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12 February . 2020

How this young couple found their way from L.A. to Sweetwater

“It’s the perfect starter home, and possibly the perfect forever home.”

That’s how Kevin Gilligan describes the new Chesmar home in Sweetwater that he and his fiancée, Jennifer Tate, moved into at the beginning of 2020.

They had met in Los Angeles about five years ago, when they were both working as tour guides at Warner Bros. Studios. They became good friends, but Jennifer stayed in L.A. after Kevin moved back to his home state of Minnesota.

They reconnected about a year ago, rekindling their friendship along with a new romance. After they became engaged, they decided to make a fresh start in a new city as they prepared to get married in April. They chose Austin, because Jennifer had grown up in Round Rock and San Antonio, and her parents had moved to the area a few years back.

 “We definitely could not have owned our first home if we had stayed in L.A.,” says Jennifer.

The discovered Sweetwater on the recommendation of her parents, who live about five miles away in Spicewood. 

“Once we saw Sweetwater, it was a hands-down decision for us,” Jennifer says. “The location truly is where Austin meets the Hill Country, and we loved the active vibe and the way it felt like home. We want to have kids, so Lake Travis ISD was a big plus for us, as were the amenities.

“Sweetwater checked all of our boxes, clear as day,” Kevin adds.

For their new home in Sweetwater, the couple chose the three-bedroom Ryder by Chesmar, the same plan as its fully furnished model home in Sweetwater.

They loved the openness of this one-story plan, which includes a spacious outdoor living area.

One of their favorite features was the dog shower in the laundry room, an option that is displayed in the model home. It’s a convenient way to bathe Lady, their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.


“We didn’t even know that there was such a thing as a dog shower, and now we wouldn’t want to live without it,” says Kevin. 

Lady may not be too excited about baths, but she does love her new backyard.

“We’ve never seen Lady so happy,” says Jennifer. “We didn’t have a backyard in L.A., so the only exercise she got was inside. Now, she loves to run and play in the yard.”

They also also like their home’s study, located in a quiet spot off the spacious foyer, with French doors to close it off when needed. It’s perfect for their career plan of becoming real estate agents in the Austin area.

“The home office was another feature that really sold us on the Ryder plan,” said Kevin. “As a real estate agent, you work from home a lot, and this study makes a great office.”

Kevin had already begun a career in real estate when he moved back into Minnesota, and he is working on getting his license to work in Texas.

As she works to complete her Texas real estate license, Jennifer is finding that her skill sets as a tour guide and producer in L.A. are very applicable to her newly chosen career.

After less than a month in their new home, Jennifer and Kevin are already settling into Sweetwater and the surrounding area.

“We have such a list of places we want try,” they said. “We just went to the Oasis for the first time and watched the sun set. It was amazing.  And have a new favorite coffee place, Lola Savannah Coffee Lounge in Lakeway. We loved the Texas Pecan coffee!”

Give a warm Texas “howdy” to Jennifer, Kevin and Lady when you see them out enjoying the trails at Sweetwater. And soon, they’ll be ready to help other families find their perfect new home here.

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