Archive for the ‘stony plain real estate’ Category

“Rare Gem” in Stony Plain

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

If you have guests and family members coming to visit this summer, putting them up for the night can sometimes be a hassle.  But now visitors to Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County have a new and unique lodging option.

Welcome to “Rare Gem”, a bed and breakfast that offers much more than just a bed for the night plus breakfast! 

"Rare Gem" in Stony Plain | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamLocated in a fully restored 1910 heritage home just ½ block from Stony Plain’s historic Main Street, Rare Gem pampers its guests in Victorian elegance and charm, along with every modern comfort and convenience.  From Rare Gem’s marketing brochure:

“Boutique accommodations, delicious breakfasts and hospitality of the finest character are yours to enjoy.  Complimentary welcome, tuck-in and wake-up trays are trademarks of our service.

“Guests will choose from our spacious second-floor executive rooms complete with ensuites or private bath.  The finest of linens, fireplaces, flat-screen cable televisions, wireless-internet access, air conditioning, fine appointments, privacy locks, bathrobes, toiletries and off-street parking assure your needs are met.

“The upper parlour, complete with an outdoor balcony, is yours to enjoy.

“All breakfasts are home-prepared, flavourful and nutritious using seasonal and local ingredients when available.  Special diets and strong allergies may be accommodated with prior notice.

“Breakfasts are served in the home’s formal dining room, the upper parlour, or weather permitting, on our covered veranda or in the private courtyard – the choice is yours!

Rare Gem, a smoke-free, adult-oriented residence, offers 3 guest rooms that can house 2 persons each, with a choice of twin, queen or king beds.  Prices range from $105 to $135 per night.

Guest Rooms

"Rare Gem" in Stony Plain | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

 "Rare Gem" in Stony Plain | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

Stairway"Rare Gem" in Stony Plain | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

Upper Hallway"Rare Gem" in Stony Plain | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

Upper Parlour"Rare Gem" in Stony Plain | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

"Rare Gem" in Stony Plain | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

Living Room"Rare Gem" in Stony Plain | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

Dining Room"Rare Gem" in Stony Plain | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

Veranda"Rare Gem" in Stony Plain | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

Private Courtyard"Rare Gem" in Stony Plain | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

But this B & B isn’t just for out-of-towners:

Rare Gem also opens its doors to family, social and business private functions.  Call or make an appointment so that we may discuss your breakfast meeting, high-tea luncheon, celebratory reception, wine-tasting gathering, or a discreet or robust dinner.  We offer personalized menu planning, high-quality service, and an enchanting atmosphere both indoors and in our courtyard.  You will find us accommodating, delicious and attentive to every detail.”

Up to 80 people can be accommodated for a wide range of special events.  Think family reunions, wedding receptions, business retreats, meetings and celebrations of every description.

Want more information?  Genial hosts Shelley and Robert Twerdoclib are happy to oblige.  Contact details:

Rare Gem is located at 4915 – 53 Avenue, Stony Plain, Alberta T7Z 1C5

Phone:  780-963-7431     Fax: 780-963-9984



Comments or questions about this article?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.


The Home Rental Market in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

The Home Rental Market in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThe reasons for renting a home, rather than buying one, are as varied as the people looking for a place to live so it’s probably no surprise that there is always a market for such properties.  People moving into an area may choose to rent while they get a feel for the local real estate market.  If you are a renter, here are a few things to know about houses for rent in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain for Fall 2011.

“What can I expect to pay for rent these days?”

At the moment, a standard 3-bedroom house in Spruce Grove or Stony Plain rents for $1300 to $2000 per month.  As with purchased real estate, factors such as location, age of the home, and features like a garage will determine price.  A newer half duplex or townhouse may rent for $1300 to $1600, while an apartment-style condo may run $1200 to $1600.  A 2 or 3 bedroom apartment may cost upwards of $950 per month, while a basement suite may run around $700 per month.  In general, rents are comparable to those in Edmonton, or possibly a little cheaper.

“What will be included in my rent?”

If you’re renting a detached house, expect to pay for all services yourself.  If you’re looking for an apartment, usually water/sewer services and heat will be included in your rent; you’ll be responsible for power, phone, TV, internet services, and the like.  This applies to condos as well, with the landlord usually picking up the tab for condo fees.  Basement suite rentals may come with some kind of shared utility arrangement.  Of course, in a rental market where there are lots of properties for rent and fewer renters, landlords may offer various incentives, such as free cable and internet.  At the present time, we are experiencing a tight rental market with plenty of competition among renters so don’t expect to find too many of these deals.  Note that no matter what you rent, your landlord will pay the property taxes and insurance on his property, but it’s a very good idea for you to have your own renter’s insurance.

