Green Cards and New House
A couple of personal bits of news, both good :-)
In the House
First, we moved into our new home in Sandy, Utah. Everything is working out great - just having fun trying to remember where the light switches are in the dark. Big thanks to Kevin Strong and Robert Piester for helping us in making it all happen.
Kevin was our "realtor" (estate agent in UK-speak) for the deal. He relocated to Utah from southern California in 1983 and has been a real estate associate since 1985 - 22 years in the local property game. Kevin knows the local Salt Lake City extremely well. We found him via the web (his website told us enough to know we should at least contact him) and was very helpful and professional, providing us with great advice and his patience throughout the search, as well his superb negotiation skills during the offer and closing process. If you're looking to sell / buy in the SLC area, we can recommend him without any hesitation. Thanks Kevin!!
Also, a big thanks to Rob Piester of Planet Financial, a neighbor from our time in Redmond, WA who did a great job in providing us advice and good rate for the mortgage. Thanks Rob!
Welcome to the United States
Second, our Green Cards arrived in the post this week!! Whoohoo!
That's pretty big news for us and we're relieved it all came through ok. What does it mean? It means we can live here with all rights except for voting. To gain voting rights I would need to apply for citizenship and can't do that for another five years, so no need to choose now, but I'll certainly consider it assuming I'm still here in that time (I imagine I will be). I can't say I feel any more "American" yet, but a Green Card is certainly a step in that direction. Physcologically, I feel I may have more of a stakeholding in the concept of a great US of A. To date, I've generally stayed away from the topic of politics and other "unmentionables" at the dinner table and elsewhere, but with the status change I may be a little more vocal in this respect in the future :-) ...Also, I want to thank both Microsoft and Bungee Labs for their support during my application for Perminent Residence status.