Minh Ba, medicine and the midwest

Saturday, April 14, 2007

New home

Since I've posted the blog of that last home that I wanted, that deal fell through, and I've been scrambling with trying to find a new home and getting all the mortgage paperwork approved. Actually, the deal never really happened, I offered, he countered by saying he's not budging from his price and was unwilling to pay any closing costs, so I had to back out. It wasn't a bad price for the house, but for what the property was valued at, I would have lost money on the resale. Unfortunately the guy who flipped the house got bad advice, bought a cheap property in a not so valuable neghborhood, and then put in too much money into it. If I had purchased the home, it would've been the 2nd highest home in the neighborhood at $120,000 the 3rd highest was at $75,000...too much of a difference. So I went back to Tulsa two more times by myself to lookfor homes, and had everything narrowed down to four. Salwa drove down with me on her way home to Arkansas last weekend to look at the houses and give me a second opinion. We stopped by the home I offered on earlier anyways, because she wanted a look at it, and on the way out there were several people staring at us strangely. Apparently it was the new "owner," he said that they hadn't put up a sign yet, but he had purchased it. I found out yesterday that the home offer fell through for him also, because the realtor called mine to see if I was still interested. My answer..."too late."

I put down on a contract last weekend, and was up there yesterday for inspections. Just a few minor things to get taken care of my the seller, but overall, the inspectors were really impressed with the condition of the home. The closing date is May 8th, and I'm stoked that this home hunting is almost over, it has been quite stressful. The house is bigger than the last one and has an attached garage, which is a plus. It has 2 bedrooms with an office (can count as another bedroom to make it 3 because it has a closet), and one bathroom. The house is in a decent neghborhood, it was also flipped by the seller, but the neighborhood value is much better and will be good for resale. It is only two blocks away from Driller's stadium (minor league team for the rangers) so that's kind of nice. I tried taking some pictures, but for some reason I was a little retarded with the camera, and they don't do the home much justice, so I combined the pics with some of the listing realtors.'

Front of the house

View of front door entrance into the kitchen

View of front door entrance into living room

Living room with faux designer fireplace
(Kinda gay... but what can you do?)

Close up

Dining room


Kitchen view 2

Bathroom sink


Master Bedroom with entrance into office/sun room

Office/sun room




Back of the house

Back of the house facing the office/sun room

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Grady's Anatomy

If you get a chance to watch an hr long special on CNN called Grady's Anatomy, you should give it a shot. It will be on tommorrow night (Sunday) at 8ET. It covers the lives of four real medical residents, one of them graduation from my school last year and is now starting his surgery residency at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. Not quite as drama filled as Gray's Anatomy, but definitely a good 1hr schpiel to check out.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Europe advice

I will be heading to Europe, specifically Italy, Switzerland, Prague and Southern Germany for a month after graduation. I am in charge specifically of looking up stuff for Southern Germany, but any advice on places to go, things to see or where to stay, or travel advice in general would be nice. Since every one of you guys seem to have traveled the globe after graduation, I thought I could elicit some help.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

House hunting and mortgage woes

So I spent the last weekend over St. Patty's day looking for homes in Tulsa. After burning through nearly 30 homes, I'm spent. I narrowed it down to about 3 or 4 homes, with 1 that I thought was promising and 2 that are real nice, but maybe a little too far away from work.

The house I found is a small bungalow that is 5 minutes from the hospital, 1200Sq ft or so, with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. Here is my dilemma: the seller is asking $120,000, which is definitely not bad, but I called the county assessor to verify a few things, and they told me that the house was purchased a year ago at $34,000 and now has been valued at $60,000. The owner claims that he did $50,000 in renovations, and it definitely looks nice, but I don't want to pay too much if I can't unload it in 5 years when I leave. On top of that, the bank won't lend me more than the appraisal value. It is also on the high end for houses in the neighborhood, with the majority selling from $60-$75,000.

