Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Goat is landed

The Goat’s silence on the blogosphere of late has been caused by a week’s vacation in Cyprus. What, Cyprus again? Well yes, actually. Beloved Wife and I visited in August and then again in October. This time was to experience winter and, with any luck, to select an appropriate plot of land for our dream home.

Following the dubious delights of the fleapit hotels that I picked last time and the time before, I suggested that Beloved Wife might like to try her hand at on-line hotels. We have therefore ended up in a ‘four-star’ establishment on the west coast. Breakfast is both vast and excellent, apart from the fried zucchini that look exactly like mushrooms until they’re no longer under monochrome heating lamps. It’s a huge improvement over two bread rolls and a limp piece of Spam. Actually, the hotel would still have been prohibitively expensive, were it not for a 40% discount for booking seven low-season nights. The indoor pool, sauna and steam room are also marvellous. I haven’t dared to try the torture chamber fitness machines. Winter is very much low season. The “Tomb of the Kings” Road has turned into the “Tomb” of the King’s Road.

I took Beloved Wife for a Teppenyaki meal for her birthday. Apart from the food being filling, fresh and fabulous, we had the full cutlery-juggling show from our chef. We also nearly lost eyebrows to the flames. Apart from that evening, we’ve mostly eaten at the local chippy. I like steak and kidney pie, and Beloved Wife likes pork chops by the square foot.

We’ve also been shopping for stuff that’s either Not Coming In Dubai or else is ridiculously overpriced. Lace tablecloths and motorcycle gear, since you ask. More on the latter in a later post.

Several land agents have given us guided tours around the island to view miscellaneous pieces of real estate for sale. A curious thing is that almost all of those parcels of land that we were shown were around 25% to 30% higher in price than our stated budget. I wonder which particular part of: “This is the maximum that we can afford” is so difficult to understand? Ah, the allure of 25% to 30% extra commission. Of course. There seems to be a general failure to realise that 25% to 30% of buggerall isn’t very much.

We managed to whittle down three visits’ worth of sites from over twenty to merely two. All of the others were rejected on the grounds of horrible or non-existent access tracks, the plot being flat but on a 45-degree slope, the ground being ghastly clay, the asking price being prohibitively above our budget, the plot being 30 miles up a bendy road into the sticks, and in some cases all of the above. Mind you, the roads to and from Salamiou are a scratcher’s paradise...

Of the remaining two sites, one turned out to be half the advertised size. The agent’s subterfuge was easily exposed by a Goat wielding a scale rule. We put in a low bid of around 70% of the asking price for the other one. With a global recession in progress and the Pound Sterling competing with Zimbabwe for worthlessness, our offer was accepted.

Having secured the land - inshallah - and instructed a lawyer, it’s time to save furiously in order to stick a highly insulated, solar powered, recycled grey-water, organic-tofu-knitting house on it.



Gnomad said...

Congrats on the good news, the Gnomads are planning to go house hunting in the not too distant future, once the visa paperwork is all sorted for the Gnomadette.

Do let us know when you have your housewarming, having missed the wedding we'll definitely be there for that one.

Keefieboy said...

Woot, woot. I believe the phrase is.

Anonymous said...

As a Yank, the m-i-l doesn't have a clue what Keefieboy's "Woot, woot" means. Please explain. The m-i-l is quite excited about the verbal description of said plot and eagerly awaits photos. Fingers are crossed that all goes forward with the proverbial hitch(es).

Anonymous said...

By the way, would Grumpy Goat please inform MME CYN that Paris was a long time ago and it is time for Oaty Goaty to take his final bow....the MIL

Grumpy Goat said...

@ Gnomad: Don't hold your breath waiting for the housewarming. There's unlikely to be a building on the site for a couple of years - after our bank account has recovered from the horrors of land acquisition.

@ MIL:I think it's possible to translate "Woot, woot" into Homer Simpsonese as "Woohoo!"

And Mme Cyn has been duly informed.

Gnomad said...

That sounds like an ideal time frame for the Gnomads to actually get organised in :)

Who knows the Gnomadette might even have her UK passport by then, which will make everything so much easier

nzm said...

Wahay! That's great news!

Party in Cyprus in 3 years. We can all celebrate your 5th wedding anniversary!

Jayne said...

More congrats. There's nothing nicer than having your own spot :-)

Grumpy Goat said...

It's all gone horribly wrong :-(


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