“What conditions can a landlord impose on the rental?”

Landlords can ask for first month’s rent up front, along with a returnable security deposit of up to one month’s rent.  They are allowed to set conditions such as no pets or no smoking inside the residence, and can designate the premises as “adults only”, or “no overnight guests”.  The landlord will likely have you sign a rental agreement outlining details about the rent and security deposit, inspections, termination notices, and other responsibilities of both parties.  This rental agreement will also specify who is legally allowed to live in the premises.  You will probably be asked to provide references and a credit report (obtainable online from agencies such as Equifax and TransUnion).  Expect to complete and sign move in/move out inspection reports.  For more information on this topic visit the following websites:

Laws for Tenants in Alberta – Laws for Landlords in Alberta

Renting in Alberta – CMHC

“How do I find out what’s available to rent in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain?”

A good place to start looking is in the Classified Ads, both print and online, found in the local newspapers, the Grove Examiner and the Stony Plain Reporter.  Both communities are also home to a number of property management companies, such as TRC Management and Gateway Property Management.  Kijiji online ads are another good source.

“Where can I get more information about the communities of Spruce Grove and Stony Plain?”

Check out the official websites for Spruce Grove  and Stony Plain.  Browse my Business Directory, Community Connections, to get a taste for what the local area has to offer.

If you’ve been renting for a while and are now ready to buy a home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County, I’d be happy to help!  Call 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.


Smartphone Apps for Home Buyers

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Smartphone Apps for Home Buyers |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamTechnology has changed the way we do almost everything, including home buying, whether in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton area or elsewhere.  Here are a few smartphone apps home buyers and investors might find useful.  (Many are available free for all types of smartphones; check with your app store.)


Google Maps and Google Earth for mobile can show you where homes are located, but you can learn much more about a property, giving you a feel for the neighborhood, the quality of other housing, accessibility, distance from busy streets and more.

Yelp Mobilewith its reviews of businesses can give you some idea about what a neighborhood has to offer (shopping, restaurants, gas stations, etc.).

Realtor.cais the official mobile app of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) with access to about 350,000 Canadian properties for sale on the website.  Search using your smartphone’s built-in GPS for properties near your location or a specific address; receive listing details, photos and agent contact info.

Zoocasa[iPhone; free].  Similar to  Search for properties based on your current location and receive full descriptions of properties.  This app also allows users to email listings from within the app.

Home Tracker [iPhone; $3.99].  Keep track of all the details of the homes you visit with your REALTOR®.  “HomeTracker allows you to document each property in detail as you visit it. Properties are grouped into a Tour, which is a set of homes you visited with your real estate agent, or homes in a specific area. In addition to storing property information, HomeTracker can easily take Photos, Map a property, E-mail property information, and perform a Google search!”


There are plenty of mortgage calculator apps out there but most are not Canadian.  One with some limited application to Canadian situations is Canadian Mortgage Calculator.

CIBC Home Advisor app provides mobile access to mortgage tools, advice, neighborhood information.

The CIBC Home Advisor App for iPhone and BlackBerry lets home buyers:

* Track and compare properties visited by taking and storing photos and completing a home buyer’s checklist for each home

* View neighborhood maps and get immediate access to average property valuations and trends

* Request detailed neighborhood reports for properties of specific interest

* Post, tweet, text or email details of the properties and neighborhoods you are considering to share them with family and friends in real-time

* Access four different built-in calculators to help determine what the customer can afford, if they should rent vs. buy, the equity in their home, or mortgage payment options

* Request a CIBC pre-approved mortgage certificate for financing to lock in an interest rate

* Contact the nearest CIBC Mortgage Advisor and arrange to meet to get advice on mortgage options.”

RECalc – Real Estate Mortgage Loan Calculator [iPhone; free]  “RECalc is a Real Estate Mortgage Loan Calculator that is also a traditional Mathematical Calculator.  You can use RECalc to calculate the Monthly Payment, Term, Interest Rate or Loan Amount for a loan, as well as standard mathematical calculations as you would in any other calculator. Once you modify any of the Calculation variables you can re-calculate any of the other values. You can also figure in Annual Property Tax, Homeowner’s Insurance and Mortgage Insurance, as well as a Down Payment amount/percentage.  RECalc supports semi-annual compounding (Canadian Amortization) in addition to normal monthly compounding.”


Flashlight [iPhone; 99¢].  Turn your iPhone into a flashlight!   This app allows you to choose from a variety of styles and colors.  For even more features, try Flashlight+ [also 99¢]

Evernote [free; available for all smartphones and computers].  This handy app allows you to create and save all kinds of documents:  text notes, web pages, video clips, your digital photo scrapbook, and much more.  Text-recognition software makes for easy searching.

