Monthly Archives: July 2011


Moncton’s Weather: Everything You Need To Know

Rain

Photograph by Stephen Downes on Flickr

Many people think that Moncton’s climate is maritime-like, similar to most cities located in the Maritime Provinces of Canada.  After all, it is close to the Bay of Fundy and the Northumberland Strait. However, the city’s weather tends to be continental during most of the year.

Climatologists consider Moncton to have a “warm summer continental” or “Hemiboreal” climate with uniform precipitation distribution.  The city enjoys almost 2,000 hours of sunshine each year (40% of daylight hours), and just over 1,000 cm of precipitation.

Summer

Moncton summer tend to be pleasantly warm—perfect weather for lounging on the patio deck.  Daytime highs average around 25 °C (77 °F) but can exceed 30 °C (86 °F) a few days each year.  The higher (and more humid) temperatures are the result of seasonal prevailing westerly winds that strengthen the continental tendencies of the summer climate. Rainfall is generally modest, especially in late July and August.

Autumn

Autumn is the season that Moncton most resembles it’s maritime neighbors.  This is influenced by the retention of heat in the nearby Gulf of St. Lawrence. As a result, daytime temperatures remain mild until mid October. The first snowfalls do not usually occur until mid November. However,  any delay in snowfall is more than made up for by the seasonal storms that hit the city in late fall. The stormiest weather of the year occur during the transition to winter between mid-December and mid-January.

Winter

Winter days in Moncton are cold—but they’re usually sunny!  Daytime temperatures hover just below the freezing point. However there are several cold snaps each winter when temperatures fall to -25 °C (-13 °F) or colder. Balancing these are a handful of “January thaws” each year when considerable snow melt can occur. Major snowfalls can result from nor’eastersocean storms moving up the coast following the jet stream from the southeastern United States. These storms can result in heavy precipitation, often amplified by “sea effect” snow squall activity.

Spring

Spring traditionally comes late to Moncton. This is because the sea ice that forms in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during the winter takes time to melt, cooling the prevailing onshore winds.  Over the course of the last decade, however, the ice burden in the Gulf has diminished considerably.  As a result, the springtime cooling effect has significantly weakened. Daytime temperatures above freezing are typical by mid March. Trees are usually in full leaf by the end of May.

And remember, if you don’t like the weather here, just wait a minute…it’ll change.

Great Company, Good Food & A Vacation Giveaway: MHB Realtor Open House A Success!

Pierre: excited about the great turnout!

Pierre: excited about the great turnout!

Thanks to a warm summer afternoon, burgers on the barbeque and our gorgeous model home as a backdrop, this summers’ Realtor open house was a great success!  We were stoked to have a full house at 131 Coriander- especially in the middle of July when people are busy with vacations & cottage time.  A big thank you to the real estate community for making it out and supporting the Martell Team.

Dan & Bruno hard at work.

The highlight of the day was drawing a business card for our grand prize draw.  Church Flooring was kind enough to supply a vacation getaway for 2 at a location of the recipient’s choice!!  Let’s face it- with the long hours; evenings & weekends… what REALTOR doesn’t need a getaway?

The winner of our draw was Gary Lockhart of Exit Moncton!!! Congrats to Gary and his wife- we truly hope they enjoy their getaway.

Gary Lockhart: Our Grand Prize Winner

We had a blast and cannot wait until the next one.  Thank you again to all who came out to support us!

How Kijiji Can Help New Home-Buyers

Kijiji Moncton Screen Shot

Kijiji Screen Shot

Buying a new house is exciting. Moving can be daunting though. When you begin packing you realize just how much clutter has accumulated in your closets and sheds. You may also realize that you can’t bring all your stuff to your new home. That kitchen table that was perfect for your apartment looks out-of-place in your new dining room.

Given all the other tasks associated with moving, the last thing you want to do on a precious Saturday is hold a traditional garage sale. Kijiji can help new home-buyers clear some clutter and make some extra cash to help ease their move to their new home.

