On the Market profiles homes for sale in the Philadelphia region.
When Louis and Cara Haenel were relocating back to southern New Jersey from South Carolina in 2005, they had different priorities in mind: Cara wanted an older home while Louis wanted something new.
To meet halfway, the couple decided to buy an empty lot they found in Cara’s hometown of Haddonfield, and custom-build a Victorian home that’s made to look old.
“It was a compromise,” Cara, a dentist, said.
The Haenels, who were moving for Louis’ job as a physician, were also drawn to the location in the Lizzy Haddon neighborhood. With two young children, the couple liked that they were only two blocks away from their kids' elementary school, as well as within walking distance to the train station.
They hired two brothers from Victorian Era Homes, a local architectural company, and a yearlong construction process ensued.
The finished product, a 5,287-square-foot home with five bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths, was something they both treasured. From the outside, the property resembles something that could have actually been built during the Victorian era, but inside it is a mix of modern and older features.
“Above each doorway of all the bedrooms there’s a window with beaded glass,” Cara Haenel said. “It’s new but it’s from Victorian times when you would open the window to get more air.”
Other Victorian details can be found throughout the home: the tin ceiling, crown moldings, the arches, and octagon-shaped rooms.
But the general layout is different from what you’d find in a typical home of this motif.
“There’s 10-foot ceilings on the first floor, a two-story foyer,” Cara Haenel said. “It’s different than a lot of Victorians. It has an open floor plan while there’s usually several dark rooms.”
One of the more unique things about this home is how the family used the basement: this space became a dodge ball court. The couple installed mats on the floors and walls to play the games.
“When the adults would pick up kids we all would end up going down there and get into a major dodge ball tournament,” Cara Haenel said.
Other stand out features include stained glass in the family room, a gourmet kitchen with a six-stool island, and a suite on the third floor with an extra kitchen. There’s also a sound system throughout the first floor and front and back porches.
Outside there’s a wraparound front porch, a hammock, a hot tub, and a two-car garage.
After years of special memories, the couple has put the home on the market for $1.3 million, as they are relocating back to South Carolina for Louis’ job.
“We’re very sad to leave our house,” Cara Haenel said. “It’s such a special place.”