These are the ones who did it, they left their big city life for their small town dreams. They found a way to make it work and made it happen. Some moved recently, some have been here awhile, and all their stories are an inspiration to anyone who is dreaming of their bliss life in a small town.
Nicole and Eddie Johnson
City Escape: From Milton to Thornbury
Nicole and Eddie and their two kids Owen (12) and Ellen (10) moved to Thornbury a year ago, on what some would call a whim. Eddie was on one of his long runs (this sporty duo are both IRONMAN athletes) and Nicole nudged him to run by a house they had been eyeing on Realtor.ca.
That run sealed the deal. Nicole had already set her heart on moving and Eddie loved what he saw and decided they should take the plunge. They put an offer on the house, sold their home in Milton and were living in Thornbury four months later.
Their Small Town Dream
Thornbury was not new to the couple and their kids. They were already spending weekends at their small cabin in Craigleith and loved what the area had to offer for their active lifestyle. Skiing, snowshoeing, biking, running and a quieter life than the sprawling town of Milton.
How They Make It Work
Eddie still makes the commute to Burlington where he works 3-4 times a week. He loves his job and although the long drive is not ideal, he fills his time listening to podcasts on the road. He also puts in some extra hours the days he is in the city for work to have a bit more time freedom on the days he’s home.
Nicole runs their busy household and just recently partnered with a friend to start Peaks and Trails Running Series, a trail running series in the area launching this summer.
Fun Facts and Small Town Hacks
What do you love most about your new home?
Nicole: We have been so impressed with Beaver Valley Community School. We were not sure what to expect. The focus on physical activity and outdoor learning has been a great fit for our kids.
Eddie: The feeling of calm I get when I see the Thornbury water tower on my drive home.
What do you miss most about the city?
Nicole: Good radio stations. I still listen to the radio in the car and the pickings are slim.
Eddie: I am still in the city too often to miss anything.
What are your small town hacks?
Nicole: Shop local. The choices are definitely not the same here, but all the locals know the best spots and you can find everything you need while supporting a friend or neighbour.
Eddie: This is more a bonus than a hack, but you get more house for your money here, so we were able to buy our dream home.
The Realtor's Perspective
Nicole and Eddie moved really quickly, but speed may be necessary in a hot market like Thornbury with very little inventory. If you see something you love there is a good chance others will love it as well and it will be sold within the week.
If you are buying in a seller’s market, it’s important to be prepared.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage. It will help set your budget and ensure the ability to move quickly once you put an offer in.
- Have your checklist of must haves, negotiables and total bonuses to keep you on track and keep you from making any hasty decisions.
- If you are really serious about the house, be willing to do a home inspection (quickly) before you put in your offer.
If you are an out-of-town buyer
If you are limited to weekends for most of your viewings, make sure you are
working with an agent who really knows your needs and is willing to go that extra mile.
Thornbury need-to-knows if you have young kids
- Although there are younger families moving in, having other kids on the street to play with is not common.
- Junior Public School: Beaver Valley Community School.
- Although kids aren’t gathering on the streets, you can usually find some jumping off the Thornbury Pier in the summer.