Canadian Buyers: Leave the Checkbook Home

avatarthumbnail.jpg… and your wallet as well, actually, if you’re coming to the Phoenix area to purchase real estate.

While I agree with the couple last week who told me that Canadians “are friendly folk” – if not slightly NHL-free-agency-period obsessed – being friendly doesn’t carry much freight in the American banking system.

Checks and bank drafts written on Canadian bank accounts can’t be deposited by local escrow companies, even if they’re coming out of the US dollar accounts many Canadians have at their local banks.

For that matter, my escrow folks tell me that all bank drafts are channeled through one American bank and then re-wired to wherever the final destination may be. (There’s also a nominal charge added by the middleman, meaning your wire for $5,000 or $6,000 may arrive at escrow $10 to $15 short.)

About the only time you’ll need a check in hand is on a bank-owned home, where most lenders require that a copy of the earnest deposit check be included with the offer. Not that the check will be used if your offer is accepted – we’ll go back to the wire route.

Buying Arizona real estate when you’re Canadian isn’t particularly complicated but there are a number of quirks … this was just another such example.

Next up … what to do when your NHL team clears cap space for a free agent, say Marion Hossa, and then doesn’t sign him …

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at

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