Selling home in US buying home in Canada - how to bring down payment?

Hi everyone, does anyone have experience selling a home in the US and then bringing the money to put a down payment on a home in Canada? Any tips on the best way to do this?

Yes, we did exactly this, we just bought our house.

I’ll be writing a blog post on similar topics, but a couple of things:

  • US home sales require notary signatures. I learned the hard way it’s really difficult to arrange for notaries that satisfy the US standard, at least for homes in California. Remote notaries don’t work. The wait to get things notarized at a US Embassy is months long. We ended up arranging a notary that met us at a special park at the BC/WA border.
  • There’s no problem with wire transfers from US to Canada. We wire transferred the payment when we needed to have it. You need to shop around for the best rate though for currency exchange.
  • All the terms in Canada are different. Canada does not use “title companies” and closing the home is not called “escrow”.
  • Canadian brokers and banks/lenders expect you to deposit some down payment at specific bank account. You’ll need a “bank draft” which is basically a cashier’s check from a Canadian bank.
  • For the above reasons it’s best to have a Canadian bank account. I found CIBC quite good, if you have a local banker you can work with, they can set you up with really good rates.

@starzanddonuts well, at least in Ontario we use title company, I used Stewart Title for our home purchase. One difference I noticed here in Ontario vs Texas is that a lawyer handles the closing paperwork and disbursement of funds whereas in Texas title company handled the whole thing. Also, generally here in Canada an escrow account is called as trust account (usually it’s the lawyer trust account).