By Matt Kennedy
Weathered paneling, tattered blinds and worn carpet were just a few of the problems marking a historic home that had seen better days. The home, which sits squarely in the historic district of McKinney, TX on Lamar Street had undeniable charm, but needed help. When a “for sale” sign went up, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church stepped in.
With financing from Independent Bank, St. Peter’s was able to purchase the home, which is centrally located in an area that connects all the church’s other properties and will be used as a rental home. Rev. Michael Hoffman was pleased with the speed of the interim construction loan that Independent Bank lender Greg Steglich closed with St. Peter’s in November.
“The financing was an exceptionally easy process,” Rev. Hoffman said. “The bank met us where we were and responded to our unique needs.”
Once financing was secured, Ed Carel and Integrity Custom quickly went to work on the home. Carel, a contractor who has over two decades of experience in renovating historic homes, considers Rev. Hoffman to be a “visionary.” Carel met with the St. Peter’s staff in December and began the renovation project in January.
“St. Peter’s was wonderful to work with on this project,” Carel said. “Many of my vendors were willing to discount their work to help the church.”
Carel said that you need to posses a vision for “what can be” when buying a historic home. With patience, Carel said the result is worth it, as restoring “old gems” back to their original condition is what he loves most about his job.
“This house could have been easily passed up because of its poor condition,” Carel said. “It took only three months and a relatively modest budget to bring this piece of McKinney nostalgia back.”
The most dramatic changes to the home involved a skillful demolition of the main area. Carel’s team exposed and stained the wood floor that lay beneath the shag carpet. Cedar paneling was removed from a converted porch and makeshift living space to make it a porch once again.
“We had no idea what to expect,” Carel said. “Once we began the demolition of this area it was exciting to see much of the original material behind the shag and cedar on display once again.”
Carel said the finished product received many supportive comments from neighbors, some of whom remember the house when it was still in its original state over 40 years ago.
The renovated home was not the first St. Peter’s has renovated. As a church that has been a part of McKinney for over 130 years and is landlocked in the middle of the historic district, St. Peter’s has been creative with the growth of its facilities. The church converted a nearby home into its office and another home into space for its youth ministry.
According to Rev. Hoffman, the Lamar Street home could be used for a number of possibilities in the future, from a parsonage or rectory for a staff member to a shelter for families in need. Until the project is paid in full though, Rev. Hoffman said the house will be a rental property.
Rev. Hoffman considers St. Peter’s renovation of the Lamar Street house part of the church’s mission to impact the community, in much the same way the church feels called to work with local charitable organizations and schools.
“Churches are not institutions or buildings,” Rev. Hoffman said. “Churches are communities of believers who join together for worship and to work together to make a difference for the kingdom of God.”
Independent Bank shares St. Peter’s commitment to the community and is dedicated to continue efforts to better the communities it proudly serves.