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.