We found this home on August 25, 2018 on our way back from M Street Bakery in downtown Howell, MI after picking up a birthday cake for Michael's brother Andrew. We drove by quick so we only got a peek at the house but we looked it up on Zillow as soon as we drove by hoping that there would be pictures of the inside, but there were not. In that moment we didn't necessarily think that this house was going to be our forever home but we were definitely intrigued by it. We were planning to flip an old farmhouse in Linden, MI but we had just decided a few days before driving by that it wasn't the right fit. So,we were looking but not really to take on the restoration of an 1800s Victorian mansion. Somehow though, We both couldn't get the house off of our mind so we decided to drive back the next day and look in the windows. We both definitely couldn't get the house off of our mind after that.
The next few days we drove by every day checking up on the house almost as if it was already ours. We reached out to a local realtor who was able to show us the inside of the house and from that day on we knew that House was ours. We actually went to look at it on a very gloomy rainy day in September but we were very surprised when we went in that the house felt great cheerful, warm, bright, and welcoming. It wasn't the least bit creepy, scary, or hunted feeling. Exactly one month after the first day we saw the house, on September 25, 2018 we closed. As we mentioned we weren't immediately thinking that this is going to be our forever home but we definitely were both very intrigued in the house right off the bat. We were extremely intrigued on the history of it, the architectural detail, and the original features that were still inside. we love all old things and making them pretty again. This obviously was just on a much larger scale than anything we had ever done before.
We knew this was going to be a big project and a little bit scary to be honest but after we saw the inside and we felt that feeling Like it was already ours and we just knew that this had to be our home. We both have experience restoring/living in old homes as Michael grew up in an old home in Garden City and Cristy purchased an old home in Sylvan Lake last year. Michael's parents also purchased an old farm in Fenton Michigan last year where they had to pretty much completely restore the barn built in the 1800s and now are working on restoring the old farmhouse as well. Our favorite thing to do is be creative and make things pretty and we knew with this project we could be as creative as we wanted to be while restoring this home to its original beauty and it would give us the freedom to design a space that could truly be our dream forever home. We both love doing DIY projects and plan to do almost all of this Restoration ourselves with the help of our families of course.
We have honestly enjoyed sharing this project with our families so much. This definitely would not even be a possibility without them. Without the support of our families we would probably still just be driving by every day pretending like the house was ours. They definitely made our dream a reality here at the Iron Victorian. We have loved learning the history of this home and all of the families that have lived here prior to us. We have found some really cool things like marble sinks, corbels, original hardware, and original floors underneath old carpet tile and a lot of mastic. The house also had an original front porch that was beautiful and we found much of the porch in the attic of the garage as well Which was super exciting. We have been given so many original pieces that were in the home From the Mullaney family as well as a very extensive history given to us on the home done by a local historian Lauren Gamble. The community really has welcomed us with open arms following our journey on social media, giving helpful tips, and just wanting to be involved in the project. We feel so fortunate for that. It feels like every day we are discovering something new about the home and town making us love it more every day.