We've taken the alien application to the solicitor here. He doesn't know how long it will take, and may be able to push it through quickly. However we don't really want that, because we STILL haven't exchanged contracts on our UK house. We kept expecting to hear from our UK solicitor last week, but didn't. On Monday Richard phoned him, only to find that he's on holiday this week. His partner in the firm looked in the files and said there was a note that the buyer's mortgage company was refusing to deal with the buyer's solicitors.... huh??
So on Tuesday Richard rang the buyer, who's currently renting the house. She said that she has had the formal mortgage offer. On Friday she'll get some paperwork, and then when she's filled that in, it'll be another 7-10 days, then something more will take another week... all in all it could be up to a month before contracts can be exchanged. And her mortgage company has insisted on appointing its own solicitors to deal with it all.
Strange. We thought it was all rather convoluted and long-winded here. But we found the house we want to buy in the middle of January, and could - if we'd sold our house in the UK in time - could have moved in by the end of February. Whereas our buyer in the UK expressed an interest about eighteen months ago, started the process properly last October, put in an offer before we'd seen the house we're buying here... and STILL we're waiting for contracts to be exchanged!
I'm hoping and praying that nothing else will crop up, and that the mortgage process will go more quickly than expected. If completion happens by the end of March, then we could move around the end of April, and that would work out fairly well. Richard could take some time off after Greek Orthodox Easter and we could move over a few days. We don't really want to move much later than that, or it will be too hot to do anything much.