Kijiji Can Help You

Kijiji  is Canada’s most popular free, local classifieds site. The word ‘kijiji’ (pronounced like key-gee-gee) means ‘village’ in Swahili. This name captures the essence of the site: a place where people connect with others in their community. Think of it as a virtual garage sale. Kijiji provides a free and convenient way for people to buy, sell or trade things that you no longer use or the curtains that don’t fit the windows in your new house.

While there are other online classified sites around—most notably Craigslist—Kijiji is the #1 classifieds site in Canada. It boasts over 15 million Canadian visitors each month. in 2010 there were over 40 million ads posted nationwide. In Moncton alone, there are currently 2,880 listings for furniture and 2,330 listings for home and garden items. These ads also include ‘wanted’ postings. This means that there may already be a buyer for your gas lawnmower or patio furniture.

How to Post an Ad on Kijiji

Here are 15 tips to successfully sell an item on Kijiji:

1. Choose an item to advertise.
It is usually best to create separate posts for each item, unless they are a set (i.e. bed frame and night stand). You can post up to 25 unique Ads on Kijiji every day.

2. Register with Kijiji. Registration is not required. However,it allows you to post and manage ads without having to confirm each action via email and reserve your own nickname. This makes your experience easier and more enjoyable.

3. Choose an area (e.g. Moncton) to post your ad in.

4. Select a Category (furniture; home and garden; sports, bikes, etc) and a sub-category (bookcases, coffee tables patio, etc) for your item

5. Fill in the Ad Details. These include ‘ad type’ (offering or wanting) and if you are an owner or dealer.

6. Select a Price. Prices vary depending on condition, age and demand. They should be along the lines of what you would expect to get at a garage sale. If you are having problems determining a fair price, check out WorthMonkey for help in deciding on a value.

7. Choose a Post Title. Try and create a catchy yet descriptive title. This is important because your title will be seen most often. It will be what gets people to click on your ad.

8. Write a Description. The description is where you describe your item to prospective buyers. It’s what will convince people to contact you. Be sure to include as many relevant details as possible.

9. Add Pictures. This is optional, but highly recommended. Ads with pictures get twice the number of replies. They allows to you show your item from different angles or highlighting different features. You can update many photos, but 3-4 pictures is usually enough.

10. Include your Contact Information.

  • Email (required): You may wish to set up a separate email address for your Kijiji account. Even though it will be anonymized on the site, your customers will get your email address when you respond to them after they have contacted  you.
  • Phone (optional): Keen buyers are more likely to respond to ads with phone numbers. Be aware, however, that if you enter your phone number it will show up on your ad . If you don’t want to include your number, no problem; prospective buyers will still be able to contact you via email. When registering you can also include your Skype details if you would like to be contacted this way instead.
  • Address (postal code required). This is so people know where you live and won’t be suprised that you live an hour away. If you are concerned about privacy, a postal code is enough.

11. Select Upgrades: While a basic ad (including picture) is free and enough for most people, Kijiji offers upgrades to help get your ad seen buy more people. This will help  your items get sold quicker.

  • Urgent: ($7.99/week) Adds a red urgent banner to your listing. Ads with the urgent icon stand out from others because of their different look.
  • Link to your Website ($4.00) Allows an external link you your website where you can offer more details, pictures and other information)
  • Top Ad ($12.99/week) Sell faster by putting your ad in the ‘Top Ads’ section. This is located above all other ads so prospective buyers see it first.
  • Homepage Gallery ($14.99/week) Your ad photo and title is placed at the top of the Kijiji homepage and seen by everybody visiting the site for a week.

12. Preview and Post Your Ad to make sure everything looks right. After the ad looks like you want it to, click on ‘Post Your Ad.’ Once posted, be sure to click on the link to see how your ad will look to your customers.

13. Respond Quickly to Queries. Chances are your item isn’t the only one of its kind posted on the site. If you want to sell quickly (and for top dollar), be sure to respond to prospective buyers quickly.

14. Make the Transaction. Most often buyers will be willing to come to you to pick up and pay for the item. If you are worried about them coming to your home, pick a nearby public spot to meet—such as a park or parking lot. Be prepared to allow the buyer to check out the item to make sure it works properly. Also, be ready to negotiate a bit over the price.

15. Cancel your Ad. It is considerate to cancel your ad once your item has been sold.  You don’t want to get people interested in buying something you no longer have.

