Archive for the ‘Moving’ Category

Should You Buy a New Home, or Sell the Old One First?

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Should You Buy a New Home, or Sell the Old One First? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County real estate | Barry TwynamYou need to leave your current home and move to a new town for work, or your family has outgrown your current residence in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton region or elsewhere. Should you buy a new home before selling your current home, or is it better to sell the old one first? This is a complicated question with pros and cons on both sides of the issue.

Buy First


  • You can take your time to shop for a new home and make it ready for your occupancy.
  • With no one waiting to move in to your current home, you’ll feel less pressure to move out and you’ll have more time to prepare for the move.
  • The biggest advantage is the security of knowing you have somewhere to live, whether that is your current home or a new one.


  • It may be necessary to carry two mortgages for a time (assuming you can even get one on a new dwelling), as well as maintain two homes, and this could be problematic and costly.
  • An Offer to Purchase a new home that is conditional on the sale of your current home may not be acceptable to many sellers because it ties up their property while everyone waits for your current home to sell. If it doesn’t sell, you then risk having the deal on your new home fall through.

Sell First


  • You’ll have money in the bank and will know how much you can spend on a new home.
  • Your Offer to Purchase a new home would not need to be conditional on the sale of the old one, making your offer more likely to be accepted.


  • Selling your current home before buying another one could leave you homeless! You might find yourself quickly buying a less than satisfactory home just to put a roof over your head, or having to rent temporary accommodations until you can buy a suitable home (and having to move twice, or place your belongings in storage).
  • If the sale of a new home goes through before you sell your old home, you may be short of cash for down payment and closing costs, and this could require “bridge financing”.

Ultimately, your family situation and especially your finances will determine which scenario will be your choice.

I often deal with clients in this situation and can usually help people find a workable solution. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

Tips for Moving to a New Home With Pets

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Tips for Moving to a New Home With Pets | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County real estate | Barry TwynamMaking the transition to a new home can be stressful for everyone, including your pets. “We often are anxious about our pets’ adjustment to a new home,” says Lincoln Thompson, a broker-owner with Royal LePage Gardiner Realty in Fredericton, New Brunswick. “To ensure a safe and successful transition, homeowners can plan ahead and take initiatives to make the process as smooth as possible.”

Before the move

Pull out moving boxes in advance of packing to allow your pet an opportunity to become accustomed to them. Orient your pet to its carrier or crate so that you have a safe-place for her before and after the move. Try to keep routines as stable as possible during the flurry of packing and preparation for the big move.

Research by-laws and pet licensing in your new area.

Contact the local municipality for requirements concerning domestic animals in your new area. Ask about licensing and by-laws concerning the responsibilities of pet owners. Also check into the availability of off-leash areas for dogs in your new community.

Special considerations for rural areas

If your new home is in a rural area, be sure to learn the rights of farmers when neighbouring pets venture onto their property. Often, farmers have special privileges when it comes to protecting their livestock.

Transitioning your pet to your new home

Be prepared for some trepidation, particularly with cats that tend not to take as well to a change in environment. Cats should remain inside for several weeks until they become comfortable with their surroundings. Then, allow them only short accompanied ventures outdoors. Take your dog for several walks each day to help him become familiar with the new area. Avoid walking a dog immediately before leaving for errands or work. Plan to be home for a period of time after those initial walks. That way, the dog will associate his new home with positive outcomes.

Do you have other tips to share about moving with pets?  Let me know and I’ll feature your ideas in a future blog post!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

(Content of this article courtesy of

Moving? Here’s What to Do With Your Modems, Routers, PVRs and Home Security Equipment

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Those of us who live in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton area and elsewhere have a lot of equipment in our homes. Some of it we’ve purchased and it’s ours to keep or dispose of as we wish. But what do we do with the equipment that we’re renting from the companies that supply us with phone service, internet, cable television, security alarm monitoring and the like? And what about the service agreements that accompany that equipment?

Recently, a client whose home I sold a number of months ago contacted me for help in retrieving components of the security system in her former home. She thought she was doing the new owners a favor by leaving the equipment for them. Instead, she found herself having to pay the bill for service to her former address even though she and her family were obviously not benefiting from it!

