Archive for October, 2015

How Safe is Your Spruce Grove Home for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

How Safe is Your Spruce Grove Home for Halloween? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamFabric ghosts fluttering from trees, big blow-up monsters, elaborately carved jack-o’-lanterns, orange lights on roof edges… Every year in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region, it seems more and more homeowners decorate their homes for the visits of little superheroes and princesses out to collect treats on that spooky night.

Just how safe is the path to your front door for those little tricksters? And from a homeowner’s perspective, would your liability insurance coverage be adequate in case of an unforeseen accident? I remember witnessing a problem at a friend’s home last Halloween that could have had disastrous consequences. The home is a bungalow whose front door is reached via 4 concrete steps, built at a time when railings on the sides of such porches or stoops were not mandated. The porch luckily drops off into a fringe of shrubs at the front of the house, rather than onto a hard concrete sidewalk. Inevitably, several excited youngsters fell off the steps that night, resulting in some minor bruises and spilled candy. Things could have been so much worse, and I’m pretty sure my friend will be reinforcing those porch edges this Halloween.

Keep visitors safe this Halloween:

Check your fire safety measures

  • When setting up electrical decorations and lights, don’t overload your electrical circuits.
  • Use battery powered flameless candles in jack-o’-lanterns.

Check for obstructions and hazards in your yard

  • If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is out of reach of little hands and well secured so as not to be a tripping hazard.
  • Remove obstacles such as lawn ornaments or garden tools, and rake up wet leaves and other debris.
  • Light up any decorative elements in your yard to avoid people running into them, or make them part of your Halloween tableau by surrounding them with “crime scene” tape.
  • Light up your walkway and keep the path clear. Snow on Halloween is always a possibility in our area, and it goes without saying that snow and ice should be cleared away to prevent injury from falls on slippery sidewalks.

Check your insurance coverage, just in case

Have you heard of the Teal Pumpkin Movement?

People paint and display a teal pumpkin to show that they are giving out treats that are safe for all kids, including those with allergies. That usually means non-food items, such as stickers, erasers or pencils, small toys and the like.

Protect your home and property too:

  • Keep your pets indoors for their safety as well as the safety of visitors.
  • Place garbage cans inside a building or secure them so they can’t be tipped over.
  • Park vehicles in your garage if possible.

How Safe is Your Spruce Grove Home for Halloween? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamOnce you’ve made your home safe, fill up the treat bowls, dress in your spookiest costume, turn on all the lights, and prepare to welcome all the little ghosts and goblins!

Do you have any more tips to add for a safe and fun Halloween? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

4 Tips to Sell Your Home in Any Market

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

4 Tips to Sell Your Home in Any Market |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamAre we in a “buyer’s market” yet in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton region? Well, sort of. Buyers won’t find super bargain prices this fall, but they will find many more homes on the market and this means greater choice for them. Not such good news if you’re looking to sell your home right now.

As a seller, what are the things that will get your property sold, even against lots of competition?

1. Get your home noticed in today’s world.

List with a REALTOR® who knows the local market and will get your property “out there”. These days it isn’t enough to hammer a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn and post the occasional ad in the local newspaper. In my office, for example, we work hard to ensure that my online presence will get your home seen. You’ll find your listing on my website, on Realtor.ca and MLS, on a virtual tour website and blogs, on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Kijiji, and many others.

2. Set a realistic asking price.

Take the advice of your realtor in pricing your property appropriately. Remember that realtors do property evaluations all the time and are very aware of what is selling and for how much. We want to help you get as much for your property as possible. Think about those last two words. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to find a buyer who will see as much value in your property as you do, and unfortunately, a property is only worth as much as a buyer is willing to pay for it. Overpricing is probably the single biggest reason homes languish on the market, and this leads to a dismal spiral that goes like this: House priced too high ► potential buyers pass it by ► house sits on the market for far too long ► price is reduced (sometimes several times) ► potential buyers think there is more wrong with the house than a price that’s too high ► disappointed sellers eventually sell for a lower price than they would have received if the house had been priced right to begin with.

3. Make your home shine and stand out from the competition.

Look at your home through the objective eyes of a prospective buyer who wants to move right into a home that is clean and well-maintained. Then get busy, clean your home thoroughly, and attend to all the little repairs and fix-ups your house needs. Now is not the time to undertake major and expensive renovations that you won’t get to enjoy, but it is certainly the time to replace burnt-out light bulbs, repair broken windows, fix drippy faucets and squeaky hinges, touch up chipped paint, tidy up the yard, etc. etc. etc.!

I have written extensively in the past about the sorts of repairs, upgrades, staging and curb appeal that will sell your home without breaking the bank. Take a look especially at the starred* articles below.
Boost the Value of Your Home With Strategic Updates
Let There Be Light: Enhance Your Home’s Look and Boost Its Resale Value With These Home Lighting Tips
Selling Your House in Spring: Tips That Will Boost Your Home’s Appeal
Selling Your House in the Fall
*Leaner, Cleaner – and Sold!
Drive-by Delight or Disaster?
Use Good “Sense” to Sell Your Home!
*Be Your Own Home Stager
Thinking of Selling Your Home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County?
Home Staging Starts With De-cluttering
*10 Things I Hate About Your House!

4. Accommodate all viewings from prospective buyers.

Having a constant parade of visitors through your home is stressful if you and your family are still living there. Keeping the place pristine for the lookers while packing for your move and maintaining as normal a family routine as possible is a hard juggling act. But buyers won’t make offers if they can’t get in to see the place so set as few conditions on showings as you can. Be readily available when an offer comes in.

There are many things you can’t control when selling your home, such as its location on a busy corner, or the size of the lot, or its floor plan, or the weather! But if your home is clean and well-maintained, priced right, advertised wherever it can be, and shown to all people who express an interest in it, it will sell.

If you have a property to sell this fall, let’s talk! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Fall 2015: Thinking of Buying or Selling a Home?

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Fall 2015:  Thinking of Buying or Selling a Home? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamLots of people in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton region are nervous about the Alberta economy and the impact of the upcoming federal election. If you are one of those people, and are holding off on buying a new home or putting your current home on the market, recent statistics from the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton might ease your stress a little.

Selling prices are down somewhat, the number of homes on the market is up a fair bit, and homes are taking a little longer to sell than a year ago, but there is still plenty of room for optimism on both the buying and selling sides. Here’s why.

In September 2014, the selling price for an average single family home in the Edmonton area was $436,429. In September 2015 the price had dropped to $432,150, a decrease of just .98% from the previous year. This seems to suggest that value is there for buyers, while sellers can still expect to receive a fair dollar.

In September 2014 a single family home stayed on the market for an average of 47 days; this year the time has increased, but only slightly, to 51 days. Last September saw 1,568 residential units being sold; this year that number dropped by 6.76% to 1,462. A slower market this year, but still plenty of movement.

A year ago, there were 4,812 units in the residential inventory for the Edmonton area. By September of this year, that number had increased to 7,108, a jump of 47.71%. This means that buyers have considerably more choice when considering their purchase. Sellers have more competition and so may have to put more time and effort into getting their properties ready to sell. But home owners who keep their property well maintained and have reasonable expectations for a selling price should not find this to be a problem. A seller was once the buyer of the property they now have on the market. I continually tell my buyers to consider the resale value of whatever property they are thinking of purchasing. Once they own that property, they should never forget that eventually they will want to sell, and a home that is well maintained and offered for the right price will find a buyer, even if the market seems to be less than ideal.

No matter what the housing market is doing, the best time to buy or sell is when the time is right for you! I’m always available to help you buy or sell. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, 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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