Thumbnail: Keys to my house

The trans­fer of keys is the very last step in buy­ing a house. Aside from all the steps involved in actu­ally pur­chas­ing one, to get a set of keys means the com­ple­tion of many things. A con­sol­i­da­tion of one’s funds (deposited in trust, posted on file, ver­i­fied by accoun­tants). The pay­ment of all par­ties involved (lawyer for legal fees, gov­ern­ment for land trans­fer tax, insur­ance com­pany for title insur­ance, as well as the seller for the full amount of the house). A record in the munic­i­pal min­istry of the trans­fer own­er­ship (once the lawyers of both par­ties involved have paid for an exe­cu­tion clear­ance certificate).

The keys sig­nify that the deal has been closed, and noth­ing has gone wrong between the time of pur­chase and the day of trans­fer. Usually, I worry about things going wrong, even when there’s only a mar­ginal chance, and I have a com­plete under­stand­ing of this fact. When some­one shakes my hand after an inter­view to con­grat­u­late me on get­ting the job, I’ll worry for days, right up until I get my name on the con­tract. This was no excep­tion. Anything could go wrong — seller chang­ing his mind, hid­den law­suits or liens, or even a fail­ing of the final inspec­tion — from the day I made the bid to the last min­utes of the clos­ing date.

Yesterday, I walked into my lawyers office. I car­ried with me a cer­ti­fied cheque that was mostly my down­pay­ment, but also included his fees and taxes (I’m for­tu­nate enough to not have go into my line of credit to pay for the lat­ter two). I signed sev­eral doc­u­ments, received my sta­tus cer­tifi­cate and condo papers, as well as other let­ters of confirmation.

Today I picked up my keys, and now I own a house.