Monthly Archives: October 2011


Martell Home Builders On The Cover Of BDC’s Profit$ Magazine

Wow! We are super stoked to see an article on Martell Home Builders in this edition of Profit$ Magazine- Especially, with our own Pierre Martell gracing the cover!  Great job Pierre.

The article talks about building your online strategy and highlights some of Martell Home Builders’ accomplishments in this space.  You can read the PDF version of the article on page 6: http://www.bdc.ca/en/about/publications/profits/Pages/default.aspx.

Thanks to BDC for this fantastic coverage!

The Ups and Downs of Moncton’s Housing Market

Lot 98-06 Westshore - Point du Chene

2011 has been an interesting year for new housing in Moncton. Depending on who you ask, and what segment you are looking at, the market has seemed either good or bad.

Multiple Starts Down
Significantly in Greater
Moncton
The new homes market in Greater
Moncton recorded a year-over-year
decline of 29.5 per cent in multiple
starts during the second quarter of
2011.  Activity in the rental market,
in particular, was weak during the
second quarter of 2011, with a total
of 26 apartment starts in the Moncton
CMA, all in Moncton City proper. In
comparison, 103 apartment starts
were recorded in Moncton City
during the same period last year, with
an additional 48 units in Riverview.
Semi-detached starts, which were
off to a slow start during the winter
months, rebounded during the second
quarter, with a significant year-overyear increase in starts. Despite the
strong performance, the number
of unabsorbed units, which had
previously peaked at a historically
high level in 2009, continued to trend
downwards in 2011 as supply and
demand continued to move towards
a more sustainable balance. Even
though semi-detached homes remain
the starter home of choice in Greater
Moncton, a growing number of new
units have started to command higher
prices as consumers seek increased
amenities.
Single starts were solid in the
Moncton CMA during the second
quarter.  A notable year-over-year
increase in both Moncton City and
the Town of Riverview, however,
was offset by fewer starts in Dieppe
City and the remainder of the CMA,
resulting in a 7.6 per cent, year-overyear decline for the quarter. Despite
fewer starts during the second
quarter, the average price of a newly
absorbed, single-detached unit was up
5.2 per cent to $265,634. Year-to-date,
the price change was negligible, down
0.2 per cent.
Single Starts Decline in the
Provincial Capital
In the second quarter of 2011, singledetached starts in Fredericton were
down 24.6 per cent to 86 units. The
avera

When looking for housing data, we frequently turn to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). CMHC is Canada’s national housing agency. While they are perhaps best known for providing mortgage loan insurance, they also are a leading source of housing data, and one of the first places market researchers turn to when looking at trend in the real estate market.

Each quarter they release a quarterly ‘Housing Now’ report for various cities across Canada. The report provides insightful analysis of local housing markets and a summary of housing statistics, including starts, completions, dwellings under construction, absorptions, real estate sales and home prices, as well as key economic indicators.

Here are some of the CMHC highlights about the real estate market in Moncton:

Apartments Down

New multiple starts (i.e. apartments, condos and row houses) recorded a substantial decline of 29.5 per cent a year-over-year decline during the second quarter of 2011. New rental starts were particularly week, with just 24 new apartments breaking ground in the Moncton region. This compares to 151 apartment starts in the region during the same period in 2010

Semis Up

Semi-deatched starts did significantly better. After a slow winter, they rebounded during the second quarter, with 184 new duplexes getting underway—a 19.4% year-over-year increase. While semi-detached homes remain the starter home of choice in Greater Moncton, a growing number of these new units are being built with increased amenities and commanding higher prices.

Mixed Singles

Single-family home starts were a mixed story during the second quarter, While parts of the region—notably Moncton and Riverview saw notable increases, they were more than offset by fewer starts in the rest of region. As a result, single family starts were down 7.6% during the period. Despite the fewer starts, however, the average price of a single-detached house was up 5.2 per cent to $265,634 over 2010.

 Housing Activity Summary of Moncton CMA Q2-2011

You can download the full report from the CMHC Publications and Reports page.