Policies and procedures vary from company to company, but some things hold true for every company of this type. Bottom line: If you’re moving, let your service providers know! Contact them directly and ask what is to be done with the equipment in your possession. At the same time, ask them what happens to time remaining in your service contract. Neglect to do this and you may continue to be billed, whether or not you are receiving service.

Moving?  Here’s What to Do With Your Modems, Routers, PVRs and Home Security Equipment  | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam


(TV, internet, home phone). Customer service 1-888-811-2323

When you move, disconnect everything (routers and modems for internet connections, set-top cable boxes and PVRs for television service, etc.) and return it to TELUS. Pack it all up, ideally in the boxes the equipment came in, or some suitable packing box, and include your name, account number, phone number and the service address (that is, the address where the equipment was used). Take it to your local Canada Post office and the agents there will send it off to TELUS at no cost to you. (One person we spoke to at TELUS said that Canada Post supplies the boxes too, but this may be something you want to check out yourself.)

Do NOT leave the equipment you used for the people who will be moving into your home. Even if they decide to use TELUS as their service provider, TELUS prefers a clean break from you and a fresh start with the new customers.

Wondering if you can take your equipment with you to your new residence? Call and ask.

Moving?  Here’s What to Do With Your Modems, Routers, PVRs and Home Security Equipment  | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam


(TV, internet, home phone).  Customer service 1-888-472-2222

Very similar policies to TELUS in that you need to disconnect everything and return it to Shaw if you are moving out and canceling your service. Don’t forget to include important information such as your name, phone number, account number and service address.

Spruce Grove does not have a drop-off location. Shaw customers will need to take their equipment to one of three locations in Edmonton:
Edmonton West: 10450-178 St NW (Mon-Fri 8-6, Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5)
Edmonton East: 7633-50 St NW (Mon-Fri 8-6, Sat 10-5, Sun closed)
Edmonton South: Southgate Mall, 5015-111 St NW (Mon-Fri 10-9, Sat 9:30-6, Sun 11-5)
Equipment can also be dropped off at selected UPS stores. Contact Shaw for updated hours of service at the locations mentioned above, as well as for the nearest UPS store that will accept Shaw equipment.

Shaw affirmed that customers can take their equipment with them to a new residence but advised calling first to confirm this and to book connection in your new home.

Like TELUS, Shaw does not want you leaving your equipment for your home’s new residents.

Moving?  Here’s What to Do With Your Modems, Routers, PVRs and Home Security Equipment  | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamSecurity Companies

Security companies such as Alarm Force (Customer service 1-800-267-2001) and ADT (Customer service 1-888-854-1778) differ in their policies regarding the hardware you rent or purchase from them. Online information for them and other companies like them is readily available. (By the way, did you know that the city of Edmonton requires an Alarm Permit for anyone with a security system in Edmonton? This permit must be canceled when you move, as it is not transferable to a new address.)

Can You Keep Your Home Security System When You Move?”, an article from SafeWise,  outlines policies from companies such as ADT, Vivint and others. Another article with useful information for alarm system clients is “Tips for Moving: Easily Reinstall Your Security System” from A Secure   All companies appear to be willing to work with their clients to move the equipment for them to their new residence if it’s not hardwired into the home, or advise how to move it yourself, or provide new equipment and a new monitoring service after the move. As with cable and internet companies, CONTACT YOUR PROVIDER! This way, you can let them know you are moving and your intentions with respect to the service. That means letting them know whether or not you plan to continue the service so that the equipment can be properly deployed. It may even be possible for the new owners of your home to take over your security system contract, but make sure this arrangement is crystal clear to all parties!

As with nearly everything else in life, good communication will go a long way to preventing problems and misunderstandings!

What experiences have you had dealing with service companies? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

What Movers Won’t Move

Friday, March 21st, 2014

What Movers Won't Move | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you are moving to or from Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, or the Edmonton region, you may be planning to use professional movers to get all your belongings from your old home to your new one.  You might be surprised to learn that there are many items these companies will not move for you, and it will be up to you to get them to your destination yourself, or dispose of them.

