I'm really excited! The Notar in Berlin has sent us a contract, and we've booked an appointment Thursday next week to sign it with the sellers!
In the meantime, we've enlisted someone to translate the contract for us from German into English. Apparently the meeting consists of the Notar reading the contract out (in German) and getting the assurance from both parties that they understand it before we sign. The Notar has told us to expect this to take between one and two hours! We could have given someone over there power of attorney to stand in for us, but as this is such a momentous occasion in our lives, we've decided to attend in person.
So, it's off to Berlin Wednesday, and if all goes well we will come back home Thursday night owning a property in Basdorf. Well, not actually legally owning it just yet; we become the legal owners when the Notar checks that there are no impediments to the transfer of land, then updates the local Grundbuch, which is like our Land Regsistry. This can take a few more weeks yet.
One thing I didn't realise, in Germany you are the outright owner of your piece of German soil. But in the UK the land always remains the property of the crown. That's why we talk about owning the freehold to land; really we are just lending it from the Queen. I wonder how they'll work it out if the UK ever gieves up the monarchy and becames a republic? The Queen might claim all her land back, evict everybody, and stick a big sign up at Calais saying "Keep of moi land!"
This morning we had a survey by a removal company of all our belongings we want to take to Germany. Now we've just got to figure out how to get the cats there!