For Siera Holleman, it was love at first website visit. It was 2017 and Siera was browsing the internet, searching for her dream home.
She and her husband, Jake, were tired of apartment living and were ready to buy their first house. They were hoping to find something within their budget and close to Fort Worth, something with a yard where their English Bulldog, Walter, could play. With the thought of starting a family in the future, they also wanted to find a house located in a good school district.
When Siera came across Walsh’s website, she sensed instantly that she had stumbled across something truly special.
“I just immediately fell in love with it,” she recalls. “As embarrassing as it is to say, I was slightly emotional reading about Walsh. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. It was more than a neighborhood. They were building a community. I sent the website to my husband that day and told him, ‘This is it. This is our neighborhood.’”
Jake agreed to go look at Walsh, but as they drove to the community for the first time, he tried to manage Siera’s expectations. “Don’t get too excited,” he said. “I’m not sure there will be anything in our price range. Let’s keep our options open and look at a couple different neighborhoods before we make a decision.”
“He was really trying to get my head out of the clouds, to make me see this might not happen,” Siera says. But as they drove around the Walsh community, Jake began to fall in love, too.
Siera says they were both thrilled when they went to look at a Transitional style house and discovered it was in their price range. “I just thought, ‘This is so inclusive,’” she says. “We could make this happen. We could grow our family here.”
They were both thrilled when they went to look at a Transitional style house and discovered it was in their price range. “I just thought, ‘This is so inclusive,’” she says. “We could make this happen."
Siera and Jake moved into their house at Walsh in May of 2018 and quickly discovered that their new community not only met their high expectations, it exceeded them.
The amenities that had so appealed to Siera when she first read about them online in 2017 turned out to be even better in reality. She and Jake regularly enjoy attending events at Founders Park, and they’re thrilled to have access to the Makerspace, an amenity Jake has already taken advantage of to complete their outdoor living space.
The couple wanted to complete their front porch with an inviting swing, but after looking into options, they decided purchasing a brand new one didn’t fit into their family budget. Searching for alternatives, Jake found porch swing construction plans online and took them in to the Makerspace. After about three days working with the equipment in the woodshop, and with some help from the knowledgeable staff there, Jake made and installed his very own porch swing.
But more than the convenience of the Village Market, Athletic Club, or Makerspace, Siera says it is the people of Walsh –– neighbors who have quickly become close friends –– that have made their new house feel like home.
“The friends we’ve made all come from different backgrounds,” she says. “But no matter their background, ethnicity or income level, everyone here has something in common. There’s a common base: Walsh.”
Siera and Jake started making friends and feeling like an integral part of the Walsh community almost immediately after moving in to their new home.
Happy to finally be out of an apartment and living in a house where they could enjoy their mutual passion for gardening, the young couple spent many hours last summer working in their front yard. As they planted flowers, they also got to know their neighbors.
“It was just so easy to start a conversation with people walking by,” Siera says. “There was this built-in icebreaker of ‘Hey, when did ya’ll move in?’ or ‘How long have ya’ll been here?’”
Chris and Ashley Ortiz were some of the first friends Siera and Jake made at Walsh. Chris is a hair stylist in Fort Worth, and he and Ashley have two young girls.
“Chris does my husband’s and my hair now,” Siera says. “We go over to their house and order pizzas and he’ll cut our hair. One of their little girls attends a Spanish-speaking daycare, and I love talking with her, doing my best to speak with her in Spanish.”
Siera rattles off the names of several other young couples from Walsh that she and Jake have befriended. It’s a close group that Siera says has also quickly become a source of support.
“I would call them if there was an emergency,” she says. “I have all these people right in my neighborhood who I know would drop anything to help us if we needed it. We all go to dinners together. We spent New Year’s Eve together this year. And it was so wonderful to have all of them at our baby shower.”
Siera and Jake found out they were expecting just a few months after moving in to their home at Walsh. In late March of this year, the couple welcomed their first child, a baby girl named Scarlett, into their home.
In preparation for Scarlett’s arrival, the young couple transformed one of their house’s three bedrooms into a nursery, painting the walls grey and dusty pink. Siera says she and Jake are already settling into a good routine with their little one, and even starting to get some sleep at night.
“Having our first house—our first home as a family of three—it’s all coming together so well... We are just super grateful to be at Walsh.”
Siera also says she is looking forward to watching Scarlett grow up to ride bikes and play games with the Ortiz’s daughters. “We can’t wait for our girls to all be friends,” she says.
“It is getting real for us now,” Siera says. “Having our first house –– our first home as a family of three –– it’s all coming together so well. The house feels complete, and it is so nice to also have already established this friend group. We are just super grateful to be at Walsh.”