Why are you left on your own to deal with some things?  Laws and safety regulations account for some, while ethics and liability account for the rest.  Items the professionals won’t touch (and some you don’t want them to touch) fall into 3 main categories:  hazardous materials, perishable items, and irreplaceable valuables. 

Hazardous Materials

Anything flammable, corrosive, explosive such as:

  • Acids
  • Aerosol cans (deodorant & body spray, hair spray, spray paint, spray cleaners)
  • Batteries of all kinds
  • Bleach & ammonia
  • Charcoal
  • Chemistry sets
  • Cleaning supplies & solvents
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fireworks
  • Gardening chemicals, pesticides, fertilizer, poisons of all types
  • Lighter fluid & matches
  • Liquor
  • Nail polish & remover
  • Oils of all types
  • Paints, stains, varnishes, paint thinner, turpentine
  • Petroleum-based products:  fuel of any kind, gasoline, kerosene, motor oil, antifreeze
  • Pool chemicals
  • Propane Tanks
  • Scuba tanks
  • Weapons, firearms & ammunition
  • Yard equipment containing fuel (ask your mover if they will take equipment if it has been drained of fuel and oil)

(You might think of being sneaky and hiding some of the above in with more legitimate items.  DON’T DO IT!!  This could have all sorts of negative consequences.  Even if the vision of an exploding moving van with you being liable for the damage doesn’t become reality, you could still be on the hook for voided insurance claims and the like.  It’s just not worth it!)

Perishable Items

  • Food of almost any kind:  fresh, frozen, refrigerated, open packages of non-perishable foods
  • Houseplants
  • Animals, living or dead.  (Sorry, but Fluffy and Fido will have to ride with you!  And that stuffed deer head trophy over the mantel?  Probably that too!)
  • Almost anything containing organic materials, such as unwashed pet items (bedding, cages, food dishes, etc.), household appliances such as freezers that haven’t been cleaned of food debris, and the like.

Irreplaceable Valuables and Personal Items

Items of high monetary or sentimental value, personal items, important documents, such as:

  • Financial items:  financial statements, cheque books, cash, credit & debit cards, stocks & bonds
  • Important documents:  deeds & titles, tax records, car registrations, medical records, insurance documents (life, health, home, auto, etc.), airline & other tickets
  • Personal documents:  birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, wills, Social Insurance cards
  • Keys (vehicles, house, safety deposit, etc.)
  • Collections (stamp, coin, sports cards)
  • Photos & memorabilia
  • Medications
  • Electronics, especially data-filled:  cell phones, computers, external hard drives, etc.
  • Other high-value items, such as artwork, antique furniture, jewelry, furs, etc.  (Some moving companies specialize in moving items like this – ask your mover)

Check with your moving company about extremely heavy or delicate items such as pool tables, pianos, hot tubs, vehicles and the like.  Some companies will, some won’t!

There is a 4th category of items you are advised not to have movers move, nor should you move those things yourself!  This category includes items you are not using because they are broken, damaged, worn out, out of style, “maybe I’ll have a use for this someday”, “that was a gift from a special person”, “I paid good money for that”…!  Take a picture of yourself with especially hard to part with items, then sell usable items, and give or throw the rest away (keep in mind some items need special hazardous waste disposal methods).  Congratulate yourself for not paying to transport and store stuff you’ll never look at it again!

Moving is a huge life event, with many, many things to think about and do.  Take a look at our Moving Guide for much more advice and help.

Comments or questions about this article or anything related to buying or selling real estate?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.  

New to Edmonton? How to Settle Your Kids Into a Brand New Neighbourhood

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

New to Edmonton_ How to Settle Your Kids Into a Brand New Neighbourhood | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamMoving is tough on kids, whether you are moving across town or across country. It usually means that kids have to leave their old friends, change schools, and, sometimes, adjust to a different climate. Fortunately, children are incredibly adaptable and with a little preparation, the transition can be smooth and painless. If you are moving to the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region, there are many community resources available to help make you and your children feel right at home.

