skip to Main Content

Touring to Find Home

Tom and Dawn Augustyn felt confident in relocating to the region after receiving a tour of what our region has to offer.

Both originally from Dearborn, Michigan, Tom and Dawn lived in the Michigan suburbs with their two children, Renee and Scott, until relocating to Sydney, Nebraska for Tom’s career. But, eventually, Tom found out about a job opportunity with Caterpillar that allowed him to choose to relocate to their offices in Deerfield or Peoria. For Tom’s third interview, Tom and Dawn came down to Peoria and decided to get a tour of the region (from our own Kate Carroll) to help their decision.

“She showed us everywhere. She took us to every possible area from the trendiest things that somebody in their 20’s would want to do, what somebody with a young family would want to do, empty nesters, on and up. She drove us, so we could just sit back, relax, and look at everything. That’s how we really got a feel for being out here. She was phenomenal. She is the one who sold us on the idea of Peoria,” said Dawn of their tour guide. “Once Tom got the job, we could not wait to come back out here.”

Despite only being here in the area for a short time, the Augustyns already have strong opinions of it. “Even people that you meet randomly when you’re out, they’re so welcoming. What we liked about small towns was the feeling of people holding doors open for you, actually asking how you are and caring about your answer. We get that everywhere here,” said Dawn.

Another feature that really stood out to Tom and Dawn was our region’s infrastructure. “I don’t know how they did it here, but to get from one place to another, you never end up stuck in traffic,” said Dawn.

They’re also trying to get all their friends from Nebraska to head to our region. “Both my husband and I have told everybody, ‘You have to come to Peoria.’ It’s affordable living and housing, it’s got so much opportunity in the job market, and the big city in a smaller region situation makes it more personal and intimate, while still having entertainment and things to do.”

Currently, Tom and Dawn are living in the Dunlap community, but they looked at a variety of different locations in our region. “There’s a wide variety of spots to live. One house you [Tom and Dawn] looked at was totally in the country, off a dirt road. Ours is in the middle of the forest, and there were other homes elsewhere,” said Scott.

On the weekends, you can find the Augustyns’ in the downtown area. “My husband and I have gone to some of the Rivermen games. I was able to come down with the dogs and just walk up and down the whole Riverfront. When our daughter was in town, we ended up going to Martini’s on Water and ended up being there during the Mardi Gras festival,” said Dawn.

Because this tour was so successful, we are now partnering with Maloof Realty and other groups in the area to provide community tours to newcomers. Interested? Contact Kate at 309-635-1071 or email to

Back To Top