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22 October . 2020

Ex-Californians, the McGranes find a warm welcome at Sweetwater

Alisa and Mark McGrane had loved living in Southern California for the past five years, but after Mark got a job offer too good to turn down from Austin-based Service Lloyd’s Insurance Company, they began looking for a new home in Texas’ Capital City.

“The wildfires had started to impact Mark’s job, and I was able to find a great opportunity here in my career, pharmaceutical sales, so we decided it was a perfect time to make the move,” said Alisa. “We had heard that Austin was a happening place with a great economy.”

The McGranes were used to moving. Alisa was born near Colorado Springs and had lived in nine states growing up. Mark is from Connecticut. Neither had lived in Texas before, but they found that the Hill Country and Sweetwater reminded them of home.

“We fell in love with Sweetwater because the rolling hills looked a lot like where we lived in Mission Viejo, and also a little bit of Mark’s home state,” Alisa said. “Sweetwater immediately felt like home, combining everything we loved about California and everything we expected to find in Texas. Most of all, we love the strong sense of community here.”

The McGranes found a new home in Sweetwater that fit all their needs and was ready for move-in. It was an Empire home in the gated Davenport Summit neighborhood.

“We bought it for the view. The views of green rolling hills extend for miles from our living and dining rooms. I think we have one of the best views in Austin,” Alisa said.

After moving in earlier this year, Mark has settled into his new position as vice president of Service Lloyd’s, and Alisa is thriving in her new job as account specialist with Regeneron. They have quickly engaged themselves in Sweetwater’s social life.

“All the neighbors have been so welcoming, even though we moved in during a time of social distancing. We’ve still been able to gather in small groups and get to know each other,” Alisa said.

She’s part of an informal group of ladies who walk Sweetwater’s trails on a regular basis. “We call ourselves the ‘Jabberwalkies’ because we love to walk and talk,” she laughs.

Alisa has also shared her love of art with her neighbors, joining with fellow resident Lauren Gatswirth to create the Sweetwater Arts & Crafts Club, which has nearly 70 members and grows every week.

Immediately after starting the club, they conducted a member survey and found strong interest in topics such as home decorating, floral arranging and crocheting. They also found residents who are experts in these areas and willing to teach. For now, the club plans four major events a year.

The McGranes converted their third garage bay into a “She Shed” where Alisa can continue to paint, an art she has practiced since college.

They are also enjoying getting to know the Austin area, especially the lakes and creeks. “We love the water, and we kayak at least once a week at Barton Creek,” Alisa said. “Overall, moving to Austin and Sweetwater has been an amazing experience.”

Meet more Sweetwater families and read their stories.