Sunday, 31 July 2016

First day at the new house

Friday, July 15, 2016 was a rather stressful day for Jake and I. It was the day that we were supposed to be closing on our brand spanking new (and yet over a hundred years old) house!

It was also the day that we were mildly panicking for a number of reasons.

A) we were going to be home owners... WHAT?!

B) the house we decided to buy was OOOOOLD

C) we intended to do a major renovation immediately to said old house

D) we were worried that the closing might not actually happen that day and that could really have put a damper in our weekend plans

A, B, and C are all pretty self-explanatory but just let me give a teeny bit of explanation for D.

The weekend before we were to close on the house was the Hespeler Reunion, and as I said before, I was on the committee (Street Market Coordinator to be exact) so that weekend I was incredibly stressed and busy, all of that compounded by the fact that I seriously pulled my back early Saturday morning.

Then, Jake and I both had made plans with Jake's family to go up to a cottage for a few days. We decided that we'd go up after I got home from work on Tuesday night (Jake took the whole week off) and then come home after dinner on Thursday so that we'd be home all day Friday to get the keys to our new house!!

I was starting to get a little concerned that we were getting so near to closing without hearing anything new from the lawyers office. But then I got a response saying that we needed to come in to sign some paperwork and at that point to bring a cheque for the down-payment.

We booked the appointment for 4:00 on the Tuesday, right before we left for the cottage. Newbie that I am, I didn't realize that by "bring a cheque" they meant a certified cheque. The lawyer hesitated and then said "It's okay, we use the same bank. They should be able to certify it for us."

Went to the beach at Southampton to watch the sunset.
Photo courtesy of my mother-in-law. 

So off we went for a mini-vacation with Jake's family.

Then on Wednesday I got a call from the lawyer's office saying that they needed a certified cheque, that the one we gave them wouldn't work after all.

I think I said something coherent, but I'm not completely confident it didn't just come out as a squeak of terror. I explained the situation to Jake and although his face went ghostly white (I might be exaggerating to make myself feel better), he calmly said "Okay, so first thing Friday morning we'll go get the cheque from the bank and take it straight to the lawyer's office."

So we did that, and then continued to feel anxious as the day ticked by and we still didn't have the keys.

There also apparently were a few issues with some of the paperwork that we had to scramble to get sorted out (kinda wish they pointed this stuff out earlier than CLOSING DAY...)

It all worked out in the end and with an hour to go in the work day, we got the call that we could come pick up our keys to the house.

We dropped everything that we were doing and raced across town to go get them, anxiety gone and excitement in its place.

I insisted that Jake take this picture.
"IT'S FOR THE BLOG!" has become quite the saying in our household.

After forcing Jake to take the obligatory "entering our home for the first time" picture, we got straight to work and started tearing up all of the carpet.

Living Room. We took a piece of the paneling off to see what was underneath too.
It was as expected, plaster walls. 

I was most excited to see what was under the carpet on the stairs. I was hoping the treads would be in good condition so that we wouldn't have to replace them. We were in luck, not only did the carpet come up incredibly easy (even for a cripple like I was from my still healing back) but the stairs were in great shape! We're thinking of painting them white and adding a carpet runner on them so Seamus won't fall down the steps every time he runs after something.

Stairs. We'll strip them and then paint them a glossy white. 
The coolest thing we discovered that night was when we ripped up the carpet in the back bedroom. This carpet wasn't even nailed down when we tore it up and we had the lovely surprise of finding a number of newspapers from 1979 that the previous owners had laid down for what I assume was insulation. It was so cool!

Newspapers from 1979 found under the carpet in the back bedroom.
I thought this one in particular was a really neat find since NASA going to Jupiter is back in the headlines what with Juno entering Jupiter's orbit.

We always show people the newspapers, but I'm a nerd and try to get everyone to find this one as interesting as I find it.
It was an anxiety inducing start to home ownership, but everything worked out and by day two we were already hard at work taking down the paneling and trim-work.

Here's some more pictures from that evening:

Oo la la! Wedding fashion!! Love it. 

Date on the paper.

Carpet taken from the stairs and front vestibule.

Found a really cool looking grate under carpet. Here it is with a rubber mat still on top of it.
That mat pretty much disintegrated as soon as it was touched. 

Living room, looking toward the kitchen.


  1. I wasn't sure where the story was headed until you got that call. I don't know what was more exciting, getting the call to pick up the keys or getting to dig into that renovation and really bring the house alive again. There are so many cool features in that house that you are going to love making it all your own.

    1. Thanks! We certainly have our work cut out for us, but I agree, it will be amazing knowing that we made it exactly how we want it.