Prepare Your Children for the Move and Familiarize Them With the New Neighbourhood

Before you move, you should make a number of trips to the area around your new neighbourhood. Visit the local parks, drive around the streets, and drop into the area community centers. If possible, enrol your child in sports or lessons in your new community before you move. That way, they will have established friendships before enrolling in a new school. With weekly events and an eye toward families, the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre in Spruce Grove is a great place to check out if your move is taking you to the Parkland County real estate area. A vital community centre such as this is invaluable, especially if your new home is located within Parkland County acreages or Edmonton acreages. Although the land is beautiful and spacious, your neighbours are not very close and an active community centre helps you connect socially with the people in your district. This is very important for both children and adults.

Visit the School Your Children Will Be Attending

No one likes to be dropped off in a new situation, never mind a brand new school. Before you move to your new community, call ahead to the school or schools your children will be attending. Make an appointment for the whole family to visit the school, meet the principal, the new teachers, and perhaps take a tour of the school. Almost all schools encourage new students to come and have a look around. If it helps the students make a good transition, it is as good for the school as it is for you. If you are planning a summer move when the school is closed, ask for a tour and make an appointment to meet the teacher when you register your children for the semester. If you are unsure of which school your child will attend, you can consult with your realtor or check out the Alberta Education website. Here you can look up the schools in your area. For example, for the Spruce Grove Real Estate area and Stony Plain Real Estate area, you would look at schools in  Parkland School Division No. 70 or Evergreen Catholic School Division.

Get Involved in Your New Community

The best way to become involved in the community is to become a part of it. The wider and more far-reaching your social circle is, the better your children will fit in. Throw yourself a housewarming party and invite your neighbours and people from the community. Volunteer to coach a little league team, or run a reading program at the local school. Moving to a new area can be difficult for shy children, but the more involved your family is, the more opportunities you give them to make friends.

The most important thing about settling your kids into a new neighbourhood is not to worry. Children make friends fast and will likely know all the ins and outs of the community before you do. If you prepare them well and keep them involved, they will be happy and well-adjusted, whether they live in a home bought through Parkland County Real Estate, Edmonton Real Estate, or even North Pole Real Estate.

Moving is a stressful event and I am always willing to answer any home-related questions you might have! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

Change of Address Checklist

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Change of Address Checklist | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamMoving is one of those necessary and stressful life events we all experience.  If you are moving to or from Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton region, you’ll need to pass on your new address to many people, businesses, organizations, etc.  The list below will ensure you don’t forget anybody!

Government Agencies

(information courtesy of Service Canada:

☐  Canada Post (visit your local post office or change your address online)

☐  Canada Revenue Agency

☐  Alberta Motor Vehicle Registry (driver’s licence and vehicle registrations)

☐  Alberta Health Services

☐  Employment Insurance, if you are receiving benefits

☐  Canada Pension Plan / Old Age Security, if you are receiving benefits

☐  Canadian Firearms Centre, if you have a firearms licence.

☐  Any other government or local authorities for any additional licences you may have (e.g. hunting licence, business licence, etc.)

☐  Passport:  Did you know that you don’t have to inform anybody official to change the address on your passport?  Passport Canada says:  “A change of address does not invalidate a passport. Please cross out the old address on page 4 and write the new one in the space above the old address. Do not use correction fluid. If the space in the passport is insufficient, write the new information on a separate piece of paper and insert it into the passport.”

Utilities & Home Services

☐  Electric

☐  Gas

☐  Water

☐  Garbage, recycling

☐  Telephone / Mobile

☐  Cable, satellite

☐  Internet

☐  Newspaper delivery

☐  Water delivery / Water treatment

☐  Housecleaning services

☐  Lawn / Garden services

☐  Pool services

☐  Snow removal services

☐  Alarm or security company

Health Care & Personal Services

☐  Doctors / Health clinics

☐  Dentist, orthodontist, etc.

☐  Chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapist, personal trainer, etc.

☐  Optometrist, optician, etc.

