Posts Tagged ‘stony plain real estate’

Housing Market Boom or Bust in Alberta?

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamHousing Market Boom or Bust in Alberta?My clients in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton area often ask me if “now” is a good time to buy a new home.  My answer to that question usually involves telling them that the best time to buy is when they feel ready to do so, no matter what the market is doing.  That may sound like a weasel answer but I believe people’s own finances and their needs and wants in housing are better for decision-making than any attempts to time or predict the market.

But “now” is an interesting time to be dealing in real estate in Alberta.  You’ve probably seen the gloomy news reports that the Canadian housing market is due for a major correction with house prices set to fall by about 20%.  That is not the case here!

In a recent article in the Edmonton Journal entitled “Alberta’s housing market still hot, whatever the media say”, Gary Lamphier reports on a conversation with Don Campbell, senior analyst and founding partner with the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN).  Mr. Campbell advises would-be sellers and buyers to “chill out”, suggesting that there is no such thing as a Canadian real estate market, but rather that each locality has its own unique market and conditions.  He goes even further when commenting about the Alberta market, saying that economic and demographic factors here are ripe for another housing boom, not bust.  He notes Alberta’s population continues to grow as workers come into the province while apartment vacancy rates shrink.  Many of these workers will decide to make Alberta their permanent home and that means they’ll be buying houses sometime in the next 2 to 7 years, fueling demand for houses and the subsequent rise in prices.

You may have heard or read that prices in Alberta have flat-lined so how can the dream of a new housing boom be true?  Mr. Campbell says Alberta’s boom-bust economy and the accompanying anxiety in people’s minds is to blame for this skepticism, along with tougher mortgage qualification rules and the negative national news.  He points out that Alberta’s population growth in 2012 was nearly triple the national average, putting a strain on housing capacity.  This situation tends to cause prices to rise.  While the average price of a house in Edmonton (about $401,000 in February) is still not as high as the peak prices in 2007, prices are definitely on the rise, according to another article entitled “Home prices flirt with record highs of ‘07”.

All of this suggests to me that now is indeed a good time to buy!

Let me help you find the home that’s just right for you.  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

“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.

Spring Cleaning the Natural Way

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Spring Cleaning the Natural Way |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamAfter the long hard winter we’ve had, most of us can’t wait to open all the windows in our Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton area homes and acreages to let in that great spring air and clean out the mustiness of winter.  But before you rush off to the store to stock up on the latest expensive chemical cleaners that promise to make your home cleaner and fresher than last year’s products, consider going green this spring, just in time for Earth Day on April 22.

Long before commercial cleaning products were available, people cleaned their homes with a few simple but effective ingredients.  These products are readily available, much less toxic to people and the environment, and easy on the wallet too!  A little caution though:  These products may be (mostly) “natural” but that doesn’t mean you can go nuts with them!  Vinegar and lemon juice, for example, being acidic, will not be kind to marble; use plain water instead.

A couple of dirty little secrets about cleaning that the makers of chemical cleaning products don’t want you to know:

  1. There is no magic formula or product that will make things clean.  Most cleaning comes from friction; that is, the application of good old elbow grease.
  2. If you clean as you go, wiping up spills as they occur, washing off grime before it has a chance to build up, you can leave those expensive and toxic chemical cleaners on the store shelves.

Here is what you’ll need to clean green:

Baking Soda

White Vinegar



Lemon Juice

Club soda

Olive oil


Rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol

Castile Soap [a plant-based soap, containing olive, palm and/or coconut oils; available from natural foods stores.  Look for Dr. Bronner’s brand.]

Microfiber cleaning cloths, sponges, lint-free rags

Glass and mirrors:

  • Slightly dampened microfiber cloths work better than the blue stuff!
  • Or, mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle.  Wipe with clean, lint-free rag.  (Some eco-cleaners suggest using newspaper for wiping but our experience says this just makes a mess!)
  • Or, spray windows with club soda; wipe with clean, lint-free rag.

All-purpose cleaning:

  • Mix vinegar with salt; scrub with sponge
  • Or, pour some baking soda and vinegar on a damp sponge to clean and deodorize kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
  • Plain full-strength vinegar is a great defense against mildew and its odors.  Works well on grease too.
  • Another recipe:  Combine ½ cup of pure soap, such as Castile, with one gallon of hot water and ¼  cup of lemon juice
  • Or try this:  Combine 1 tbsp Borax, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 cup hot water in a spray bottle to clean bathroom and kitchen surfaces.

Furniture polish:

Combine ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup vinegar and 2 tsp lemon juice in a spray bottle.  Spray liberally on wood surfaces and wipe dry with a soft cloth.

Sinks and bathtubs, including tile:

  • Combine equal amounts of salt and baking soda; scrub with sponge.
  • Rust and other stains on porcelain can be handled by rubbing with a mixture of lemon juice and salt.
  • Spray vinegar full strength on soap scum and crusted scale from hard water.  Let soak and scrub off.