This is the process in a nutshell. While it may seem complicated, using the site is actually quite straightforward. if you have questions along the way, Kijiji maintains an excellent online help desk to guide you.

Once you sell your unwanted items, you can look forward to moving into your new house with a little extra cash to help you get settled!

New Brunswick Staycations

Photograph of the Fairmont Algonquin Resort

The Fairmont Algonquin Resort (Source)

New Brunswickers know we live in a special place. However, many of us are too busy in our daily lives to truly appreciate it. When we have time to relax and take a vacation, we often head straight for the airport and travel to other places, leaving the province behind.

This summer why not change this?

Instead of dealing with the frustrations of air travel—escalating airfares, increased security measures and frustrating delays—plan a staycation and be a tourist in your own province. After all, New Brunswick is home to some of the most spectacular natural wonders, lively cities and eclectic cultures in the world.

Here are three New Brunswick stay-cations to consider:

Cities and Culture

Get re-acquainted with New Brunswick’s urban vitality. The province’s vibrant cities offer everything from fabulous farmer’s markets to unique architecture, vibrant nightlife and fascinating people. Take a long weekend and spend a night or two in Fredericton and Saint John. Along the way you can take in some of our heritage at sites like Kings Landing and Londonderry Church.

Acadian Beach Tour

You don’t have to travel to Florida or the Rivera to visit some amazing beaches. The Acadian coast is home to some great beaches nestled in some of the worlds most breathtaking scenery. Take a trip up the coast, enjoy the warmest saltwater beaches north of Virginia, and explore the hidden treasure along the way. Suggested stops include Parlee Beach Provincial Park, Kouchibouguac National Park and Escuminac Beach near Miramachi. Before turning back, be sure to stop at Chaleur Bay. It’s been recognized internationally as one of the most beautiful bays in the world.

Unwind at the Algonquin

Sometime you just want to relax and be pampered. The Fairmont Algonquin is the perfect place for this. Located in Canada’s first seaside resort town, the Algonquin has been providing impeccable hospitality to visitors from near and far since the 1880s. Spend a weekend and take in the beautiful grounds, play a round of golf by the sea-side, luxuriate in the hotel spa or simply bask in the Maritime sun. Your body and spirits will thank-you.

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Vacations don’t need to be stressful, expensive or time-consuming. Taking a stay-cation in New Brunswick is a great way to escape the daily grind, cut loose and get reconnected with the wonderful province we live in.

What’s your Favorite Staycation?

These three suggestions are just the beginning. There are many more amazing sights to see and places to visit in New Brunswick. We’d love to hear what your favorite local vacation spot is. Please let us know in the comments.

Photo Contest: What Your Home Means to You

Client Photo Contest

Do you remember the photo contest we had last year where we gave away a trip to Cancun, Mexico? Well, this year we’re doing something very similar because we know how much you loved last year’s contest!

You don’t need to be a pro photographer to win this photo contest; if you’re a client of ours, all you need is a creative mind to be eligible to win (well, and access to a camera, computer and Facebook!).

The Photo Contest

We want you to tell us the story of what home means to you in a single image. Get creative, get sentimental, get emotional, get taking those pictures! Home is, by far, the most important place in our lives; there’s truth behind the saying “Home is where the heart is” and there’s a reason why people get homesick. Home is where family and friends get together; share good times and bad; where hectic times and quiet moments are spent; where our children grow and grandchildren visit. If they could talk, our homes could tell the story of our lives. We want to see your home through your eyes.

The Prize

This is the exciting part. The grand prize winner will receive a brand new Napoleon fireplace! This beautifully designed electric fireplace will hang like any other wall décor and simply plugs into a standard wall socket.

Napoleon Fireplace

How to Enter

Once you’ve taken a picture of what your home means to you, simply go to our Facebook page (and “Like” it if you haven’t already done so!) and upload your picture by August 3rd. Make sure to tag yourself in the photo so all your friends can lend their support.

The Martell Home Builders team will carefully consider each entry based on creativity and the emotional impact the photo has on them (that’s right – make them cry, get bonus points!). The team will then vote amongst themselves to decide on a winner.

