Sunday, 27 April 2014

Out With The Old

We spent the past week looking into bridge financing, to try and get our closing date moved up.  It looks like we will be able to move into the new house one week earlier (19 days before our wedding instead of 12!), so the new move in date will be June 23rd.  We just have to have the previous owners amend the purchase agreement, which hopefully will not be a problem.

Once we get moved in, the first item on the list will be the electrical.  We've known all along that the wiring in the house needed updating, as parts of it are still running on the original knob and tube.  Imagine, 130 year old wiring and it's still working!  Talk about a fire hazard!!

 What a Mess!

Knob and Tube Wiring - it's gotta go!

Unfortunately, our current insurance company is being pretty strict about the old wiring.  They want it removed within 30 days of our closing.  Not just disconnected, but removed from the walls.  That wouldn't be a problem with old copper or aluminium wiring which can just be pulled, but in order to get all of the knobs and tubes out, many of the walls will have to be opened up.  Needless to say, we're shopping around for another insurance company.

As our moving date gets closer, we are starting the process of packing and planning the move.  Jeremy's goal is one box a day...slow and steady.  I'm more of the speed packing at the last minute type of person.  I guess we'll see who wins out!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Samuel Jeffrey House, c. 1883

I have spent the past few days researching our new house and have really enjoyed finding out some of the history behind it.  I'm hoping that once we move in and begin some of the renovations that we have planned, we might find some more interesting hints to the past that will help to piece together more of this property's story.

Although the house is referred to as the Samuel Jeffrey House, it was actually built by Thomas Courtice in 1883. Courtice was a well known harness and saddle maker in Port Perry, and was the nephew of one of the first settlers in the area, for whom Courtice, ON is named after. In 1926, the property was sold to Courtice's business partner Samuel Jeffrey.  The Jeffrey family lived in the home for about 30 years, then sold it to James Wilkin in April 1954.  The house was sold again two years later, then again, to the couple who we are purchasing it from, in 1971. On June 30, ownership will change again as we take possession of the property.
The home has been featured in a few books, including Historic Homes and Estates - Port Perry and Uxbridge - Scugog Historic Homes & Heritage Buildings, both written by Paul Arculus and J.P. Hvidsten.  It is currently listed on the Scugog Township Heritage Registry and featured under the "Century Homes" section at

1. Arculus, P. & J.P. Hvidsten, Uxbridge-Scugog Historic Homes & Heritage Buildings, c. 2005

Monday, 14 April 2014


About 14 months ago, Jeremy and I noticed that one of Port Perry's famous century homes was up for sale.  They always say to buy the worst house on the best street, and that was what this looked like. At $699,900, it was listed way over our budget, so we looked at the pictures online then didn't think much else of it. Fast forward a few months, and the house was still on the market.  They dropped the price a few times, but nobody seemed to want it.  Maybe it was the overgrown gardens, the miles of wallpaper, or the knob and tube wiring that was scaring everybody off...who knows? But, it just sat there.

 We love the Magnolia tree!

It was around the beginning of October that I finally convinced Jeremy that we should go and take a look at it.  They had dropped the price again, to $549,900.  The moment we walked through the front door, we were in love.  Everything about this house screams "character" and we wanted it all! Jeremy immediately fell in love with the large dining room.  For me, it was the four original stained glass windows that captured my heart.  We knew that the price would still break our budget, though, so we left broken hearted.
The stained glass window in the living room

A few weeks later, we noticed that the price had been dropped yet again.  This time it was down to $524,000. With some good negotiating, we could actually make this work!  We went for a second visit, and knew that we were still in love with this place, possibly even more than the first time!  To our dismay, so were two other couples.  We lost out.

Around the middle of February, we received an email from our realtor asking if we were still interested in the property.  Are you kidding me? Of course we are!  The couple who had purchased the home in the fall were unable to fulfil their conditions, and had backed out.  That started a whirlwind of activity for us - doing the few small repairs that our current home needed to get it ready for the market, staging, checking insurance and banking, etc.  The past two months have been hectic, to say the least, but we are pleased to say that we officially own 220 Cochrane.  Our current home sold last week, and we can begin packing.  Our official moving date is June 30, which seems so far away!  We know, however, that time will fly and moving day will be here before we know it.  Then, the real work begins.