Archive for April, 2014

Get Running for a Good Cause: the 11th Annual Kidney Walk and Run Is On

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Get Running for a Good Cause- the 11th Annual Kidney Walk and Run Is On | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamYou’ve been thinking about buying a home in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region for quite some time. A sign of a good neighbourhood is how community-minded its residents are. It should interest you to know that the 11th annual Kidney Walk and Run is about to take place in Edmonton. Whether or not you’ve looked into Spruce Grove real estate, this event for kidney health is as good a cause as you can find anywhere. Here is all you need to know about the 11th annual Kidney Walk and Run.

What’s Involved in the Event?

Participants in the 11th annual Kidney Walk and Run can expect to donate their time to a good cause as well as engage in some extremely healthy exercise. It’s literally a win-win proposition. People who want to take part in this kidney health fundraiser will be expected to collect their pledges, so that they can participate in either the 5K or 10K run or the 2K walk. It’s entirely up to the participants to choose what they want to do: run or walk, as Edmonton real estate passes by in the background. This is a family-friendly event that is meant for people of all ages and fitness levels. Wheelchair-accessible trails are also present at the site.

 What Do the Funds Raised Go To?

The money raised at the 11th annual Kidney Walk and Run will be put to good use to help fellow Canadians, whether they’re looking at Parkland County real estate or not, who are enduring kidney issues. The money goes to a variety of services that make life easier for kidney patients and their families, who may also work in Edmonton real estate. For example, the funds will go towards the transportation of kidney patients to dialysis as much as three times in a week, screenings that work to identify people who are at a high risk of getting kidney disease, sophisticated research that will work towards discovering more advancements in kidney care, and funding spots for local children who want to attend a kidney summer camp.

When and Where Does the Event Take Place?

The 11th annual Kidney Walk and Run is approaching fast, so it’s best to circle the date on your calendars and buy tickets in advance, even if you’ve made plans to view Parkland County acreages. This event will take place on Sunday, May 4 at 9 am. It will be held at the Louise McKinney Riverfront Park. The address is 9999 Grierson Hill Rd NW, Edmonton, Alberta. Tickets for the event are also available online. It’s best to buy tickets sooner rather than later, as they are going fast.

Events like the 11th annual Kidney Walk and Run are important to many Canadians, not just those who own Edmonton acreages. Kidney disease affects so many Canadians every year. For instance, according to the event’s Facebook page, 80% of Canadians on the organ donation waiting list are waiting for a kidney. That comes out to almost 4,000 Canadians. Unfortunately, 250 Canadians die every year because they don’t get a transplant quickly enough.

I’m always available to answer any real estate questions you have! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca,  or contact me here.

Splendor in the Grass?! Nope, You’ve Got Snow Mold!

Friday, April 25th, 2014
Splendor in the Grass?!  Nope, You’ve Got Snow Mold!  | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

(Photo courtesy of TootsieTime.com)

After another brutal winter in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton area, you can finally look out your windows and see grass instead of mounds of snow.  But what is that dull fuzzy coating in circles on your lawn?  And how did it get there?  You, my friend, have been afflicted by the dreaded “snow mold”!

What is snow mold?

Snow mold is a fungus that shows up in the early spring as snow melts.  According to Lawncare.about.com, there are two types of snow mold.  Pink snow mold (or Fusarium patch) grows in a pinkish web-like mycelium on the surface of the grass.  When the grass is wet, the mycelium resembles white cobwebs, but as it matures it changes to a pink or salmon color.  The mycelium disappears as the grass dries.  Gray snow mold (Typhula blight) has a mycelium that stays a whitish-gray color.  If you look closely at the grass blades infected by gray snow mold, you may see tiny black mycelial masses (sclerotia).  Plants infected with pink snow mold will not have these, but pink snow mold is actually more damaging than the gray variety because it can destroy the roots and crowns of grass.  And, just to keep things interesting, it’s possible for your lawn to be infected with both!

What causes snow mold?

