After 9 months of searching, touring, comparing listings, cleaning credit history and gnashing teeth while waiting we did it! We are officially home owners!
Our closing was as uneventful and anti-climatic as the day I went to my final interview for my permanent resident card aka "the Green Card": smooth sailing all around. No drawn drawbridge across the river, no trains, no traffic to keep us from getting to the title office in time for our appointment at 3pm, no hold ups, last minute demands or issues to stop us from finishing the last step. There were only 5 people involved in this courtesy closing: the three of us, our agent and the clerk of the title office. After signing the equivalent of a small tree in paper we were done and out of the office in hardly more than 30 minutes. Well, except for the keys. Essentially, we bought a house with a lock box which may or may not get removed by the seller's agent (and we still have an extra one that we ... ahem, found in the backyard the day after the first compressor had "walked off") and the keys to the house were in there and not at the title office.
We hugged our agent good-bye (which felt weird after spending so much time together during the past 8 months - maybe she'll take me along to house tours if I ask nicely?) and then drove over to the Ugly Duckling to tell her (yes, I consider our house a 'she') the good news and pick up our keys.
To me it feels like the house is holding her breath and I just can't wait to get started on all the projects we have planned for our little old house (see our Masterplan and moodboards for some of our ideas). So, here she is, our Ugly Duckling: