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This Entrepreneur's First Gift to Himself: a Huge House on the Shore Check out a family home two and a half decades in the making.

By Joe Keohane

This story appears in the April 2018 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Steve Vicario

Steve Vicario married young, bought a house young and had to work three jobs just to keep the bills paid. But despite the pressure, he had ambition. "I told my wife, "One day we're gonna have our own shore house,'" he says. " "We're gonna have the things we want.' " She believed him "one hundred percent," he says. "She knew the type of person I am. I don't believe in failure. For me it was just a matter of grinding and grinding, and at some point something will click."

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The Jersey shore held a special significance for Vicario. His parents used to take him and his three brothers there for vacations, renting or staying with relatives. Eventually his father's South Philly auto body shop got successful enough that he was able to buy a shore house of their own in the town of Wildwood Crest. Vicario and his brothers spent all their summers down there. "There was always football on the beach, intense Wiffle ball games and tons of arguments over Monopoly," he says. "But it brought us closer together."