Here are a few pics of the house:

The next step I guess is to make an offer, but I have to figure out the whole mortgage thing. I'm trying to apply for physician loans, because I don't have any income, these loans are the only ones that will allow me to have no down payment, and will let me close up to 60 days before I even receive a paycheck. Problem with this is that most of them require some combination of a credit score of 700. Some will take the middle number out of the three credit bureas, an average of the three, or just use the FICO score. My FICO score when I check a month ago was a 683, with various discrepancies on my credit report. I have fixed it with transunion and experian, but equifax is really starting to piss me off. Both the Transunion and Experian scores are above 700 but my Equifax score is at 640, and is what is killing me. For some reason, my credit report from them has no activity on all my accounts, it was like they are too lazy to gather any of the information. It is impossible to find a number or way to talk to someone from Equifax, so I have placed disputes online, and now I'm just crossing my fingers and seeing what happens. Has anyone else had problems like this or any idea of what I can do?

My timeline is closing in. I need to be moved by the first weekend of May, so that leaves me about 2 weeks or less to find a place and get things rolling.

I can't wait till this crap is over with and I'm hanging out in CA with everyone. This blows.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March Madness

It's that time of the year again, when the brunt of my spare time from Thursday to Sunday will be spent glued to the tube. I am taking part in 4 different brackets this year, one that I'm doing just for fun, and the other three in hopes that I might actually make some money this year. One bracket is with Schaefer and peeps from back home, which he e-mailed a few days ago about splitting the winnings and making 50% go to a charity, specifically the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. I think this is a great idea, and with so many people running office pools, we could fundraise so much money for charity if everyone donated a portion of the tournament pool money. The other two brackets are with the orthopedic clinic and the anesthesiologists at the hospital. An interesting stastic that I heard on the news is that American companies are projected to lose nearly $4billion in wages and productivity from distractions caused by the NCAA tournament. I know that the next following weeks, in clinic and in the OR, we will definitely be slowed down. My attending joked today that turnover time is going to be ridiculous for our Thursday and Friday surgeries.

This year I had intended to go to the final four, when I won tickets through the NCAA lottery, but with all the expenses I've accrued this year with traveling and the upcoming Europe trip, I had to pass, and instead had to sell my tickets. My $200 investment turned into a $1000 profit, so I'm not too terribly disturbed.

On other news, I ran a 4 mile early St. Patty's day race last weekend and finished at around 45 minutes. Pretty piss poor for most people, but damn good for me.

This weekend is the start of house hunting. I'm going to head down to Tulsa on friday to start the search, hopefully I'll have a good idea by the time I leave on Sunday, by miracle maybe I'll find a home before I leave.

Hope everyone is doing well. Have a fun and safe St. Patty's day, and hopefully I'll see most of you guys in a month for Meathead's wedding.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy New Year

Chuc mung nam moi! To all that may not know, today marks the beginning of the year of the pig. I hope Shaefer and Davis are having a good time celebrating the new year in the homeland, it should be a blast. There is really not much to do out here in North Carolina for Vietnamese/Chinese new year (They should just lump it together as Asian New Year), so I decided that I would go to the Duke vs. GTech game instead. Obviously since my prior prediction of the Husky's game was erroneus, I decided that I would just keep my mouth shut in deciding beforehand who might win this game. It was somewhat of an interesting game to attend. It was one of the few games in the last 11 years that the Bluedevils weren't ranked in the top 25. The other game was earlier on this week against Boston College. Go figure...I arrive at Duke and they lose four games in a row to get dropped out of the top 25. More importantly though, was that it was Coach K's 700th win. He has been at Duke for 27 years! Longer than I have been alive. Most people didn't realize it until the end of the game, amidst the mad rush to get out, the announcer halted everyone for an important message, to present coach K with the game ball for his 700th win.

The game itself was a great experience to have. I went with McCarthy since Uhlman and Devo were too busy studying for their test on Monday. We crowded into the grad student section about 8 rows back from the basket. The entire game consisted of nonstop cheers. A few consisting of, or ending with, "eat shit," but most of those were directed at North Carolina...even though we weren't playing them?!?! Who knows...probably for the same reason that most of our cheers involve a "fuck wazzu." The atmosphere was great to be a part of. Cameron indoor isn't that big, and when all the ticket holders are seated, they let in all the standby fans in for free to completely fill the house.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Game time

I am going to call it now before the game starts: UW 76 - Pitt 72. The loss to Washington St. still pisses me off, I think we could have won the game if it wasn't for Dentmon. We should be able to pull this one off if Dentmon and Appleby can play with out sucking. Anyways, I'm headed to watch the game with Uhlman and McCarthy at a friend's house, so I thought I would just throw out the wild prediction.