Where to begin? We were living in a place that was both desirable and not at the same time. Parts of town were beautiful and then there was our side of town. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed our time there and I cried when I had to do the final walk-through after packing and moving. It was our business, a garden center with an apartment above. It was where we really started our lives together, where we raised our 2 children (and other people's children). We made a lot of memories there. But even with all that, all 22 years we cherished there, this "new to us" old historic home has already gifted us so much more.
We had been tentatively looking for years to find a place that better suit us as a family. The requirements were to have it big enough for our immediate family with some extra for extended family to visit and be comfortable. We wanted something with a body of water big enough that we could play in, so not just a small frog pond. We wanted to swim, kayak, fish & float. We couldn't go too terribly far because of school and work, and I think we probably drove several real estate agents a little crazy with our particularity. We knew we'd find it when we saw it.
Boy did we see it.
Technically, my husband saw it. I saw a whole lot of problems in a whole lot of house. So naturally, we made an appointment to walk through it. I was right, as women often are, it WAS a lot of house AND too expensive. We politely thanked our newest real estate agent and went home with dashed hopes. My husband was not done with it though. He kept it on his watch list and a couple weeks later happened to refresh the real estate page he was looking at and saw that the price had dropped nearly in half! It really was that fast and cosmically aligned. He said to me "I think we need to go take another look at that house." To which I replied with a simple "I don't think so. It's too big and too expensive." Guess who got their way. We went back but this time I was bringing moral and persuasive support with me, my parents and my aunt. I wanted them on my side! My mom and her twin sister played along trying to convince the boys of what I already knew about how tough it was going to be to keep up a house this large. Another great point was that our children were heading into high school and graduation, so we'd soon enough be empty nesters. I think looking back now the girls only did that for my sake. My mom loves this place. but my dad took my husband's side! The nerve, am I right?! The price had dropped to the top of our budget and the rest went so damn quickly I still question our decision-making skills.
The Henry Ludlam house is historic and haunted. We knew that going in and did an extensive amount of research about the rules of owning a house already listed in the National Historic Registry. It went through many, many changes through all its owners and years but at the time of sale it boasted 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, a nice wide central staircase leading from the 1st floor to the 3rd, kitchen, dining, living, a full-size basement, servant's stairs in the original section, a wall of windows enclosing a brick porch and resident ghosts. The property is about an acre and a half of woods and another acre and a half clear with a wide expanse of lawn between the house and the 55-acre crystal clear Ludlam Pond. A quaint little gazebo sits on the water and with 300' of lakefront embankment it provides gorgeous views from most of the rooms. It really is beautiful and after everything is said and done, I feel lucky to be here.