Posts Tagged ‘location location location’

How to Decide Where to Live in Retirement

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

How to Decide Where to Live in Retirement | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThe kids are grown, the grandchildren are coming along, and soon you’ll reap the rewards of your lifetime of work. It’s called retirement. But even though you’ve planned for this major change in your life, there are still important decisions to make – including where you’ll spend your retirement years.

To make an informed decision about a future home, whether it’s in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton region or elsewhere, here’s a brief guideline courtesy of Investors Group:


Will you stay in the home where you raised your children? There may be a deep emotional attachment to the home and the neighbourhood.

Size of home

A smaller home is easier to maintain, with lower utility costs and taxes. But, consider a new home purchase carefully. Perhaps that money is better off in investments that increase your cash flow and your estate.

Buy or rent?

Downsizing to condos or apartments can be an attractive lifestyle choice. The costs of major repairs at condominiums are shared among owners, and repairs are the building owner’s responsibility. On the downside, you may find you’re living too close to neighbours or that condo fees are too steep.

Summer and winter homes

Many Canadians decide to winter in warmer southern climates. If you choose to follow these snowbirds, will you own or rent your residences in Canada and the United States? This decision depends on your personal situation, so you should consult a tax advisor.

Your health

If you have no current health problems, maintaining your present home may be practical. But if health concerns are a consideration, you may want to look at housing options that offer various levels of assisted living.

Your income

Before you begin to make decisions, you’ll want a clear picture of your overall financial situation. You need to review your projected income levels from all sources, including pensions and investments.

Most of all, choose a home where you will be happy in your retirement. Additional information about the varied financial options is available at and be sure to talk to a financial advisor for professional assistance.

Helping my clients find the right home for whatever life stage they’re in is what I do best!   Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

(Contents of this article courtesy of

Editor Note: This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), and Investors Group Securities Inc. (in Québec, a firm in Financial Planning) presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. For more information on this topic please contact an Investors Group Consultant.

House Shopping = Lifestyle Shopping

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

House Shopping = Lifestyle Shopping | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamYou may have seen the ad on TV about the couple who bought what looks like a nice house, only to discover it has numerous flaws, such as being shaken off its foundations every day by the passage of the 11 o’clock train!  If you’re shopping for a new home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton area, you’re going to want to consider more than just the features of the house itself.

You probably have a long list of things you want in a home:  the number and size of bedrooms, the set-up of the kitchen, modern fixtures in multiple bathrooms, amount of storage space, parking, cosmetic features such as paint colors and flooring, and much more.  You may have considered the style of residence that would work best for you, such as a 2-storey home for a growing family or a bungalow for people with reduced mobility.  You’ve probably also given some thought to landscaping features, such as patios and decks, trees and shrubs in the yard, walkways, driveway space, fences, and so on. 

But almost as important as the house and yard is the neighborhood in which your potential new home is located.  Yes, there’s that real estate cliché again – location, location, location – showing up over and over again as a very important element in the whole home buying and selling experience. 

Because, when you shop for a home, you’re really shopping to meet the needs of your lifestyle, and that always extends beyond the walls of the building in which your family sleeps at night. 

If you have a young family, you probably are interested in a neighborhood close to a school or adjacent to a park with a playground.  If you are a senior, you might look for a neighborhood where the amenities you need or want, such as shopping, recreational activities, medical facilities, fine restaurants, are in convenient reach, perhaps even walking distance.  Maybe you spend long hours at your job or other activities, so a home within an easy commute would be good for you. 

This isn’t all.  Consider the things you want or don’t want to live near.  Some people like corner lots, for example, while other people detest them.  Many people would love to live in a home that backs onto green space or a water feature (and often, as a seller, you can command a higher price for a home like this).  Most people would prefer that their dream home not be located on a busy and noisy thoroughfare, or next to a high-crime area.  As you shop for your new home and new neighborhood, it doesn’t hurt to think about the resale value of the homes you’re looking at, and realize that the value comes from more than the building on its lot.   Remember too, that there are things you can change, such as kitchen counters and cupboards, and things you can’t, like that train I mentioned earlier!  The home, its surroundings and your lifestyle become a package deal. 

I’m always happy to respond to your comments and questions!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.


Spruce Grove’s Jubilee Park

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Something very special is being created on the east side of Spruce Grove.  You may not have heard about it because it’s not quite finished, and the City of Spruce Grove isn’t promoting it yet, but Jubilee Park in Spruce Grove is now open for public use and well worth a visit.

Spruce Grove's Jubilee Park | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you are a citizen of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, or Parkland County, you know that one of the things that makes Spruce Grove so memorable and family-friendly is the large number of neighborhood parks and playgrounds, sports parks and facilities (such as the Fuhr Sports Park west of the Tri-Leisure Centre and the Henry Singer ball park south of the railroad tracks), and the gem running right through the centre of town in the form of ParticiPark, that huge stand of trees and nature trails.  But all of these are about to look almost ordinary compared to what will be officially open to the public in 2012. 

Jubilee Park is a 60-acre parcel of land located at 510 Grove Drive, east of Spruce Village.  This land is being transformed into a wonderland of urban recreational and cultural opportunities.  The City of Spruce Grove website  says that the park “will offer the community the best passive and unstructured recreational opportunities in the city.  From paved walking and bike trails, to picnic areas, an open air performance area, sliding hill and playground, Jubilee Park will provide families with a multitude of outdoor pleasures.”

Features of the park, most of which are now in place, include

  • Picnic areas
  • Picnic shelter
  • Plaza
  • Open games area
  • Fire pit
  • Multi-purpose paved walking and biking trails
  • Play structure and “tot lot”
  • Disk golf
  • Recreational skating
  • Sliding and tobogganing hill
  • Multi-purpose building
  • Amphitheatre and open air performance area
  • Formal gardens
  • Wetlands
  • Natural woodlands
  • Paved parking

See the map of the proposed development. 

The City of Spruce Grove suggests several benefits of this park:

  • Community gathering place
  • Promotes social well-being and health
  • Family-oriented spaces
  • Connects to Heritage Grove trail system
  • Natural interpretive education opportunities
  • Preserves natural woodlands

Spruce Grove has not had a place for the community to gather in large numbers for special events, especially those focused on culture.  The sports fields at Spruce Grove Composite High School have been the venue for Canada Day celebrations for a few years, but without adequate amenities such as parking, seating and the like.  Imagine the uses of this incredible new facility.  Imagine a place for open air summer concerts and other performances, winter and summer games, community picnics and celebrations, festivals to rival those of neighboring communities, family play, get-togethers and reunions, wedding photos, block parties, and just hanging out and enjoying nature with your family and neighbors…. 

From a real estate perspective, this park is very good news for current and future residents of the nearby neighborhoods of Spruce Village and Grove Meadows.  Green space of any type tends to increase the desirability and perhaps value of properties located in the vicinity.  Expect only positive outcomes from this wonderful new facility!

Your comments and questions are always welcome!  Call me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here. 


“Location, Location, Location”: What Does It Mean in Real Estate?

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Whether you live in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton region or elsewhere, you have probably heard the phrase “location, location, location” used in real estate and wondered why the need to state it three times.  It is repeated to emphasize its importance.  It is one of those things in real estate that just is, and when you ignore its importance you will likely regret it.

As a buyer myself, I ignored it twice in the last 30 years.  One of those times was when I remustered to a Structural Technician (changed trades) while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces.  My first posting was to Wainwright, Alberta where housing was pretty pricey, so we decided to purchase a major fixer upper in Czar, Alberta (200 people, 10,000 head of cattle), 50 km south of Wainwright.  My thinking was twofold:  we could buy a house a lot cheaper in Czar, and this would be good practical experience to experiment with my new construction trade.  We could add sweat equity to this house, making a really nice home and still be competitive with the Wainwright market.

My wife Paulette and I spent the next 3 ½ years gutting the house, including the interior walls, kitchen, basement, lighting, electrical…  In the end the house turned out beautiful.  But when we got posted to the north end of Vancouver Island, no one wanted to buy the house, because we could not compete with the buyers’ desire to live in Wainwright.  To make a long story short, we rented the house to the only person who applied, and that person trashed the house.  I took time off, came back to Czar, fixed the house up for sale and put it back on the market, selling it for what the market would bear. The lesson here:  Buyers will pay a premium to live where they want to live. 

"Location, Location, Location": What Does It Mean in Real Estate? |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam“Location, location, location” usually means attractive neighbourhoods close to schools, hospitals, and facilities for entertainment, recreation and shopping.  It can mean proximity to a lake or backing onto a park, green space or golf course.  Homes in undesirable locations might be next to commercial/industrial buildings, beside railway lines, under flight paths, or in neighbourhoods with high crime rates.  Also included are economically depressed areas, where neighbours show zero pride of ownership in maintaining their homes and yards.

Although you will pay a premium to buy in a desirable location, the payback is well worth the extra cost.  Desirable locations sell quicker, usually appreciate at a greater rate, and are likely to sell before less desirable locations even when the market is slow.

From my past experiences, if budget is an issue (and when isn’t it?), I would settle for a smaller home located in a desirable location, later moving up to a larger home when I could afford it.

Looking for a great home in a great location?  Let me help!  Call me at 780-910-9669, email me at, 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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