Couple restores Pilot Point Victorian home
By Tatiana Ambrosio
One Pilot Point couple has breathed new life into one of the city’s Victorian era houses.
They have restored and sold the Victorian home at 300 E. Division St. It came with its own set of difficulties, but it also came with a few interesting discoveries.
Marissa and Colton Vest own their own company, Vest Properties, and this is not the first house they have restored in Pilot Point.
They completed and lived in another house on Debbie Lane before they sold it.
Colton had previously worked as a custom home builder, and Marissa is a real estate agent.
Their current plans for their company include restorations and custom home building.
“We’re kind of focusing on the flips, [but] we do have a new build going,” Marissa said speaking of a home they are building in The Hills. She said her hope is to make it their permanent residence. However, it too may be sold.
The house on Division Street, they learned, was owned by Jesse Rayzor.
By all accounts, Rayzor had been loved by the community.
During the remodeling process, neighbors stopped by and told them about Rayzor.
People that were following the remodeling process on social media spoke about Rayzor, and even their contractors told them stories of his kind nature.
“Every single person around Pilot Point loved him,” Marissa said.
When Rayzor passed away, his niece sold the property to the Vests.
Along with learning about Rayzor, they found things like a Christmas card from the 1920s and even a receipt inside the wall from 1857.
“It was pretty awesome,” Colton said speaking of the handwritten receipt.
Remodels of older structures present problems with not just outdated wall paneling but also things like electricity as wiring for these turn of the century houses has been done at differing times with different safety standards.
Plumbing, main lines for sewer and even gas lines can all present a challenge.
The Vests said they encountered most of those issues and had to update it all.
Marissa said the interior is basically an all-new house after completing the necessary updating.
With Gothic windows, the house, built in 1901, is considered to be a Gothic Revival Style Victorian. However, the interior was more akin to a farmhouse.
The Vests took down walls and rearranged the floor plan to suit families’ expectations of the current era.
“We totally redid the entire layout just to make it a little more functional,” speaking of taking down walls and moving the kitchen from the back of the home to the front of the home, Marissa said.
“What’s the kitchen now was the living room and what was the living room was the master [bedroom],” she said.
The aesthetic they chose for design is modern farmhouse which has a mass market appeal.
Another challenge they faced were safety hazards like low windows that started at the baseboards on the second story.
They closed them off from the interior while they kept the phantom exterior windows.
“There’s actually other windows in that room, and we needed a wall for a bed,” she said of the overall choice to build over the windows.
The original staircase and railing were also a concern. In 1901, if there was a safety standard on the height of the banister handrail, it is not what it is today. Marissa, a new mother, said it was a concern for her, but with so many changes to lose the central staircase’s banister would have been getting rid of what little character was left.
They kept items that they could.
“We took the old fireplace [mantle] and put that back in the dining room,” Marissa said. “All the floors are the original floors, over 120 years old.”
The couple said they did try to keep it as original as possible.
“With the other remodels that had happened, the character had been taken away before,” Colton said.
The house was on the market for only four days. The Vests received multiple offers that came in within the first 24 hours of the listing going live.
They said they would love to be able to restore more houses in Pilot Point.
“I mean because we live here, and we’re from here. We’d like to see our city come up,” Marissa said.