Buying a house in Cyprus is supposed to be fairly difficult.
For anyone who hasn't been following the lengthy saga: we found a house we liked here in Larnaka in January, paid a deposit and signed contracts in February. Wrote the completion date as the end of June (at the latest) because our house in the UK was not yet sold, although the lady renting it had made an offer and sorted out a mortgage, so we assumed it would be reasonably straightforward. Perhaps mid-March...
There was delay after delay. It wasn't the most straightforward of sales: there's a separate guarantor who is also paying the deposit, who has a different solicitor from the buyer, and the mortgage company insisted on appointing yet another solicitor to represent them. There was discussion over work we had done on the house 20 or more years ago, and about some common ground at the back which isn't shown on the deeds.
On the other hand, there was no buying chain at all. We don't have a mortgage on the house - we paid the last of it off a few years ago - and the lady buying it is already living there. She doesn't have anywhere to sell so she's a first-time buyer. So it should have taken - at most - about two months. And here we are, mid-May, four months after the official offer, and seven months after we discussed it informally with the buyer when we were in the UK last October.
But, AT LAST, we had a phone call today saying that the buyer, the guarantor and the solicitors have been through all the paperwork, and there is no further reason for delay. So exchange of contracts is planned for this Friday, and completion for Friday 26th.
Richard is a little sceptical, since there have been so many expectations before now which haven't been fulfilled, but I'm (cautiously) relieved and hopeful. Once the contracts are exchanged, it will be legally binding and we can fix a date for completion and moving here. We think, realistically, it will be mid-June which is much later than we had hoped. Cyprus becomes fairly hot by that time of year, although the humidity doesn't arrive until July. But we're planning to move over a week or two, not just in one day, since nobody's going to move into the house we're currently renting, so we'll take it slowly.
Seems to us that buying a house in Cyprus is a lot easier than selling one in the UK!