15 Halloween Costume Ideas for 2011

Halloween house decorations in Port Norfolk By formatted_dad on Flickr

Photograph by  formatted_dad on Flickr

Halloween is just around the corner. If you don’t already have your costume put together here are 15 ideas to inspire you (and a bonus 5 ideas for your home). If you want to be really creative, be sure to refer back to last years post on homemade Halloween costumes.

Women

  • Alice in Wonderland: Tim Burton’s reinterpretation of this childhood classic provides several costume choice for adults. If the title character isn’t ‘your cup of tea,’ consider the Queen of Hearts.
  • Katy Perry: A great alternative to the Lady Gaga overload
  • Pan Am Flight Attendant: A fun spin on the vintage trend inspired by the hit new TV series.  Would make a great group costume.
  • Princess Beatrice or Eugeni: Creating your own wacky wedding hats is a great DIY costume option
  • Black Swan: Bring out your inner ballerina

Men

  • Disgraced Celebrities: Lots to chose from this year, including Charlie Sheen, Arnold Schwarzenegger , Tiger Woods and Anthony Weiner
  • Lord Voldemort: A great way for adults to show their love for the Harry Potter series and scare a few people while you are at it!
  • Don Draper: The Mad Men Show fan-site has a guide to creating the perfect Don Draper—or any of your favourite characters—costume.
  • Green Man: though made popular by the Canuck’ the spandex unseat has created it’s own meme… If you want to stand out from the pack, consider a Red Man or Gold Man ensemble.
  • Superheros: Lots to chose from this yer: Captain America, Thor, Green Lantern, Iron Man
  • Steve Jobs: A easy, DIY way to pay tribute to an icon.

Kids

  • Princess Kate: What better costume than a a real life princess!
  • Angry Birds: These costumes are literally flying off the shelves. Would make a fun family or group costume idea… Here’s some handy DIY instructions to make your own.
  • Harry Potter: The movies may be over, but the magic lives on
  • Zombies: A perennial classic and great way to get one last wear out of old or ripped clothing.
  • Smurfs: There ill be a lot of little blue people out this Halloween

Bonus: Haunted Home Ideas

Being a home-builder site, we’d be remiss if we didn’t offer some ideas for dressing up your home:

  • Creepy Centrepiece: Adding some spray paint or glitter to a small pumpkin or gourd makes a great focus point for your table or entryway. Attach some plastic spiders to complete the creepy effect.
  • Black is Back: If you are bored with the traditional carved jack-o-lantern, grab some black and white paint and create a ghost-o’-lanterns.
  • Spooky Silhouettes: Cut black construction paper into bat, witch or black cat silhouettes to hide in corners or place on doors and windows.
  • Terror Tunes: Prepare a spooky soundtrack of your favourite scary sounds and songs to greet your party guests or trick-o-treaters.
  • Fearsome Fog: Dry ice available at most grocery stores and  is a cheap yet effective way to creature a ghostly atmosphere.

Get Spooked: Halloween Activities around Moncton

Photograph by Pedro J. Ferreira on Flickr

Now that you have your Halloween costume chosen, and your house decorated, it’s time to decide how you are going to celebrate the holiday (besides trick-or-treating of  course!).  Here are a few haunted Halloween events and activities for people of all ages.

Halloween Stories

Saturday October 29 at 11am

Little ghosts and goblins ages 2 and up are invited to come to the Moncton Public Library in their Halloween costumes for some spooky (but not too spooky) stories, a craft and a costume parade around the library. Families are welcome.

Registration begins October 22

Boo at the Zoo presents Scaredy Cats

Oct 22, 23, 29 & 30, 2011,  11am-5pm (the zoo is open from 9am-6pm)

The Magnetic Hill Zoo has decided to discontinue their night time Boo at the Zoo events, and instead focus on a daytime Scaredy Cats event.  There will be lots of fun activities and games for the little ones while visiting the zoo animals. For older children there will be some “moderately scary” Halloween venues. Be sure to come dressed up!

Tickets are only on sale at the door.

Halloween at the Terror Williams House

October 29, 2011,  1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Moncton Museum is organizing a Halloween event for families at the Thomas Williams House (103 Park Street, Moncton). Come enjoy an afternoon of Halloween inspired events, including games, crafts, a costume contest and much more! Admission is free!