☐  Pharmacy

☐  Babysitter, day care

☐  Diaper service

☐  Barber / Hairstylist

☐  Veterinarian, pet care providers (kennels, groomers, etc.) (Tip: Get vet to check that the address attached to your pet’s microchip is up-to-date)

Financial & Legal

☐  Accountant

☐  Banks (transfer accounts to a branch near your new home, order new cheques, re-direct automatic deposits and payments)

☐  Lenders and loan companies (mortgage, auto, student loan, home equity)

☐  Credit card companies, department store credit card companies (Tip:  Put a “travel notification” on your credit cards when leaving home, especially if moving across country or out of the country.)

☐  Financial advisor, investment firms, broker

☐  Retirement plan holders

☐  Insurance companies (home, life, health, auto.  Tip: Check on your property insurance coverage for the time your possessions are on the move)

☐  Lawyer

Employment & Education

☐  Old employers

☐  New employers

☐  Alumni associations

☐  Your children’s schools, colleges, private lessons or extracurricular activities (sports, scouting, etc.)

☐  Public library, if you are a member

Clubs & Organizations

☐  Social

☐  Athletic (gym memberships)

☐  Religious (churches)

☐  Civic & political (community associations, political parties)

☐  Business & professional


☐  Magazines, newspapers

☐  Mail order houses, catalogues

☐  Book, music clubs

☐  Loyalty programs (AirMiles, etc.)

☐  Charities

☐  Memberships with benefit plans (such as AMA/CAA, CARP, etc.)

☐  Museums, theaters, etc. (seasons tickets)

☐  Holders of warranties (auto, home equipment, etc.)


And of course, don’t forget to pass on your new address to family and friendsTip:  Give a neighbor or your landlord a printed card with your new address so they can forward information and mail on to you.

TipIn the months leading up to your move, keep track of who sends you mail regularly and collect any change of address forms that come with your subscriptions.  You can then customize your own change of address list.

Tip:  You probably know already that if you are moving to study or work, many things may be tax deductible such as:  fees for the sale of your house (real estate agents’ commissions), lawyers’ fees for the purchase of your new house, mortgage penalty fees for selling your house before the end of the mortgage term, cancellation fees for ending the lease prematurely at your rented residence, moving fees or storage fees, subsistence fees (meals and lodging) near your former or new residence, etc.  Check with your accountant or income tax preparer.

The above works for your physical address, but what about your online presence?

  • Change the postal code or city you’ve programmed into web-based services you subscribe to, such as weather reports, local news reports, coupon services like Groupon and the like.
  • Once you’ve settled into your new home, let your online correspondents know you’ve arrived by posting a quick Facebook or Twitter message, or sending out a short email.
  • If you’ll be changing your email address, keep track of who sends you emails so that you can pass on your new one.

Need more help with moving?  Check out my Moving Guide for a detailed checklist of everything you need to do.

I welcome your comments and questions!  Call or text 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.

Moving Guides

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Moving Guides |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIt is always my goal to provide the best service and the utmost in value for my clients.  If you are moving, especially if you are moving into a home or acreage in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County region, these guides are for you.  I hope you will find them useful.

The Moving Guide:  A comprehensive package of information to guide you through every step of your move.  This guide consists of 3 sections.  The introduction provides links to websites of moving companies and others with a wealth of tips to make your move as free of stress as possible.  The second section is a checklist of all the tasks that need to be completed from 2 months before the move right through the phase of settling in to your new home.  The final and longest section, the Moving Tip Sheet, expands on the Moving Checklist with explanations, suggestions and tips of all kinds.

The Welcome Home Moving In Package is a list of helpful resources for home and acreage buyers in the Spruce Grove / Stony Plain / Parkland County area.  Here you will find the names of mortgage specialists, home inspectors and lawyers I frequently recommend to my clients, as well as a list of insurance companies in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain, plus all the information you need to get connected to utilities and services such as water, sewer, garbage collection and recycling, power, natural gas, telephone, television and internet.  (Look for even more community information in my Community Connections Business Directory.)

If you have any comments or questions about these guides, or if you have suggestions for other guides, I’d love to hear from you.  Contact me here, phone me at 780-910-9669, or email me at

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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