All posts filed under: Thrive

on living life, from the mundane to the exceptional

Day 78 & 79: Homeownership

December 30, 2014:  Buying the House We spent Christmas in Destin. We knew we were supposed to close on the house before the new year, we just didn’t know quite when and what the entire process would look like. In retrospect, we really didn’t have a great realtor. The entire process was poorly coordinated and rushed, in order to finish before the new year. Our realtor, who should’ve been on “our side” was incredibly flippant with us as clients, cursorily explaining things to us, not making crystal clear the timing and deadlines for making requests from the seller. It was probably because we’re young, first time homeowners, who she wasn’t going to make a lot of money off of, so she just didn’t really care about doing a good job. Maybe we should’ve done our homework better–we thought we were doing our due diligence, and we discussed things with my parents as we went along, but New Orleans is a special place in terms of issues that come up in houses so we realized after it was all done that we definitely should’ve …

Day 63: Back to School

December 15, 2014 After much mulling over the situation of how we would get Efrem’s college transcripts verified by any of those companies requiring they be sent directly from the school (which was really the issue given how uncooperative the officials at the school in Joburg had been in the past to students that weren’t South African), we decided to go check out Delgado to see what we could do there. We figured he’d have to enroll in Delgado regardless, because he hadn’t taken college-level English or Math in Johannesburg, which was a requirement to enroll at SUNO as a transfer student. We got to there and were directed to the international office. The lady was rather dry, but at least she had some pretty good news for us. Efrem could enroll as a freshman and avoid the entire issue of the transfer student confusion, and with his Visa status, would be eligible for an in-state tuition waiver! We would still need to get his high school diploma and transcripts verified, but she told us …

Days 42 – 48: First Thanksgiving/Meet the Family Pt. 2

November 24 – 30, 2014:  The drive to Virginia Beach was excruciatingly long. Fifteen hours in a full car where my dad essentially insisted on driving the entire time. I like car trips, but this one wasn’t all that interesting visually. On top of it, Efrem and I were trying to fill out paperwork needed for the house we had put an offer on. Trying to find a FedEx en route in the middle of nowhere proved difficult. And when we finally did find one, it wasn’t a full service store with the nice printers and fax machines. The women were really nice though and let us use their personal computers and fax machine to try and get the paperwork sent. After numerous attempts with a slow system, we hoped that it went through and got back on the road. Although we found out later that the fax hadn’t made it. We got to Virginia Beach that evening and went to my cousin’s house to see the family that was already in town. It was going …

Day 37: House Hunting

November 19, 2014 Prior to Efrem’s moving here we had been talking about my moving out of my current apartment due to its wealth of “visitors,” lack of insulation, and no HVAC, which made for freezing winters and sweltering summers. It’s in a great location for a decent price but even beyond the aforementioned three drawbacks, there also isn’t enough usable space and no storage space whatsoever. I’d been looking for months for new apartments to move to, but the rents I was seeing were just ‘too-damn-high!’ So I toyed with the idea of buying a house. If I’m going to pay upwards of $1100 in rent, I may as well invest in a house. But of course my ideas of what kind of house I want and the money I had didn’t line up. Not that I wanted some super-upgraded turn-key house, I just wanted a classically New Orleans house in a central location—somewhere that I could still walk to something. Not the french quarter or anything like that, but I wanted to be able to …

Day 25: Getting an Education

November 7, 2014: Getting an Education

We got an appointment with the Chancellor of SUNO (Southern University of New Orleans) to discuss Efrem’s enrollment so that he could finally finish the degree he started back in SA. SUNO has managed to foster a very welcoming environment for international students, particularly students from the African continent, given that the Chancellor himself is originally from Nigeria.