In 2013, Kari and Leon finished renovating their entire home in Cougar Ridge, believing it to be their forever home. Shortly after 22-month old Maddie was born, older brother Joe, now three, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, bringing the family a new reality and leaving them with a significant quandary.
“We knew that renovating our house a second time to accommodate any potential mobility issues for Joe was going to be difficult with a newborn and toddler,” says Kari, a Registered Nurse.
“We had lived in Cougar Ridge for over ten years and had amazing neighbours, which made the thought of moving difficult, so we developed what we thought would be a five-year plan,” explains Leon, a Professional Engineer in the oil & gas sector.
Quality school system options for Joe with his disability, lot size, affordability in their price range were all priorities on their list. But with the discovery of Harmony, their five-year plan instantly became a one-year plan.
“In 2016, Leon had two sleeping kids in the truck and decided to check out the Mickelson National Golf Course only to find that a whole community was being built in Harmony,” recalls Kari. “He brought us all back out on Mother’s Day. We spent the day looking at show homes and put a deposit on the lot the very next night!”
The family moved into their fully customized, farm-style Carriage Home (Aspen Collection) with a view of the lake in May, 2017.
Even though Augusta Fine Homes is not officially an Aspen Collection builder, this special situation brought it together with the family to build a completely handicap-accessible home within Kari and Leon’s budget.
“Our dream home layout began with my husband drawing on a cocktail napkin on one of our date nights,” Kari shares. “Wayne at the Augusta show home was understanding and had great ideas about a build that our family could live in and grown into. The team quickly made it a reality and the finished product is better than I could have imagined.”
“Our build project was a long one and not without frustrations, but everyone was understanding of our complex needs,” furthers Leon. “The area construction manager Dave made sure all our concerns and visions were communicated and continued to help months after moving in, which was appreciated.”
This whole sporty family, including rescue pups Maurice and Rocket, love hanging out at the lake (be it The Kootenays, Little Shuswap, and now Harmony Lake.) They love spending time with family and friends, food and wine, and exploring their new community. Leon enjoys playing golf and hockey and is a member of the Wildcatter’s charity golf tournament committee. Kari is busy with the two little ones, the dogs, making the new house liveable, and organizing the all-important Harmony Wine Club!
“We’ve enjoyed meeting new neighbours at all of the Harmony events, and we like how everything is designed around trying to build invested community members,” Kari says. “We’ve been to a Paint Night, The Father’s Day Picnic, The Stampede Breakfast, and The Home Owners Association Survey Nights, to name a few.“
“We don’t feel there is community spirit here, we know it is here,” continues Leon. “Our neighbours not only watched our house (the first weekend they moved in) while we were away, they have been around to allow contactors entry to our house to fix time sensitive issues, and they have offered to feed our children on Kari’s birthday. We’ve had numerous get-togethers and they only moved in a month ago.”
The couple continue to visit the Harmony website to monitor lot activity, to show friends their new community, and find information about community events. Kari keeps in the loop on the Harmony Resident Facebook Group.
“And living near the Discovery Centre has been a wonderful bonus for us, with coffee, friendly staff, and such helpful information about the community and what’s available in the surrounding area,” Kari says.
“For me, I like that feel of city living in the country and but that it’s also a manageable commute back to the Calgary,” adds Leon.
And for Joe?
“We are not sure if the new home is to blame, but within a few weeks of moving into our house in Harmony, Joe began really walking!” beams Kari. “With Joe’s diagnosis, the neurologist was uncertain about his ability to walk without any sort of aid. I am certain that our new open floor plan along with this whole new lifestyle (relaxed and comfortable) were big contributing factors to his amazing success.”
Keeping going, Joe!