Many of us think of mold as an organism that flourishes in warm, damp places.  While other fungi live it up during the warm summer months, snow mold is dormant, only coming out to play when the weather is cold and wet. Snow mold especially loves long periods of snow cover on ground that is not completely frozen.  Sounds a lot like spring in our region, doesn’t it?  Snow mold also shows up in yards that were neglected in the fall:  grass left unmowed and leaves not raked before the first snowfall.

How do I stop it?

Prevention:

  • Change your lawn fertilizer at the end of summer to one with much less nitrogen.  This will slow down lawn growth.
  • Continue to mow your lawn until growth stops.  This will leave a short turf that won’t fall over on itself during the winter, giving snow mold less chance of taking hold.
  • Remove any dead leaves from your lawn so that nothing is covering the grass.

Repair:

If snow mold is sitting on your lawn right now, don’t panic.  Most snow mold damage will repair itself as the area dries and the grass grows out in the warm spring weather.  If you are bothered by the ugly look of snow mold in your yard or an allergic reaction to breathing in the spores, you may want to help things along by lightly raking the grass as it dries.  Reduce any piles of snow that still remain in shaded areas.  Overseed bare patches if necessary, and then allow the natural growth process to fill out your lawn.  For more detailed instructions on dealing with snow mold infested grass in the spring, check out “Snow Mold: Causes and Prevention”, an article from Babes Lawn Care.com.

Looking to buy a property with a great lawn or sell your well-tended garden property this spring?  Let’s talk!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Five Ways to Ensure Your Spring Cleaning Goes Perfectly

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Five Ways to Ensure Your Spring Cleaning Goes Perfectly  | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamYou know what spring means – spring cleaning time is here! Are you preparing your home to sell and looking for ways to do a top notch job of spring cleaning? If you have Spruce Grove real estate, Stony Plain real estate, Parkland County real estate, or Edmonton real estate, a spring cleaning is a vital piece of the home selling puzzle. The same applies to Parkland County acreages and Edmonton acreages. If you’re preparing to sell your home, these spring cleaning tips will ensure that your buyers find it in sparkling condition.

Shine That Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is trendy and beautiful in the kitchen, but as any owner of stainless steel appliances knows, it can be a pain to keep clean. Shiny stainless steel instantly makes a kitchen more attractive, so when you are spring cleaning, take the time to clean and shine all of your appliances. Scrub the appliances gently with some cleaning solution and a soft cloth – but never use an abrasive solution or cloth, as they may scratch the appliances. Once all the grease and grime is removed, go over the area with a dry cloth. As a homemade alternative to expensive stainless steel sprays, use a dab of baby oil on a paper towel to shine up any surfaces. Don’t use too much – you do not want the area to be greasy. Just a little bit of oil will work wonders in getting those fingerprints out.

Wash the Walls

As they are often neglected, walls should be washed at least once a year to wipe away dust and grime that can accumulate. This is especially important if you live near a busy road or in a developing area where there is still a lot of construction. A simple cleaning solution and water mix combined with a soft rag should be enough to freshen up the walls. If you still have trouble with some spots, try a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponge.

Clean Your Carpet

You would be amazed at how dirty your carpet can become since the last time it has been cleaned. Although it can be hard to tell, the difference will be notable if you give the carpet a cleaning. This is especially true if you live on an acreage where the outdoors are a big part of your lifestyle, as dust can find its way into your house without you even noticing. You don’t have to pay for professional carpet cleaning to get your carpets looking nice. Instead, rent a carpet cleaning machine. You can find one such machine at most supermarkets, where they are usually available to rent for under $100. Once you see the colour of the water coming from your carpet when you wash it, you’ll believe that the rental was worth every penny.

Use Micro Fibre Cloths

If you’re using anything other than micro fibre cloths right now, stop what you’re doing and go get a micro fibre cloth to try. They might take a bit of getting used to, but they are very effective, and they will pick up dust and grime you didn’t even realize you were missing. They also dry quite quickly, making them ideal for use in cleaning your home.

Make Your Welcome Mat Welcoming

Your welcome doormat is the very first impression people get of your home, so make sure it will leave a great impression! Shake out the doormat so any debris that has accumulated on it over the winter is gone. If it still isn’t looking too inviting, break out a short bristled scrub brush and some water and suds to really get the grime out. With a little elbow grease, you’ll have it looking as good as new.

Spring is a great time to clean your house top to bottom, remembering both the big and small things that make a home look clean and bright. This is a particularly important thing to do if you are preparing to sell your home.

If you’re hoping to get your house ready to sell and are looking for a new place to move, or someone to help you sell your current home, I’m ready and willing to help you buy or sell your next home. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Banish Cleaning Chemicals With These 4 All-Natural Substitutes

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Banish Cleaning Chemicals With These 4 All-Natural Substitutes  | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamYou’ve bought a property in Parkland County, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, or the Edmonton area, and you’ve spent hours cleaning your old home for the next resident. Now, cleaning your new home is usually the last thing you want to do when moving in, but as always, no matter how clean and perfect your new home is left waiting for you, there’s always that nagging feeling of needing to redo some of it yourself. But don’t waste your time with harsh chemicals in your new home; here are four fantastic all natural cleaning agents that will leave your new home sparkling clean, disinfected, and smelling fresh.

Baking Soda – the Natural Deodorizer

Known as one of the most versatile cleaners on the planet, baking soda is perfect for scrubbing surfaces (as it is non-abrasive), and it can be mixed with lemon and vinegar (to form a paste) for tougher stains. Perfect for deodorizing the carpet, baking soda can be spread evenly on the carpet and left for a couple of hours before it’s vacuumed up. No scrubbing necessary!

Tea Tree Oil – a Powerful Antiseptic

This product can be found just as easily as baking soda at your local pharmacy, and a few drops of tea tree oil can go a long way. Boil some water and let it cool to a warm temperature. In a bucket (for your floors) or a spray bottle, combine the water with a handful of drops (or more for larger surfaces) of tea tree oil, and mop your floors or wipe down any surfaces with it. Tea Tree Oil kills bacteria better than any household cleaner on the market, is safe to use as an all purpose cleaner, and it’s even known to help fight fungal infections such as acne. An added bonus to this wonderful product? It will leave your surfaces with a brilliant shine.

Vinegar – Cheap and Effective

While the scent may not be the most pleasant, vinegar has been used as an all-natural cleaning product for centuries. In fact, some historians claim that vinegar was used by a group of thieves in the time of plague – they would bathe in it to ward off the illness and then rob the homes of the deceased. Vinegar has many of the same uses as CLR:  cleaning your sinks, coffee pots, showerheads, and any place that may gather calcium, mould, and scum. It’s also perfect for leaving a streak-free shine on your windows – simply combine part vinegar and part water in a spray bottle and wipe the surface with a paper towel.

Lemon – Degrease and Sanitize

From polishing your silverware, to sanitizing your cutting board or microwave, lemon does it all – but be careful with some surfaces, as it’s more potent than you think! Lemon will do anything from degreasing your pots and pans (and even your grill) to brightening your whites in the laundry. Lemon will not only clean, but also eliminate bad odours as it lifts surface bacteria.

Keep yourself and your family healthy in your home by cutting down on harsh, expensive chemical cleaning products and try some of the dozens of uses these natural cleaning products have to offer!

I always look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions or hearing comments you may have regarding your home and our community. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here directly at Spruce Grove Real Estate.

Easter in Edmonton: The Best Events Happening Around Town

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Easter in Edmonton- The Best Events Happening Around Town  | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamEaster Sunday falls on April 20 this year, which means that with a little luck there will be some warm weather in town to lighten the mood of Easter festivities. If you’re new to the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region, or if you’re a long-time resident, there are always lots of great events happening around town where you and your family can celebrate Easter in the community. These are just a few of the events you can take part in this year.

