 2 and a half months left until I plan to move to Evanston.  There’s still a lot to do so I think this time is going to go by really quickly.