Welcome to the roller coaster ride that is our search for the perfect home for us in our town. Here we go. Up, up, up... Next stop, the colonial on our street.
It is old. Very. 1774 to be exact. It was built by the brother of the founder of Bradford College, a four year liberal arts college that closed its doors in 2000.
There is a similar building in Haverhill MA, a tavern where they founded the college in the very early 1800s. And for many years, this was probably the only house on this street.
This house was built away from the city as a gentleman's home, a place to entertain and relax. It isn't a working farm house like a few others in the area.
This was the Puff Daddy home of 1800s America. Unique and amazingly cool.
What makes it unique, in addition to a fireplace in every room, is the ceilings, which are 8 or more feet high. This is pretty much unheard of in architecture outside of big cities at the time. Most homes have a 6.5 or so ceiling height.
From the street I really had no idea it was as huge as it is inside.
Three bedrooms, an extra room that is kind of a hallway or playroom, another room above the den, a formal living room, a formal dining room, an eat in kitchen with a beehive oven (see above), the aforementioned fireplaces in each room (only the kitchen one works) and a woodstove in the den. Two bathrooms (1 full shower and one with a shower stall). Over 1/2 acre of land, fully fenced back yard. It's amazing.
And the question is -- am I cool enough to own and live in a house that is this unique and awesome? Again with the Seinfeld Orgy Friends analogy -- but I'd need all new everything. The place has more rooms than I have furniture for, so that is a good thing. But the ghetto blue couch would not be finding a resting place within these walls.
Doug even said that instead of using a formal livingroom, that'd be a nice place for a pool table. Hmmm.
Are we cool enough to live in something with that much character? This is a walking/garden tour house. We'd have to surely sign up to be one of the houses on the annual spring flower tour. I don't mind doing that. Do I?
When Doug was walking room to room he said to our realtor "I keep expecting a velvet rope here keeping me from going into the bedrooms." It seriously is like looking into a museum.
It is amazing. I'll say it again.
The listing broker grew up in the house. Her parents sold it 10 years ago to the current owner and it broke her heart. She has four brothers and sisters. She said that she has to personally approve of anyone who owns her childhood home. She was a riot, and I really liked spending time with her. She walked us through and told us where each kid in her family slept, what they used to do in this room and that, as well as the history of the house itself from way back in the day... So it was almost like a real historical tour. I could tell how much she loves this house. I got such a good feeling from it and from her.
She told us that the seller needs to sell. He's a retiring college professor and will be settling in northern NH at the end of this academic year. He wants to be done with this house and move along and timing wise, it would be perfect for him to sell this month or next ... We could be the people who help him do that.
The other house we looked at is all right. But it didn't bend me over and spank me. Certainly not at the asking price. Or even 15% off the asking price. Not the place for us. I liked the unique bathroom and the western view and the bedrooms were an awesome size. Doug hated the bathroom and really hates golf, so abutting a 3 hole golf course is not so cool. It is an acre of land, but about 1/2 of it is wetlands/creek/overgrown and unusable. It provides a nice sound buffer to the driving range. It isn't the place for us.
I had a hard time falling asleep last night because in my busy mind I was putting my bureau here, the dresser there, I was imagining what bedroom set I'd buy for Geoff, where the computer would go. A second computer? Where to put the 42" TV that we have yet to install here (and we won't)... wondering where the cable line is best suited to go. Picturing the nice dining room set that I'd like in the front room.
So much to consider and imagine. I think I could be cool enough to live here, and not fill it with IKEA stuff. That would be weird and a little to meta for my liking.
I'm off to work. Just put the kid on the bus and am waiting for the curling iron to heat up. There are pictures in Flickr, be sure to go look.