  • Clean with toothpaste and an old toothbrush.  Rinse and wipe dry.
  • Or, spray with full-strength vinegar to remove soap scum and hard water stains.

Drain cleaning:

Pour ¼ cup baking soda down the drain, followed by ½ cup vinegar.  Cover immediately, or close drain, and let sit 15 minutes.  Flush with hot water.

Toilet bowl cleaner:

  • Pour 1 cup vinegar into the toilet bowl; let stand for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle baking soda onto toilet brush and scour.  Flush.
  • To keep the bowl fresh, pour 1 cup of vinegar (or 1 cup of Borax) into the toilet bowl once or twice a month and let stand overnight.

Floors of all types:

Add ½ cup vinegar to a gallon of hot water.  Dirty floors may need to be scrubbed with a brush; most will only need to be mopped or wiped with a rag dampened in the mixture.  If cleaning hardwood or laminate floors, make sure your mop or rag is only slightly damp, as these types of floors don’t love excess moisture.

Hardwood floor cleaner:

Mix ½ cup lemon juice, ½ cup rubbing alcohol and ½ cup olive oil into a gallon of warm water; wipe with slightly dampened mop or rag.  This mixture also works great on wood furniture and kitchen cabinets.

Laminate floor cleaner:

Combine 1 cup vinegar, ½ cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp. mild dishwashing liquid and 1 gallon hot water; wipe with slightly dampened mop or rag.

Tips for appliances:

  • Run an empty dishwasher with a cup of white vinegar to remove food residue, limescale, built up detergent and grease.
  • Equal parts water and white vinegar boiled in a kettle or run through a coffee maker will remove limescale build-up.  Run another cycle using plain water to remove any trace of the vinegar.
  • Burned on food, whether on pots and pans or on the floor of an oven, can be removed with baking soda.  Make a paste of baking soda and water, spread it liberally over the area to be cleaned, let sit for at least 30 minutes.  Scour and rinse.  Or, try mixing 1 part cinnamon with 6 parts salt; pour on oven spill as soon as it occurs.  Wipe clean when oven is cool.
  • Oven cleaningMix together 2 tsp. Borax, 4 tbsp. white vinegar, 2 cups water and 2 tbsp. castile soap in a spray bottle.  Spray all over the oven walls and floor.  Cover the wet surface with baking soda.  Follow with a second layer of your homemade cleaner.  Let sit overnight and wipe clean in the morning.
  • Spills on glass stove-tops can be scoured off using baking soda and a slightly dampened sponge or non-scratching plastic scouring pad.
  • Clean your microwave by combining 2 tbsp baking soda or lemon juice or vinegar with a cup of water in a bowl.  Microwave for 5 minutes or until mixture boils and condensation builds up onside the microwave.  Wipe down.
  • Freshen the inside of your refrigerator by wiping it down with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and warm water.

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

Free WiFi in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Free WiFi in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamAway from home or your office and need to access the internet?  More and more places in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain offer free wifi.

City of Spruce Grove

Access free wifi from 6 am to midnight at four City facilities:  the Agrena, Central Park, Rotary Playscape and Fuhr Sports Park.  Click here for more information.

Spruce Grove Public Library:  420 King Street, Spruce Grove, AB T7X 2C6; 780-962-4423 ‎

From the SGPL website:  “Wireless tickets can be picked up at the circulation desk. Each ticket lasts for one hour and there is no limit to the number of tickets you can use.”

Second Cup (Spruce Grove):  100 Campsite Rd, Spruce Grove AB; 780-960-3721 ‎

Not many plug-ins, but check out the “secret” one under the fireplace!

Café Simone:  505 Queen Street, Spruce Grove AB; 780-948-0056 ‎

Located in the Queen Street Medical Centre.  Café is open till 5 pm.

Starbucks in Safeway (Spruce Grove and Stony Plain)

Open till 11 pm most days.

Town of Stony Plain

Beginning mid-June 2011:

  • Shikaoi Park: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday
  • Stony Plain Golf Course: one hour prior to morning tee-offs to two hours after close
  • Stony Plain Outdoor Public Pool:  8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. daily (seasonal only)
  • Rotary Park: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily (closed in winter)

Stony Plain Library:  4613 52 Avenue, Stony Plain AB T7Z 2W5; 780-963-5440 ‎

Best Western Sunrise Inn & Suites Stony Plain:  3101-43 Ave, Stony Plain AB; 780-968-1716


Looking for more information about businesses and services in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County?  Check out my Community Connections Business Directory.

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

A Useful Website for Home Buyers

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

When it’s time to buy a house or acreage in Alberta, whether in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or elsewhere, do you choose a pre-owned home, or do you work with a builder to create a brand new model, modified to your custom specifications?  Whichever way you go, a great resource for all buyers, not just those thinking about building a home, is the Alberta New Home Warranty Program .

