Title: Proud founder of Garvey Residential Team and GrtHomes.com. Proud manager of EXP Realty LLc at 1010 Lake St. in downtown Oak Park, IL.
I was born and raised in Oak Park and along with my wife Nancy, raised our three children in River Forest and then again in Oak Park. What an amazing exprience it has been!
We bought our first home in 1986. It was a beautiful Victorian on Ridgeland that we fixed up. We went on to do that with four other homes in Oak Park and one in River Forest. At the time I would never have guessed that fixing up 100-year-old homes would lead to the fantastic HGTV lifestyle that I live now as a realtor.
During my journey through life here, I have seen the amazing evolution of a quaint small town feel village progress into these beautiful, vibrant and full of life villages that still feel small town, but have a harmony within todays slightly hectic world that seems to be working pretty well.
Oak Park and River Forest have been a dream come true as Nancy and I grew up to know the community. We watched our three boys experience these beautifully diverse and multicultural schools and then go on to be wonderfully successful in life.
Nancy and I met at Marquette University where she was studying to be a nurse, while I was studying business. We went on to get married and started looking for our first home. While I was pretty sure we were destined to stay in Oak Park, Nancy grew up in Wheeling Illinois and wanted to live close to her family, so I was keeping an open mind as to where we would eventually be raising our children.
It was around this time that my father offered me a little advice. He said to me “Chris, there is no better place to raise your children or just live your life than right here in Oak Park and River Forest.” Now I am not saying that he may not have had ulterior motives, but when he said it I sensed that he really meant it. He told me that his father had said that to him. I knew my Grandpa and his word still means more to me now then ever. My children are the fourth-generation of Garvey’s to live here.
My father said to us, “Whether you are raising a family or just living your life, your ability to grow in this world, your social interaction with the community, the relationships that you will form at the bandstand’s and in the parks – or a local sporting events, will not only be your greatest times in life, they will become your steppingstones in life.”
Now, as I grow older, I see how this fabric of life – this mixing of people throughout the village, its businesses, parks and many activities – and I see the success of my children and their friends and their friend’s families and I have come to understand what my father meant by these steppingstones in life. I am truly just beginning to learn of the great value this community brings to those who embrace it.
I will leave you with one last quote from my father’s father (the first Garvey to move to Oak Park). He said to my dad that “if you place yourself in the place of most potential, and you are open-minded enough to recognize an opportunity when you see it, success will always come to you.“ Ever since I have lived here, I’ve always found this to be true.
When you are ready, I invite you to tour homes for sale with me while you experience your own HGTV style of exploring homes. How can you make a decision on a home to buy, if you have not seen enough homes to know what a good value is?
Find out everything you need to know about our neighborhoods and buying these beautiful, but often times 100+ year old homes and condos.