Archive for May, 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Grow a Garden This Year

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Grow a Garden This Year | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamNever grown a vegetable garden in the back yard of your Stony Plain or Spruce Grove home?  This article, reprinted in its entirety with the permission of the fine folks at the Brazeau 100 km Kitchen Party, may make you decide this is the year to do it!  The article was found on page 26 of the publication Eat Local Goodness 2011.

Get Growing and Reap the Rewards

Here are the top 10 reasons to grow a garden this year: 

  1.  Save money.  The average family can save an average of $500 per year on groceries by planting and maintaining an average garden.  Preserve some of the produce and watch your grocery bills plummet, even in the middle of winter!
  2. Fresh produce tastes better Ever notice the difference in taste between a fresh home-grown tomato and a tomato bought at the supermarket?
  3. Stay fit All the bending and lifting involved in maintaining a garden, from planting seeds to pulling weeds to harvesting fresh produce can really have an impact on overall health.
  4. Get more nutrients.  From the time produce is picked off the plant to the time it is eaten, nutrients are lost.  The fresher fruits or vegetables are, the more nutrients they provide.
  5. Save time A few minutes a day can go a long way toward producing an amazing amount of fruits and vegetables.  Compare a few minutes a day to the time it would take to get in the car, go to the supermarket, select produce, pay for it, and bring it home, and you’ll see you’ll actually save time by growing a garden.
  6. Teach children with the garden.  Children love to know where things come from, especially food.  What easier way to show a child where green beans come from than to show them the plant the green beans are growing on?
  7. Keep children healthy.  Children are more apt to eat something when they are given the opportunity to prepare the food.  Preparing food from seed is about as close as you can get to the basic fundamentals of food.  Encourage children to come outside and help in the garden and they will  not only be spending time outdoors and learning where their food comes from, but also helping you to save some time in the garden by pulling weeds, planting seeds, and harvesting produce.
  8. Help save the environment.  Most produce found in a supermarket is not naturally grown and many chemicals, including pesticides, are used to help the food grow.  Semi trucks are used to transport the food from the farm to the grocery store.  Most people drive a car to the grocery store to pick up the food.  Now picture how much better for the environment it would be to walk outside the back door into the naturally-grown garden and pick some fruit or vegetables for the family.
  9. Increase your home’s value.  Certain well-established perennials can actually increase the value of a home.  Blueberry bushes and grape vines are excellent examples of edible perennials that actually add value to the home.
  10. It’s easy.  Growing a garden is not as difficult as some might lead you to believe.  With proper planning, an amazingly productive garden can sustain a family with very little actual work done.  Gardening is not back-breaking labour, but instead a fun activity the whole family can enjoy!


Comments or questions about this article, or anything connected with real estate?  I would love to hear from you.  Phone me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

Seller’s Moving Out Checklist

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Seller's Moving Out Checklist | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam


You’ve sold your house or acreage in Parkland County, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove or the Edmonton area, and you’re moving out.  What should you do for your home’s new owners?


  •   “Unattached goods” or chattels:  Your purchase contract may specify some of the things that you are leaving behind such as kitchen and laundry appliances, window coverings and the like.  As a bare minimum, make sure that these items are in place, clean, and in good working order.
  • Cleaning:  Your home should look much the same as it did during showings.  While you are under no legal obligation to leave your home spotless, it’s just a nice thing to do, if you can.  A good rule of thumb is to leave your home as clean as you’d like to find it!  If it’s not possible to give it the “mother-in-law white glove” test by washing windows, walls and light fixtures, steam-cleaning carpets and the like, at the very least do the following:
    • Thoroughly clean kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room (all fixtures, appliances, etc.)
    • Vacuum all carpets
    • Wash bare floors
    • Wipe out all cupboards
    • Tidy the yard, garage and shed
    • Get rid of all garbage
  • Keys:  Collect and label all keys – extra house keys, garage, shed, mailbox (leave info about mailbox number), etc.  Keys should be left in a conspicuous location but not one that is visible by someone looking through a window from the outside.
  • Garage door openers + codes
  • Security system info + codes
  • Instruction books, warranties, repair records for things like appliances, furnace, water heater, etc.
  • Info about upgrades:  For example, if you installed a new roof, leave a note about when, what materials were used, who installed it, the cost, etc.
  • Re-painting:  If any recent re-painting was done, leave leftover paint with info about brand, color name, etc.
  • Utility info Leave information about providers (water, power, gas, internet, etc. with contact info), approximate monthly costs (copies of bills would be great), garbage pickup (what days, where, any special instructions, etc.)
  • Utilities disconnect or transfer:  Have meters read.  Depending on the arrangement with the new owners, water and power may be turned off, furnace and hot water heater turned down, etc.  Your REALTOR® can help!
  • “Welcome to your new home”:  It’s a nice touch, if you are so inclined, to leave a card or personal note for the new owners.   A recent copy of the local newspaper might  also be appreciated.
  • Acreage owners:  Leave behind results of latest well water tests, well drillers’ report, upgrades to well and septic pump/system and the like
  • Make sure all windows and doors are locked before you leave.

I am always willing to answer any home-related questions you might have!  Phone me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

Who’s Who in a Real Estate Transaction

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Who's Who in a Real Estate Transaction | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamBuying or selling your Parkland County acreage or your Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, or Edmonton area home is likely to be the biggest financial transaction of your life.  Many different professionals may be involved, and it can be confusing to you, the client, as to what the roles of all these people are and how they can be helpful to you.

A short but very useful and informative video on YouTube entitled “The People to Know in a Real Estate Transaction” explains such things as:

  • the difference between a listing agent and a selling agent (and to whom they owe loyalty);
  • the difference between a mortgage broker and a mortgage banker;
  • what things a home inspector looks for, and how the role of a home inspector differs from that of a home appraiser;
  • why it pays to use a real estate attorney to complete your sale (required in Alberta when REALTORS® are involved).

Although the video is aimed at an American audience, the information is still mostly applicable to our situation in Alberta.

Need more information?  I’ll do what I can to find the answers to any of your questions.  Call me at 780-910-9669, email me, or contact me here.


Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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