2 years ago we refinanced our house in order to renovate our kitchen.  Even after we were done we had more than 20% equity.  Today we are upside-down; I’m fairly certain that we couldn’t sell the house for what we owe.

Why does this matter?  Because it brings up a very legitimate timing question.  I’ve known from the very beginning that if I wanted an academic career it would involve a substantial pay cut and a move.  It is possible we could get our finances in line between now and Spring 2010, but if the housing market hasn’t recovered, moving will be difficult.  And it doesn’t take my MBA in order to realize that we aren’t at the bottom yet; there’s more economic pain to come.

Additionally, it seems to me that if I graduate and then don’t go on the market for a year or two I am likely to have trouble and a lot of questions.  That isn’t the normal pattern. 

So that leads me to a question?  Do I stay on schedule and try to graduate Spring 2010, or do I coast a bit, take another year (or even two), take advantage of a nice, stable job and allow the economy to recover?  Right now I’m leaning toward the latter….