For three years Mike and Amber Vanee had been vacillating about whether to renovate their Springbank Hill home of 11 years, or move to a new one. While they loved their area, they backed onto Highway 8 with new ring road construction imminently coming closer and closer to their own backyard. Not an enticing prospect for them and their now 4-year old daughter Millie.
“A few of our favourite neighbours had already moved away, so ultimately we decided to start looking for a new family home,” says Mike, a director of product management for an oil and gas company.
“We first came across Harmony two summers ago when we saw the signs as we drove to Callaway Park,” says Amber, a former WestJet flight attendant who now has her own online party decoration business. “The show homes weren’t open yet but we were excited to see them. I think we went opening weekend. We loved them all!”
They ended up particularly falling in love with a Baywest bungalow estate home from the Tamarack Collection and built on a corner pie-shaped lot that faces some green space with a peek of the lake from their front porch.
“We’ve always loved bungalow-style homes and couldn’t be more excited about building one. But, we made so many changes to our model I think it’s become a full-on custom home at this point!” Amber laughs.
Amber and Mike’s decision to move to Harmony was about much more than building their dream home. It had to be in a community that checked off all the boxes. To make sure it did, the Vanees spent time visiting and re-visiting the community and the informational resources it offered.
“I grew up in BC five minutes from a lake and loved the lake community feel. That was one of the first obvious attractions,” says Amber. “That and the idea that there is going to be a Beach Club. But I’d say we came out at least 10 times. We brought our parents out, and they loved it too.”
“The Discovery Centre is amazing and we spent time there. Seeing the big picture and everything in large scale was so helpful,” adds Mike. We watched all the Harmony videos on YouTube, and now being part of the Residents Facebook Group, it’s another source of ongoing information as well as a connection with neighbours before we move in.”
“People living there will even go take a picture of your house so you can see the progress. There’s definitely a great sense of community already being built,” says Amber.
“Deciding to build in Harmony came down to what we wanted as a family and in what kind of place we wanted to raise Millie. A nice, new community where Millie could start school, even walk to school, and make a bunch of friends her age. A place we would want to spend time together down by the water, in the future Village Centre having a coffee, or on the paths just exploring,” Mike explains.
A busy family during the week, on weekends they enjoy camping, breaking out their cruiser bikes, and checking out new parks and places to eat. And for Mike, an avid skier, golfer, and half-owner of a small plane, Harmony couldn’t be better located – near the Rockies, next to the future Mickelson National Golf Club, and right by the Springbank Airport.
“I’m just so happy to be living by the water again,” says Amber. “We want to get paddle boards and kayaks and give those a try.”
“We really can’t say enough good things about our experience so far and all the people who have helped us. We’re happy and excited to be a part of this community,” she continues. “Now we just want all our friends to come live by us, too!”
The Vanees are expected to move in mid-December 2017.