Monday, June 23, 2014

HOUSE UPDATE: floor plans are finished

BTW, soooo not my house {Tiger Woods'}but a little inspiration never hurt anyone
Buying and building a house in Oman is quite an adventure. Sometimes I feel like giving up, other times I am so excited that I can bear to be a little more patient. One of my dreams has always been to build, decorate, and own my own home.

I can now say that I am about 8% towards each of those things, as the land is now purchased (though only to be transferred to my name after payment reaches over 50% as it is an Islamic loan ---so technically I still see it as a mortgage but it is a mortgage where they rent it to me until I own enough of it to be considered a co-owner I guess). Islamic loans are controversial. I still don't think they're very Islamic, just a mortgage by another name, however, if the loan payment on the interest (or whatever the Islamic banks choose to rename that) is less than my rent... I don't see it as anything more than renting. If it were more than my rent, then I would see it as a loan. Does that justification make sense or seem oddly hypocritical?
Beyond that, the land purchase itself was an adventure because the bank wanted the owner of the land before me to sign a paper saying the Islamic bank could sue him ect... if he changed his mind towards the sale before it was completed----which he tore up and threw in their faces and refused (after he'd already been given a cash downpayment from my end of the purchase). So that was a little scary. He could back out of the sale and keep the cash if he wanted to but thankfully, he just refused to sign the paper, and was an honest man beside having a distrust of banks (warranted-me too). The bank carried over the change in ownership despite lack of formerly required paper and signature, which could then be confirmed at the Ministry, and tud duh.

I now own a debt towards a small peice of farmland in Muscat, where dying palms shadow long green grass. I was surprised to find any land I could afford anywhere but Mabaila you this close to my preferred real estate (Al Athaiba) really shocked me, and not being clustered next to fisherman shacks and crumbling cement buildings was... I don't know. More than I'd really ever dared hope for. I'd always just consigned to ending up back in my husband's village someday with a house there. So Alhamdulilah. I'm a Muscat girl at heart;) though I love my husband's culture (not all of it-still).

Of course, because I am not an Omani citizen, this is put into the name of my daughter (ownership) until she reaches age of maturity 18. Tricky bit of business, that. If I get citizenship BEFORE the house and land paid beyond 50% the ownerhsip is easily transferrable to my name.

I've gone to two different enginerring offices now to design the floorplan. It was supposed to be a very simple, very small villa but of course, some engineers kept making it bigger than my needs. No, I do not need a lobby, a dressing room, and ten bathrooms, plus a grand majlis. Despite being married to an Omani, my cultural needs for a floorplan and limited to preferring the family areas be away from the guest areas. I prefer investment in quality kitchen and bathroom ware over marble and chandeliers and elaborate staircases. I don't really use a majlis. If my husband's friends visit my girls and I can go to the family areas. Majlis are really for the hosts, or the heads of the family ect... and in my tribe, and family, I am such a minor player that none of that is required whatsoever.

However, last night, I finally got a finished floor plan I approved of in size and cost and lay-out, and I started to feel really excited, as what woman doesn't love the design phase the best?

Step now is to get the floorplans approved from the Ministry/Baladiyia and choosing the construction company, and our materials.

My husband estimates it will be completed in 6-8 months.

Me, being a realist, and used to everything in Oman taking longer than anywhere else I've ever lived, estimate a year and half.

I am sure there will be royal screw ups, things that drive me insane, and general blundering, beyond my predictable joy if it all works out despite. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

I really like this house building topic , keep the articles coming.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Dear Anonymous: I totally will, but my lap-top broke, so I can't upload the photos that I want to go with posts... so when I get a new one i'll continue the subject inshaAllah.

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