The miracle was that it worked. Internet judgments-turned-interview questions for my husband, who had been inside, paid off. We'd found the right location and the right house. I'm excited.
After giving me a general and generous view of the neighborhood, the realtor took me to another part of town to my daughter's high school. And while making the rounds, we discussed Canadian laws and habits. For example, there is no law prohibiting cell phones and driving, and fines for speeding are uniform. I also discovered that not all banks accept MasterCard, though you have a chance with a debit card. Some banks offer account options if you work with both U.S. and Canadian dollars. Apparently, there is sufficient need among the population for that provision.
And banking in Canada for a foreigner with an imminent closing on a home poses a Catch-22. Our lender requires a Canadian bank account. But, as the familiar song goes, the required identifying documents, with the exception of a foreign passport, mandate the "egg before the chicken." We've asked nicely for help in airlifting the egg.
The actual closing was crowded in with three or four others. While I sat in another room, and even before arriving at the attorney's office, they were dealing with paperwork and faxes regarding ours. Among the issues that needed to be sewn up was the revisiting of spousal laws. Spousal laws in Canada are protective, something I had to keep firmly in mind throughout the closing, which actually began in the U.S. in order to save time. Although it's been taking some getting used to, in the end, they're with us...not against us.
Such flexibility, however, affords us a little more time while a replacement is sought for my husband's current post. Luckily, we have a going-away party to distract us (a little) while a possible replacement makes up his mind.