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Inspired renovations on First East fixers

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“The house kept calling our name,” said Steffany Hamilton, describing how she and her husband, Lee, came to buy the Peterson home on North First East in Lehi. Little did the Hamilton’s know that the home had originally been owned by a great aunt of Lee’s and had been in the family for decades.

Vea Jean Brown Hamilton, grandmother of Lee and former Lehi resident, regaled the couple with stories about family reunions in Wines Park and the histories of the residents who lived in the area. “This was all such an amazing coincidence. We wanted this home so badly and felt so lucky to finally be able to purchase it, not knowing the history associated with it.”

When asked about the renovation, Steffany said, “Luckily for us a lot of the renovation had been done by a previous homeowner. “The wiring, and plumbing had all been redone. We built a garage, patio and did mostly cosmetic improvements. We tore down a wall and added some of our own touches.” The Hamiltons want to retain the home’s historic charm and keep it as authentic as possible. The home is timeless in its appeal and adds to the charm of this wonderful old Lehi neighborhood.

Just down the street from the Hamiltons is another example of an inspired historic renovation. Renee Montoya and her husband, Zeke, saw the “for sale” sign on the old Morton home and were determined to buy it. Renee said, “I didn’t want to live in a ‘cookie cutter’ neighborhood and wanted to see more diversity so we felt this was the perfect place for us.” They bought the home, and the renovation began. “My husband and I did most of the work. We hired a local contractor to do some of the projects that were a little over our heads.”

Renee was raised in Hawaii, but spent much of her time in Jacksonville, Florida. “I fell in love with Southern history and architecture. I love old things and will buy new things and try and make them look old.” The home is like a picture from the pages of Southern Living magazine.

The Montoya’s have raised four sons in their home “People have asked, ‘How do you raise boys in this house?’ I have loved every minute of it,” said Renee. Two of the Montoya sons recently served missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are now home. They have become accustomed to sharing their home with others. “People stop by and take pictures of our home,” added Renee.

Living in a pioneer community has become an asset for many new families moving to Lehi. In a recent survey, many residents acknowledge that one of the things they love about living in Lehi is the historic look and feel of many areas in the community. A fairly new Lehi resident commented, “Where can you go and hear a hay baler on one side of your house and a super freeway on the other? This is what I love about living here.”

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