Hop to It at the Edmonton Valley Zoo

The Edmonton Valley Zoo is holding their popular “Hop to It” event again this year. Visitors will get to participate in science experiments and craft making. You can also get a temporary airbrush tattoo, experience the sensations of an egg-themed touch table, and go hunting on a scavenger hunt. The “Get Closer” feature offers guests some fascinating encounters with the zoo’s animal residents, and you can watch the animals hunt for their own Easter eggs. Depending on who finds them, the eggs might be played with, eaten, or even smashed.

How to Make a Monster at TELUS World of Science

If you’re looking for something a little different on the Easter weekend, it would be a perfect time to visit the How to Make a Monster exhibit at TELUS World of Science. The exhibit will show you the latest tricks and techniques that Hollywood uses to bring big screen creatures to life. You will see the work of Academy Award winning effects artist John Cox, including aliens from Pitch Black, the crocodile from Peter Pan, and the ape from George of the Jungle 2. You can also take control of a creature and try your hand at being an animatronic puppeteer. The exhibit’s last day is April 21, which is Easter Monday.

Chop Suey on the Prairies: A History of Chinese Restaurants in Alberta

You can put some “East” into Easter by visiting the Royal Alberta Museum on Easter Sunday. That’s when they launch “Chop Suey on the Prairies,” an educational look at the history of Chinese restaurants in Alberta. The exhibit will examine the popularity of Chinese food in North America and look at the many different settings in which you can find Asian cuisine. What you learn might surprise you.

Easter Eggstravaganza at Rutherford House

The Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site has established a great tradition of hosting an Easter Eggstravaganza. This family event lets visitors explore the historic home of Alberta’s first premier, Alexander Cameron Rutherford; he first moved into the house in 1911. The event features an Easter egg hunt, a sampling of cookies that are baked traditionally in a wood burning oven, and fun Easter-themed crafts.

As you can see, you won’t have to look very far to find great family fun on Easter weekend in Edmonton, no matter the weather.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about your home or Edmonton real estate. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Selling Your House in Spring: Tips That Will Boost Your Home’s Appeal

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Selling Your House in Spring- Tips That Will Boost Your Home's Appeal | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you’ve decided on moving to another section of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region in the springtime, you’ve first got to sell your old home. While selling your home can be difficult, whether it’s Stony Plain real estate or not, it can be made easier with some helpful tips. Selling a home in the springtime is definitely different from selling it at any other time of the year. In the spring, there are certain factors that you can work to your advantage. Here are some of the best tips to boost the appeal of your home.

Make Sure Your Yard Is Immaculate

Selling in the springtime means that you have a lot of people who will be looking at your yard because of the better weather. Spruce Grove real estate agents believe that you have to de-clutter your yard and make it extremely presentable to all the people filing in during an open house. If you can, you’ll want to start preparing in the winter by sprucing it up one season early. Focusing on the yard involves the basics, such as making sure the lawn is cut and looking nice, the fence is painted, and the area is free of debris.

Get Rid of Junk Inside the Home

Parkland County real estate agents agree that less is more when it comes to showing your home in the spring. This means that it is in your best interest to get rid of junk inside your home. When people are walking through your house, whether it’s Edmonton real estate or not, the last thing they want to see is your junk. This can be everything from dirty clothes and unused pieces of furniture to older stuff that you’re just hoarding in a corner somewhere. It’s a good idea to clean out your bookshelves and closets, and send old stuff to storage.

Compare What Other Houses For Sale Are Doing

When selling your home, it’s a good idea to check out Parkland County acreages or Edmonton acreages, or other homes for sale in your municipality, just to get a feel for what the other homes are going for and what they’re including in their offers. For instance, if you see things that are popular in your neck of the woods, you might be inspired to make the same changes to your own home when selling it. Popular items in homes could be anything from hardwood floors to new light fixtures to upgraded appliances. If there’s something that people in your neighbourhood like, then you may want to consider including it in your home when you sell it.

These are the most effective tips for selling your home in the spring. Thanks to these tips, you’ll be attracting more people than ever to your open house events. Any time you’re selling a property, it is always important to give homebuyers precisely what they’re expecting.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me for any home-related questions you have. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

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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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