For Nova Scotia-born Dan Freeman, a Sixth Grade teacher at Master’s Academy, and his wife of four years Kerry Doerksen, originally from Manitoba, and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse at the Alberta Children’s Hospital – discovering Harmony was a bit of a last minute moment of fate.
They lived in the Calgary neighbourhood of Killarney for seven years. While it was a short commute to work and they liked it very much, they knew they were going to outgrow their house with their active young family including Emerson, two and a half, Elliot, five months, and Abby their eight-year old English Setter. Being mountain lovers, they started house hunting in January of 2016, mostly looking at acreages in the Bragg Creek area.
“We were hours away of putting an offer on a house, but had second thoughts,” explains Dan. “It was mostly about the commute.” But Kerry adds “It was also about the feeling of isolation and we wanted to be part of a community.”
Dan heard a Harmony commercial by chance on the radio and mentioned it to Kerry on their hike in Bragg Creek that a visit to Harmony might be a good idea. They looked at the website, the vision, the community plan, and lot plans. They took a visit in October of 2016 and within a week had a hold on the lot of their dreams. They built with Broadview Homes and took possession in November 2017.
“We wanted a larger sunny corner lot with plenty of room for trees and gardens, and room for our kids to play. We chose a smaller sized Farmhouse to maximize our outdoor space and went the Carriage Home route, with the suite above the detached garage for Kerry’s parents to someday move in with us,” explains Dan.
“Broadview helped create some custom changes to our floor plan to make the house function better with two small children and to maximize the view from our lot. We especially love the addition of the front porch, and we can’t wait to sit out there and watch the sunsets this summer. We are so happy with the way everything turned out,” says Kerry.
But what initially caught their eye about Harmony?
“Having grown up in a lake community, I was really excited to hear about a lake community so close to the city and the mountains,” says Kerry. “When we drove in and saw the lake, I knew instantly I wanted to live here.”
“We went for several long walks on the pathways before our decision and really liked the feeling of the neighbourhood,” says Dan. “We used to have to drive an hour or more to go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing and now we have trails across the street. We used to have to wait to go on weekends, and now we are able to go everyday.”.
The family is a clear lover of the outdoors including camping, hiking, fly-fishing, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. “And running and yoga and gardening, but I’m a beach bum at heart,” Kerry is quick to point out. “I’m looking forward to getting some trees and garden boxes started for this summer.”
After they purchased they also started attending some of the community events. The Potlucks, the Stampede Breakfasts, the Christmas Party at the Discovery Centre. “We really enjoyed these events and it was exciting to see so many families with young children and meet our new neighbours,” says Dan.
“Everyone we have met is so friendly and willing to help each other. The official snowplowing has been amazing, but there has also been a lot of neighbour team shovelling with all of our snow this winter,” he adds.
“We have already made some close friends and are feeling blessed to be surrounded by such great people. The Facebook Group Page really makes it easy to ask for advice and keep everyone connected,” adds Kerry.
“I’ve recommended Harmony to several family members and friends and could see a couple of them moving here, and I have a colleague who is planning on it already,” she continues. “I think a Homeowner Meet & Greet Night would be a nice idea for prospective buyers to ask questions. We would have attended.”
We love the lake and temporary beach, all the green space, and even the skating area that was set up with seating and a fire pit. I find it so peaceful here and love looking out our windows and seeing the cattle grazing with the mountains behind. It really is a dream come true!” enthuses Kerry.
It’s a dream come true for Abby the dog as well. “She loves the open space and comes with us wherever we go. We were initially concerned about not having a backyard for her, but with all the green space she (and we) get out for three to four long walks a day, which is good for us,” agree Dan and Kerry.
Dan reflects, “I always look forward to the drive home from work every day. There is hardly any traffic and looking at the mountains the whole way home is so peaceful and calming.”
Well, welcome home! Find yourself in Harmony.