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Friday, July 31, 2009

BMW = dreamy.

i've been eyeing the BMW 335Xi for months now. it all started last winter when i noticed a red coupe in our parking lot; it was so cute! then my eye started wandering to lexus and infiniti as well. we even went to a few dealers.

we priced out a 'stripped down' BMW 335Xi, lexus IS 250AWD, and infiniti G37X. the lexus and infiniti were about the same price, and the BMW was $8K more. the thing is, i like the way the lexus looks, and it's definitely cheaper than the BMW, but the performance isn't good. the only way to get equivalent performance is to get the IS 350, but that only comes rear-wheel drive, which is no good for winters. the infiniti is the best deal in that it has the specs of the BMW for the price of a lexus... but i just don't LOVE it.

gopooh is totally pushing for the BMW b/c BMWs are known for performance. but i have to admit, i don't like that the gray leather and aluminum accents both cost extra, and i don't like the interior design. everything looks so... compact. i think i could live w/ the interior though, b/c the exterior is a dream! the infiniti has the most streamlined interior... but the exterior could use a little work.

our street is full of 'luxury' cars. there are 3 BMWs, 1 jaguar, 1 infiniti, 1 lexus, and 2 mercedes. and that's just what we've seen so far. being surrounded by so many nice cars has totally renewed my interest!

i don't NEED a new car. my parents bought me my car in 2002, and (hopefully) it doesn't appear to be close to its death yet. but the BMW is just so cute! gopooh found some good lease deals online, and that would allow me to get a new car every 3 years, avoiding the inevitable car depreciation over time. ohhh i don't know, i really like it!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

despite still being in the middle of moving, we spent the last 5 days in toronto. gopooh spent most days at the conference, but he did play hooky sometimes so we could hang out more. we were there in 2005 so we didn't feel pressured to do all the touristy things. instead, we hit the art museum b/c most of it was under construction last time. and then we went to the CN tower at night; we thought the nighttime view might give it a slightly different perspective.

since many of gopooh's residency friends were there, we went out to dinner together thursday night at this nice italian restaurant. before dessert gopooh said, "i think i might want a hot dog later." after dessert, we were walking back to the hotel... and he said, "i want a hot dog!" i thought he was kidding. i mean, we'd just spent $80 on dinner, and he wants a hot dog?! but no, he wasn't kidding and we actually stopped at the street vendor near our hotel. crazy.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

2 days ago, i found out that someone gopooh and i have known in the medical circle for 4-5 years has committed suicide. since i no longer get the residency emails, i initially found out he'd died from facebook, of all places. i logged in yesterday, and in my news feed on the main page, i saw a post on his wall from a mutual friend that sounded slightly... off. so i clicked on his profile to see what was going on, and after reading the other wall posts on there, i realized that he had died 5 days ago!

i almost didn't believe it, until i read his entire obituary for myself. we were already in shock, and then we were FLOORED to learn that he'd shot himself. *sigh*

it's just so unbelievable. i first met him when i was a med student and he was a resident encouraging me along, all while laughing and smiling. through the years he's always been him, even when he and his first wife of many years got divorced a few years ago. just last fall he'd written to me about how well things were going... second marriage, great job... and now this. how quickly the world can turn...

apparently he'd called a couple ppl last weekend... i guess it was his way of saying good-bye. no one ever truly knows what's going on in someone else's head and heart, but the suspicion is that it was his marriage. before this, i've never known anyone who's committed suicide, and i don't pretend to understand what could drive someone to do this. he was so young and full of life; even if his marriage was going sour, there's always a way out... *sigh*

i added a note of my own to his facebook wall yesterday. i just hope he's finally found peace. and on that note, i really don't know what to say, other than to end this monologue w/ a cliché: life is just too short to wake up with regrets.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

we may have found someone to rent out our place in michigan! it actually happened really fast. our realtor dragged her feet about putting it back 'on the market' b/c she was trying to work something out w/ a selling price, but we wouldn't (and couldn't) go any lower than our minimum. that's why it's called a minimum, after all.

then 2 days after she listed it as a rental, she got contacted by someone from germany. apparently he works for ford in germany and they are paying for him to be in michigan for 2.5 years on a project. he offered $200 more than our listing price, but in exchange he wants the place painted w/ colors of his choice and light fixtures for the reinforced lights we'd never set up.

at first i was like, it's a freaking rental, he can take it as it is... but then i realized that if he's staying there for 2.5 years, that's longer than gopooh and i lived there! yes, sad but true. and it makes sense that he doesn't want to paint it himself (even w/ our permission) b/c since ford is paying his rent, it's easier for him if it's painted before he moves in, and the extra $200/month will cover that.

we found a management company (referred to us by our sister-in-law) which takes 10% of rent each month, but that was expected... his rent would more than cover our mortgage, except that we have an escrow account to cover our expensive property tax! so if all goes well, at least having a renter will save us a little bit of money (or allow us to spend more haha).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

so let me tell you the story of our condo... the one we tried to sell.

we put our condo on the market for the value of our mortgage, and we put down 20% when we bought it. imho it's a really nice place -- end unit, 5 minute walk to all the restaurants/stores, hardwood floors, granite counter tops, big master bedroom (we didn't find any condos w/ comparable master bedrooms in baltimore except one, but that one had a tiny living space downstairs). if we could have, i would've wanted to move back there... but it wasn't meant to be.

we got an offer. a real low-ball offer. initially the buyer wasn't willing to negotiate much, and we turned down her 'final offer.' she then went up to our minimum, and we accepted. btw, this minimum is $30K under our mortgage, and we'd still have to pay $15K in closing costs. the inspection went through. and then the appraisal went through.

but the bank rejected the mortgage application! not b/c of credit score, but b/c they disagreed w/ the appraisal. so they sent their own appraiser out, who appraised it for $25K LESS than the initial appraiser. we were like, no way is it worth that little... the buyer, in a desperate last-ditch attempt, got a third appraiser. i was thinking... why bother, b/c the bank is the one who fronts the money, so if they say no, then what would another appraisal do?... anyway the last appraiser actually agreed w/ the second one. :(

the buyer didn't qualify for the mortgage, and we can't sell our place. we can't afford to go lower than our minimum b/c we won't have any income for 2-3 months after we move, and the thing is, it's unfair, b/c the only sales in the area in the last year were foreclosures, so the appraisers take that into consideration. it's a catch-22... you can't qualify for a mortgage b/c there have been no recent sales, and there have been no recent sales b/c you can't qualify for a mortgage!

so that's how the michigan real estate market is. awesome, isn't it.