Friday, November 11

BUYING MY HOUSE Vol 34

I won't bore you with the previous #33 installments. You haven't got the time to sit and read them all, and because I spend most of my time sorting out things between my lawyers, notary and accountant, I haven't got the time to sit down annd write about them, either. Moses spent less time creating the Commandments.
But here's the good news. I'm nearly done. Well, I was nearly done. Now, I'm not so sure.
All it took to finish was to take a simple looking piece of paper to the office where the water bill is paid, for them to stamp it (of course!) to verify that the M2 (square metres) shown on the bills is accurate and matches the ΔΕΗ (electricity) bill. This office pointed me το another office in another village - the office of the Διμαρκο (Mayor). Only they could perform this onerous, complicated, and highly trained task.
(Now, why is it we have to have a piece of paper, stamped and verified by the Mayor's office, to verify that the square metres shown on the water bill, the electricity bill and the Title deeds of the property, are one and the same when I already have a Notary, two Lawyer's and an Accountant already verifying this? Could it be that no one trust anyone else? Is the culture so embued with the belief everyone is trying to rip off everyone else? Or is it simply that it creates more work, and therefore more jobs?)

After some musings and frownings and calls to my notary for various explanations, the Mayor said he couldn't do this. You see, I'm actually buying a piece of land with 2 houses of different sizes within its boundary. And the current owners are 2 people, who own the whole thing in it's entirety, between them, equally 50/50. (Confused yet?)
The Mayor wanted to know which of the 2 current owners owned which of the 2 houses. (You must be, now?)
I explained they didn't. It's just 2 houses, and that they owned it's entirety between them. We arranged for my notary to fax through to him, there and then, the Title Deeds showing this to be so. After reading them, he sadly shook his head. He still coudn't do this. He insisted that we had to allocate one house to one owner. That the way the current ownership was split was illogical.
But illogical, or not, I protested, that's the legal ownership as it stands today. Your job, I told him, was to verify the size of the area against the water and electric bills, not question the illogicality, or otherwise, of the legal documents.
My protests fell on deaf ears, and of course, the more I protested the more obstinately deafer those ears became.
Further telephone calls between the Mayor and everyone and anyone who has anything to do with the buying of this land and houses ensued. (Now everyone was confused, not just you)
He explained the simple solution was to change the Title deeds to attach one house to one owner. My notary (and I could hear her shrieking protests 3 metres away from the telephone) said that would not only uneccesarily delay everything, but also add substantial costs, because (a) the Title deed needed changing and (b) such changes would probably need the owners to come to Greece (they live in the US) and (c) such changes would probably incur the owners paying further - and substantial - taxes in the transfer.
The Mayor enquired how much extra costs. The Notary suggested a sum of several thousand Euro. The Mayor smiled. 'Surely' he suggested 'given that, we can between us find a way to avoid all that and allow me to sign these papers as is, at far less cost'.
Do you get it? I did. Will he get it? Probably.

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