The winner will be announced on August 6th, at our annual Client Appreciation Party. You must be there in order to claim your prize, so make sure you’ve registered!

Good luck!

What Women Want… In Their Homes

Three women on a U-Haul moving truck(Source)

In today’s competitive real estate market, home builders and seller are doing everything they can to lure potential buyers. Selling a house based on three bedrooms, two baths and a big back-yard is no longer adequate. Buyers are looking for something extra. This is particularly true among women.

Females are one of the fastest growing home-buying demographic. There are more single women buying homes on their own than ever before.  Also, married women are often making the final decisions in the purchase of a family home.

What Women Want In Their Homes

Most woman and men are looking for similar things in their homes: open layouts, adequate storage, solid counter-tops, etc.  However, there are a few design details that can win the hearts of women that men may overlook. When attracting female home-buyers, keep in mind these 4 S’s:

Secure

Safety is a top issue for women home-buyers. A security system that integrate fire and flood alarms is a definite selling feature.  Other security features include good street and entryway lighting, and security cameras.

Silent

In todays busy world, many of us retreat to our homes for solace from the daily hub-hub of the city.  A serene home can be a huge selling features.  Think of details like: whispering appliances, including quiet dishwashers, garbage disposal and central vacuums. Other silent selling features include sound-muting building materials—particularly in the master suite and laundry. ‘Soft close’ toilet seats are also popular.

Sustainable

While saving money and the planet crosses gender lines, women are particularly attuned to green features in a home.  Big ticket items such as solar panels are a definite draw. But smaller details like sustainable bamboo flooring, low VOC paints and a compost drawer can help to seal the deal.

Sleek

Good design may cross gender lines, but a few sleek storage ideas cater especially to female buyers. In the bathroom these include features like hidden storage in the bathroom for reading materials and feminine products, as well as hairdryer-ready drawers with outlets.  In the rest of the house, built-in storage and organizers such as wall-mounted gift-wrapping stations—will catch many women’s eyes.

Buying a home is a complex and multifaceted decison. There are many factors that lead buyers to one house over another. But these four 4 S’s are near the top of the list for many women home-buyers.  They may just be the factor that turn a prospective buyer into a proud home-owner.

Moncton: Canada’s Most Canadian City

Canadian Flag(Source)

Last week, Canadians from coast to coast celebrated Canada Day.  It turns out the residents of Moncton had a little extra reason to celebrate. The city has been named the Canucky-est City by the Martin Prosperity Institute. The Institute, a University of Toronto think-tank, developed the Canuck Index to determine which cities contain the most Canadian touchstones for their population size. This is yet another reason why Moncton rocks!

The Canuck Index

The Canuck Index is a blend of eight quintessentially ‘Canadian measures including:

  • The number of local breweries
  • The number of Tim Horton’s restaurants
  • The number of maple syrup producers
  • The number of fur stores
  • The labour force share of the fishing, farming and forestry class
  • The number of Hudson Bay Company Stores (the Bay, Zeller’s, and Home
  • CHL and NHL hockey teams in those areas
  • How close the distribution of language within the region is to the distribution of Canada’s two official languages.

Each of these measures were applied to 144 Canadian cities and indexed per 100,000 residents. NHL teams were given twice the weighting of a CHL team; although smaller places lucky enough to host a CHL team still preformed the best.

The study also included a measure based on how close the distribution of language within the region is to the distribution of Canada’s two official languages. The researchers felt that this collection of Canadian touchstones made for a “Canucky” place. Notably absent from the list were measures of snowfall, politeness and Roots stores.

Top 10 ‘Canucky’ Cities

Exhibit02_500px(Source)

Moncton Mayor George Leblanc told CTV that he wasn’t completely surprised by this honour:

“I’ve always thought that Moncton was representative of the country…. It’s a secret we’ve kind of kept to ourselves so it’s nice to see Moncton being recognized.”

While Moncton wasn’t a top performer on any individual metric, it ranked high enough in each to claim top place overall, with an index scored of 0.74 out of 1. The city’s top categories were bilingualism (4th) and Tim Hortons (8th). Halifax was the only other maritime city to make the top 10, while Bathurst ranked a respectable 12th.

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