.. we hope!
Over the weekend we looked at our Cyprus bank account online, and discovered that the money from the UK had been transferred. So yesterday, Richard went back to the places we had decided to buy appliances from in Larnaka, and ordered a dishwasher, a new washing machine for upstairs (our current one will go in the downstairs guest apartment), a large upright freezer for upstairs (so we can leave that to get cold for 24 hours before moving things from our freezer here, which will go in the guest flat) and a television. To be delivered on Monday.
Since we saw that the vendors have already moved out, and could probably clear the last of their bits and pieces in a day or less, Richard also phoned the estate agent to ask if they wanted the completion date to be earlier than Friday, since we'd like it as soon as possible. We had originally planned to do the major move on Saturday 8th July, giving us a week to paint the house, but Richard has been asked to provide PA for a wedding that day. When we asked various friends who had offered to help, Wednesday 5th suited them just as well. Tim and some of his strong youth group friends will be here then (they're away camping in the mountains for the next two weekends) and as the weather gets hotter we're anxious to move as soon as possible into somewhere air conditioned!
Last night we made a start on packing the kitchen. Not easy, since there are a lot of breakable things (like glasses) and the crockery is pretty heavy. So large boxes - all we have left - are not much good. We did manage to pack one box with baking pans and other bits and pieces, and another with plastics, and general clutter from the top of the fridge. We also threw out some junk that was hiding at the back of a cupboard, including an ancient metal toaster with an old-fashioned cable and plug, which neither of us can remember ever having seen before!
This morning the estate agent phoned.
She said the vendor doesn't yet have the last piece of paperwork he needs to prove he has cleared all his debts, so completion will have to be on Monday. In Cyprus, instead of lawyers dealing with this final stage, the procedure is that both buyer and seller go together to the Land Registry office, where the solicitor has already lodged the contract. The seller then had to give proof that he is solvent and has no outstanding debts, and that he is the legitimate owner of the house and deeds. We then have to give a bank draft with the balance of the house payment to the vendor, witnessed by the land registry people; we have to give another bank draft to the land registry office, and they will give us the deeds.
Some people go ahead and move in without this final stage, either because the vendor has difficulty getting rid of all his debts, or because there's a problem with the deeds, or because they don't want to have to pay the extra sum for deed transfer (it's nearly £5,000 on our house, more on an expensive one, so it's a big amount). Then sometimes they wait months, even years for the deed transfer to happen. Until it does, they're not the legal owners. Our lawyer here advised us not to pay anything more until we got to completion date, including transfer of deeds, and the vendor was happy with that as he wanted to do it all properly.
He knows that we want to paint before moving, so he's said he will give us keys to the house on Saturday moring at 8am and from that point it's ours to do with whatever we like. So that's encouraging; we just hope the delay until Monday for the deed transfer won't go on even longer. I'm sure the vendor hopes the same!
Of course it means we'll have to delay our appliance delivery which was due to come on Monday morning. We're told it could take half a day for the land registry people to sort out the paperwork, and we have to wait there until it's all done.
We thought it was all going remarkably smoothly. I suppose there had to be SOME snag here. If this is the only problem, we shall be very thankful!
This afternoon we bought yet more items for the new house. Some friends, who arrived in Cyprus the same time we did (October 1997) are returning to their home country in just under a month. So they're selling their furniture and household items. We enquired about two dark wood bookcases on the list, and went over to look at them. They were exactly what we wanted, a type difficult to find in Cyprus. Our friends bought them from some other folk, who bought them originally at Ikea in France. There is rumoured to be an Ikea starting in Cyprus next year, but we don't want to wait that long for nice wooden bookcases, so were delighted to find some readily available, and inexpensive!
We also bought four ceiling fans from our friends, a small desk that Tim wants for his room (since his current heavy desk will go in the 'music room'), an American style 'hide-a-bed' (sofa bed) which will be perfect in our guest flat, and a nice-looking coat rack, which will replace the ancient and ugly one we have now. They'll bring these things to our new house some time next week.
We're trying to use up some of the leftovers from the freezer this week - it's so hot and sticky I don't feel like serious cooking anyway. Tim is busy every evening as a visiting team is organising activities every evening for the youth group. So he's eating early on his own - and simply heating up something from the freezer is quick and easy.