Waco, Texas. Named after the Hueco Native Americans that arrived in the Blackland Prairie region in Central Texas in the 1700’s. Waco is located between the famed cities of Austin and Dallas as well as home to the largest Baptist university in the word, Baylor University. This once sleepy town has grown into a bustling destination through genuine love of old houses and belief that newer isn’t always better.
One may think there could not be any more homes to save in Waco after nearly 10 years of a reality show presence. However, JP and Stephanie, owners of Res-Q- Renovations, have boots on the ground working to preserve not only their own old house but other old houses in the area. When asking why they feel old homes are worth saving, Stephanie shared, “Old homes carry so much history and so many stories that deserve to be kept alive.”
JP and Stephanie became a part of the old house homeowner community a year and a half ago when Stephanie’s parents notified her and JP of their neighbors wanting to sell their Austin stone style home built in 1949. When asking Stephanie what made them fall in love with this home, she shared it was “The front windows! They are perfect for a Christmas tree. Also, there are 11 very old beautiful live oak trees on our property that shade and kind of nestle the home.”
Not only did this home have excellent curb appeal, but it was built entirely with shiplap giving the home the desired rustic feel JP and Stephanie loved. A significant bonus for JP and Stephanie was the near acre lot the house sits on providing both space and proximity to town. Knowing this home would be up for grabs soon, JP and Stephanie made an offer and the house was theirs.
Stephanie refers to their home as being “72 years young,” but they still had plenty of work ahead of themselves which commenced the day after closing. Like so many homeowners do, JP and Stephanie moved in and began living amongst their projects all while working on homes during the day. JP and Stephanie revealed the biggest challenge with an old home, whether their own or a project, is “The time and attention it takes. You really must do your homework and go about updating old homes in a way that will not ruin the original charm and beauty of the home itself. Slow and steady wins the race. Also, you must have a plan B when plan A does not work out.”
While working on an old home, homeowners often find themselves getting lost in admiring the unique details and wondering about all the families who came before them. While the walls cannot speak per se, they have a way of revealing the personalities of past families. While working in their dining room, JP and Stephanie stumbled upon finished shiplap walls which lead them to believe it was used as an office at one point in time. They also found original wallpaper which they framed and hung in their living room paying homage to the families before them. While peeling back the layers is a journey in itself, their lips are sealed when it comes to sharing the local chatter of a home’s past.
Rumor has it, JP and Stephanie’s home was owned by a gangster. The local sheriff in town was not too keen of him and took it upon himself to run him out of town. After the gangster fled town, the sheriff bought the gangster’s house for himself. “We are still hoping there is money hidden in the walls somewhere!” joked Stephanie.
Rumors aside, old homes have a way of attracting their next caretaker. Whether it is finding someone who enjoys the same styles or colors, or who have the same hobby, there is usually a common thread or two that can be found amongst all the caretakers. For Stephanie and JP’s home, it seems as though “business” is the common thread. To JP and Stephanie’s surprise, they discovered through their 1968 Waco phone book, that the Linton family was living in their home at the time, and they too had a construction business. With only being the caretakers of their beautiful home for a year and a half, JP and Stephanie have plenty of time ahead of themselves to uncover more of the history of their home.
Old house love is truly a combination of appreciation for craftsmanship from days long ago and respecting the history in which they hold. JP and Stephanie embody these values through their motivation to save old houses both day and night in effort to sustain their community and breathe life back into the beautiful homes and neighborhoods of Waco one house at a time. To follow along on JP and Stephanie’s current and future projects, like their account, @res_q_renovation, on Instagram.
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