If you are looking to build a new home, this website can guide you through the entire process.   Click on sections entitled:

  • Choose the Right Builder
  • Understanding the Building Process (with emphasis on the building inspection)
  • Your Warranty Coverage (explains the various consumer protections for new home buyers) and
  • Finding Solutions & Settling Issues.

A Useful Website for Home Buyers |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam


While the primary focus of this website is on brand new homes, all buyers can benefit from several of the publications:

  • Clicking on Single Family Guidebook takes you to a publication entitled Your Purchase to Possession Guidebook.   This guidebook is loaded with details and answers every question a new home purchaser might have.
  •  If your new home is a condo, click on The Way Home Condominium Guide for a road map to the purchase process from first notion, through construction, possession, and after you move in.
  • The Care and Maintenance Guidebook provides a very comprehensive tour of the physical structure of a residence and what you can do to keep your home looking like new.
  • For information on every aspect of the acceptable standards for “bricks and mortar” of home construction, click on the Workmanship & Material Reference Guide – great for new home buyers, but also an excellent resource for home renovators.

Questions or comments about this article, or about any aspect of purchasing a home?  I’d be happy to help.  Contact me here, phone me at 780-910-9669, or email me at

Things That Could Go Wrong With a Real Estate Sale

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Things That Could Go Wrong With a Real Estate Sale |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam


You’ve just sold your house or acreage in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County.  That is, you’ve accepted the Offer to Purchase, and now all you have to do is wait for the proceeds to be deposited into your account, right?  Not so fast!  There are many things that could undo a sale.


Buyers’ Circumstances:

  • Buyers not pre-approved for a mortgage.  After making an offer, they discover they can’t get a loan for the amount they need.  (Mortgage approval is influenced by
    • buyers’ source, size and stability of income;
    • their debt load, or “debt to income ratio”;
    • credit history;
    • size and source of down payment;
    • value of the property being purchased, and so on.  Watch for a future blog entry on this topic.)
  • Interest rates increase; buyers no longer qualify for a mortgage
  • New government legislation.  Ottawa has just announced a decrease in the length of time a mortgage can be amortized, from 35 to 30 years, making monthly payments higher and therefore out of reach for some buyers
  • At closing, buyers are short of cash for the down payment and closing costs
  • Change in life circumstances:  job loss, illness, injury, divorce, death, anything that affects the desire and means to purchase the property
  • Buyers change their minds about the property:  family members don’t like it; buyers are unhappy with home inspection report; on “final walk-through” they discover damaged or missing property or agreed-upon repairs not made; etc.
  • Buyers’ conditions, such as sale of their current home, cannot be met

Sellers’ Circumstances:

  • Sellers change minds about selling:  job transfer falls through; marriage reconciles; suitable replacement home cannot be found; etc.
  • Financial concerns:  proceeds from the sale will be less than anticipated; sellers discover they owe more than they will net from the sale; sellers learn their mortgage differential or penalties are much higher than expected; etc.  (Not sure what mortgage differential means?  See my blog entry entitled “Interest Rate Differentials”, August 2010).
  • Unable to meet contract terms such as move-out date
  • Problems with the property:  title not held free and clear; sellers short on cash and unable to clear up liens on property; sellers unable to complete agreed-upon repairs; undisclosed defects come to light; etc.  (Sometimes property problems are even more severe.  It’s rare, but occasionally an inspection reveals that a property is uninsurable or even unsaleable due to being structurally unsound, infected with mold, and the like.  And the ultimate problem affecting a sale:  destruction of the property before the final sale goes through!)

Circumstances Involving Other Parties:

  • Buying and selling real estate is a complex business involving not just buyers and sellers and their REALTORS®, but also lawyers for each side of the transaction, mortgage specialists, appraisers, home inspectors and others.  If any one of the individuals is unavailable when needed, misses a deadline, or fails to complete accurately all the required paperwork, this could be enough to cause a sale to fall through.

A REALTOR® can often salvage a negative situation.  For example, if the buyer complains that the home is not in the condition in which he viewed it, the first step is for the REALTORS® on both sides to confer about how to make things right.  And – don’t tell anyone – I admit that I’ve taken it upon myself on occasion to personally make required repairs so that a sale will not be lost.  I also recently dealt with a situation where I knew that a buyer’s home was not going to be sold by the specified date or for the price required to get the buyer into the home he’d made an offer on.  Negotiating a later possession date for my client (the buyer) was easy.  Getting the sellers and their REALTOR® to recognize that the sale would be lost unless they were willing to renegotiate the selling price and accept less for their property was much harder, but ultimately, this allowed both buyer and sellers to reach their goals.

While it’s impossible to prepare for every eventuality, it is possible to minimize the potential for problems.  My best advice is to choose your REALTOR® carefully and leave the lines of communication open.  A successful end to a real estate transaction almost always occurs when everyone involved proceeds with good faith, patience and good will.

I would be pleased to help you achieve the  successful sale of your property.  Contact me here, email me at, or phone me at 780-910-9669.

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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