A few developments

We bought our new apartment, eventually splitting the new transfer fees 50/50 – I ended up paying 3% of the total, the seller 1%.

We move in in June 2014 when the sellers move back to Oz. I’ll post some pictures – it’s lovely.

The real estate agent was utterly useless throughout – not communicating, getting figures wrong. Awful. HSBC were, amazingly, brilliant throughout. There is hope.

Even through we split the fees 3/1, the Dubai Land Department system can’t issue receipts that reflect anything other than a 2/2 split. This is odd – they announce a new rule regarding fees, but it’s not documented anywhere. They say the fees should be split, but don’t enforce that during the transfer and their system doesn’t issue receipts that reflect what has actually happened.

We’ll probably sell our current place towards the time we move into the new one, unless someone decides to pay me a lot more money or we can rent our current place out for a lot more than the current rate. Yes, I will be a greedy landlord if I can be. Rents seem to be rising again here, so we’ll see what will happen.

I’m very happy with our current situation. Buying was the right thing to do. Although we have the responsibility of the mortgage and (exorbitant and unexplained) service fees to bear, we don’t have the worry our friends have of rising rents, landlords increasing things beyond what the law allows or indulging in the usual scams – saying they are selling the place when they are not, or that their family is moving in, or other such nonsense. If we hadn’t done this now we’d never have had a place with a garden for Zara and space for guests or another small Saul, should that occur.

Zara has started nursery three days a week. I played with sticklebrick and fell off the concrete playground structures onto the tarmac when I was at the Russell School Petersham Nursery in 1976. Zara has an ‘interactive learning centre’ and will be doing Arabic and French twice a week. The mind boggles.

She had her first day yesterday and absolutely loved it.

Mrs Saul has decided to go back to work three days a week and has started at Jumeirah College.

We have a part time maid who is keeping the place spick and span six days a week, along with helping with Zara, as well as doing baby-sitting once a week.

All of this means I have some peace and quiet again to work from home in silence, whilst not really needing to do the washing up or much else around the house. For some reason I have ended up with Zara duty on Fridays, so the weekend is, ironically, the least relaxing day for me. I’ll manage somehow.

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