Awesome Note (+ToDo) [iPhone; $3.99].  Get organized with this versatile and customizable app that allows you to create regular notes, notes with photo attachments, To Do notes, Post-It style Quick Memo for quick jotting, daily diary, travel diary checklists, shopping lists, schedules, and more.  You can send notes as email and even synchronize your notes with Google Docs and Evernote.

Do you know of a great app that should be added to this list?  I’d love to hear from you.  Call me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

Stony Plain: Top 9 Reasons to Live Here

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Stony Plain:  Top 9 Reasons to Live Here |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

1. Location

Real estate’s number one criterion really plays out in Stony Plain.  Located within Parkland County 8 km west of Spruce Grove and 17 km west of Edmonton, Stony Plain has easy access to all the amenities of both cities.  The town retains its rural roots while offering modern transportation options via Highways 16, 16A and 43, as well as rail and bus links.  Travel times:  roughly ½ hour east to Edmonton (great for commuters), an hour to the Edmonton International Airport, 3 hours west to Jasper, 3½ hours south to Calgary, 4 hours north to Grande Prairie.  Take a look at Stony Plain’s official website.

2. Lifestyle

Quiet small town atmosphere, 14,000 friendly residents, safe and secure streets, along with every convenience of modern life.

3. Neighborhoods

Many towns claim to cater to every taste and budget but Stony Plain truly does have something for everyone:  condos and low-rise apartment buildings in Downtown Stony Plain, mobile and modular homes in Meridian Meadows, all the way up to luxury homes on acreage properties within town limits in Country Plains Estates.

4. 100+ Years of History (a website that has regrettably been discontinued) had this to say:  “The Town has a pride in its history which began in 1881 when the first homestead in the area was documented. In 1892 the area was known as Dog Rump Creek until a post office was named for the region and it became Stony Plain. In 1907, Stony Plain’s first Sheriff, Israel Umbach, made national headlines when he chained a locomotive to the railway tracks for non-payment of taxes and changed the course of history. In 1908 Stony Plain was officially incorporated as a town. Stony Plain’s history is kept alive through its murals program, numerous historic sites, and the Multicultural Heritage Centre.”   Interested in learning more about the rich history and interesting tales of this area?  Check out Along the Fifth: A History of Stony Plain and District.

5. Unique Downtown Character and Hospitality

Stony Plain:  Top 9 Reasons to Live Here |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

Twenty-six larger-than-life outdoor murals, historic buildings such as the Stony Plain Hotel which dates from 1906, quaint shops, and one-of-a-kind restaurants make it a treat to stroll through the downtown core of “The Town with the Painted Past”.

6. Multicultural Heritage Centre

Stony Plain:  Top 9 Reasons to Live Here |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamSo much to explore!   Housed in two buildings, the Old Brick School built in 1925 and the Oppertshauser House which dates from 1910, the Multicultural Heritage Centre with its beautiful landscaped grounds and gardens features displays and exhibits of local history and pioneer life, a gift shop and art gallery, Wild Rose Library and archives, and the much-loved Homesteader’s Kitchen restaurant, famous among locals for its fresh pies!  Also worth a visit is Stony Plain’s Pioneer Museum (5120 – 43 Ave) which hosts the Pioneer Harvest and Old Time Threshing Bee in September.

7. Festivals

Summer festivals reflect Stony Plain’s strong rural traditions.  Late May/early June features Farmers’ Days and Kinsmen Rodeo, complete with parade, midway, carnival games, arm wrestling competition and more old-fashioned fun.  The Blueberry Bluegrass and Country Music Festival, attracting well-known names and world-class performers, takes place each July (celebrating 25 years in 2010), followed in August by the Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

8. Farmers’ Markets

Fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade goodies, and handmade craft items are in abundance every Saturday morning 9 AM to 1 PM from mid-spring to early winter at the Stony Plain Farmers Market at the Stony Plain Community Centre (5008 – 51 Avenue) and at the Heritage Farmers’ Market (located at the Multicultural Heritage Centre).

9. Recreation

Everything you can imagine!  Sports of all kinds for all ages (soccer, hockey, baseball, basketball, golf, curling, skating, skiing, martial arts, BMX, you name it!), gymnastics, dancing, clubs of every description, and much more.  For specific details visit the Community Connections section of my website  and scroll down to Sports and Recreation.  But there’s more.  Stony Plain also has an extensive parks and trail system running through town, and is just a few minutes away from the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre  with its spectacular sports facilities and the Chickakoo Lake Recreation Area in Parkland County, as well as numerous other lakes and campgrounds.

Stony Plain:  Top 9 Reasons to Live Here |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhat a great place to live, wouldn’t you agree?  Contact me now for your Stony Plain Real Estate needs.

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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