Tricia-Lee & Eric: From City Life to Country Life

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Tricia-Lee and Eric are not just a real estate success story, but also another online dating success story! They met on the lavalife site ten years ago, and are now celebrating their fifth year of marriage by setting up house in the country.

This wasn’t their first real estate rodeo: they were referred to Jody by good friends of ours (thank you, Chrissy and Cherie!) when they were looking to move from their Leslieville rental in 2015. It was a difficult seller’s market at that time, with nearly every listing going to bully or multiple offers, and they found the house hunt gruelling.

An east-end home where they were outbid  (image © Google)

“We knew that the first offer we asked Jody to put in was low, but we didn’t really understand the game yet,” Tricia-Lee said. “We basically got laughed at by the sellers!”

Jody provided advice and research every step of the way, and it was a process for them to come to accept that the listed prices they saw online often bore little resemblance to the final selling prices. Eric added, “It got more upsetting as we went. We were basically heartbroken every time we lost out – Tricia cried at the last one!”

They were open to country living even then, considering options in places as far flung as Caledon, but in the end a really cute west end property won them over. Best of all, Jody helped them secure it for a fair price that was just $1,000 over asking in that crazy market!

Tricia and Eric’s first house © Allyson Scott

Their living room  © Allyson Scott

Fast forward three years to this past August, when we posted our listing in Alton on this blog. Tricia and Eric saw it and loved it, and once again began to seriously contemplate country living. Was it the right time to make a move?

Our clients’ century farmhouse in Alton © Allyson Scott

“We really wanted to get away from Toronto traffic, have more space for our dog Ellie, and just experience a quieter life,” Tricia explained. Our listing that they loved in Alton sold in only 3 days and couldn’t be a contender, so they began a serious fact-finding mission with Jody, and asked us to list their semi-detached house in the city.

Over the course of a few weekends, they checked out various small communities from Innisfil to Whitby to Uxbridge. Eric’s parents recently moved from Orangeville to Port Perry, so they had their hopes set on the couple finding something easterly.

Eric and Tricia appreciated Jody’s honesty. “She wasn’t shy, and told us straight out if a particular house was a poor investment in her opinion,” Eric said. “One place we liked had renovations that weren’t done well, and Jody had no problem telling us so!”

One of the listings they considered was a home located in Hockley Valley, well-known for being an “off the grid” sustainable house. This unique property has received lots of media attention over the years for its innovative design features, which include the fact that it’s literally built into a hillside, harnesses the power of solar and wind energy, recycles rainwater, and uses a wood-fired masonry heater, among other green initiatives.

The Ketchum House in Hockley Valley (image from the MLS® system)

Environmental wonder that it is, it was just a bit too isolated and complex for Tricia and Eric’s tastes (it’s still on the market if you’re interested – call us!). However, while they were in the general vicinity, Jody booked a visit to a converted schoolhouse located in Mono, knowing that the unique character would appeal to this unique couple. The close proximity to Orangeville also meant it was within a fifteen-minute drive of anything they could need.

Their 1875 schoolhouse sits on nearly an acre of land © Allyson Scott

The old school entrances are still visible  © Allyson Scott

As soon as they walked into the breezeway with its heated slate floor and skylights, the details such as the exposed brick, stained glass panels, and sconces really spoke to them.


Inside, the vaulted ceilings with tall windows, wood beams, and the huge brick fireplace made an instant impression: Tricia and Eric could totally picture themselves living in this space!

Dining area with brick fireplace and vaulted ceilings. © Allyson Scott

Dining room and kitchen, with spiral staircase to loft © Allyson Scott

“It was a buyer’s market this time around, so there wasn’t as much pressure. We sat on it for two weeks after seeing it!” said Eric. “We tried to convince ourselves there were other options a little closer,” added Tricia, “but the schoolhouse was always in the back of our minds.”

Eric works in IT in Downsview, and Tricia works as a behaviour analyst for the school board in Vaughan. They were already spending a significant amount of time commuting to their jobs from their west end home, so reversing the direction to commute from the north wasn’t all that daunting a prospect for them.

Who could blame them for being swayed by a bathroom this size?

Bathroom with separate shower, claw foot tub, and gas fireplace © Allyson Scott

Or this beautiful kitchen?

Cozy kitchen with exposed brick and gas cooktop. © Allyson Scott

There’s a master bedroom on the main floor, plus this warm, private loft space!

Upper loft sitting area © Allyson Scott

Upper loft bedroom © Allyson Scott

The property was unique and difficult to place a value on, but Jody helped Tricia and Eric evaluate the various features. She also helped to educate them about the many things to consider with country living.

“We weren’t first-time buyers, but we were first-time country buyers. Jody helped us learn about things like well water, oil heating, septic systems, and gave us pointers on maintenance concerns,” said Eric. “We had a home inspection done, and Jody’s input was really invaluable.”

The house was listed at $629,900, and Jody was able to negotiate a deal for less than asking, after selling their Toronto home for significantly more than the listed price. That’s the way to get ahead in real estate! They moved in just two weeks ago, and it already looks like a comfortable home!

Eric and Tricia’s dog Ellie has struggled with an ACL injury for some time, and had to have a leg amputated this past summer. She seems very happy in her new space, where there is lots of room to practice running around again.

Ellie in the kitchen © Allyson Scott

“Jody was easy to work with, we never had to wait for a response when we had questions, and we were really happy with the price she negotiated for both of our homes. Now that we’ve found our dream home, we’re just going to miss hanging out with her for showing appointments!” joked Eric. They’ve already sent some friends our way as referrals, and we are so grateful for their vote of confidence!

The only down side to all this? Breaking it to Eric’s parents that he and Tricia had chosen a house just minutes away from their old home in Orangeville! Oh dear.

Tricia and Eric – Jody misses hanging out with you guys for showings too! But we’ll make the trip to Mono for your special baked chicken wings anytime!

The whole family in their new home © Allyson Scott


One Response to Tricia-Lee & Eric: From City Life to Country Life

  1. Heather says:

    Great story! Congratulations to all……and great pics too!

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