For more information contact Barb Muir at the Moncton Museum, 506-856-4325.

Halloween Spooktacular

Saturday, October 29 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

For the adults, Casino New Brunswick is hosting a Halloween Spooktacular. This event is billed as “the biggest Halloween event ever in Moncton.” The party features performances by DJ Adam Analog and The Awesome Imposters. There will be a Midnight Costume Contest with over $2,000 in cash prizes. Due to security precautions faces must be free of makeup or masks to enter Casino New Brunswick.

Tickets are $20.

Top New Brunswick Business Blogs

Last year we brought you a list of the best overall blogs in New Brunswick. Here’s our selection of blog that focus on business issues from a New Brunswick or Canadaian. Where possible we’ve included links to their RSS, Twitter Facebook and LinkedIn sites so you can follow then with your preferred tools:

  • Women in Business New Brunswick: A site dedicated to woman business owners or entrepreneurs. Contains useful information on business resources, training and networking opportunities and access to funding.
    Facebook
  • Get Growing for Business: Scotiabank’s Get Growing for Business website is a dynamic online hub designed to give small-business owners helpful hints and advice that they can put to immediate use.
    RSS
  • New Brunswick Business Journal: Not a blog per se, but the online version of a variety of newspaper concentrating on coverage of business issues throughout New Brunswick.
    RSS
  • Small Business Canada: One of the rare About pages worth checking out. Susan has done a great job at collating everything you need to know to start and operate a small business.

Your Turn

Who’s your favourite New Brunswick business blogger? We’re always on the hunt for great blogs to follow. Leave a comment letting us know who we should add to our blog roll!

Top 7 Homemade Halloween Decorations You Can Make for Cheap!

Jack-o-Clock

(Source and instructions)

Last year, we gave you an article about cheap homemade Halloween costumes that were creative, unique and easy to make. This year, let’s take a look at some of the best homemade Halloween decorations you can make that are also super-creative and easy on the wallet.

Owl A Glow - Homemade Halloween Decorations

This owl might be more cute than scary, but it’s still an awesome-looking decoration worthy of making our list. For this project, all you need is a paper lantern (found at most party supply or craft stores for cheap), some paper, twine and glue dots. Visit Disney Family Fun for full instructions.

Tombstone Halloween Decorations for Your Lawn

Made from paper bags and cardboard, these tombstone lawn decorations will make a great addition to your Halloween décor – just as long as the forecast doesn’t call for rain! For a full list of what you need, complete instructions and tombstone/epitaph templates, visit the Martha Stewart website.

Vampire Lollies - Homemade Halloween Decorations

These little lollipop vampires are working double-duty; they’re fantastic Halloween decorations, and also the treats to hand out to either trick-or-treaters or your party guests. In addition to the lollies, all you need is some cellophane and a few other super-cheap supplies that you probably already have lying around the house. Full instructions can be found at the Kaboose website.

Glow-in-the-Dark Bat Mobile CenterpieceGlow-in-the-Dark Bat Halloween Decoration

These glow-in-the-dark bats look great in both the daylight and in the dark. Some of the supplies needed to make this DIY decoration can probably be found in your own backyard; the rest of the materials can be purchased at your local craft store. Full instructions can be found at the HGTV website.

Paranormal Portraits - DIY Halloween Decorations

This can be a real creepy display, especially when the photos are of your friends and family. In addition to needing photo frames (which you probably already have), the supplies needed include black craft paint, a sponge, cardstock, glue and red LED Christmas lights. You’ll also need a printer and the ability to convert digital images to black and white (there are several free photo editing programs that can do this for you). Visit the Country Living website for full instructions.

Pumpkin Porcupines - Halloween Decoration Ideas

A list of homemade Halloween decorations wouldn’t be complete without mentioning some cool pumpkin carving ideas! If you want to step away from the boring jack-o’-lanterns that everyone’s carving, consider making this porcupine pumpkin – it’s super creative and looks incredible when lit up. The Martha Stewart website will show you how to make this project, as well as other unique pumpkin critters.

Peekaboo Pumpkins

Rather than carving a pumpkin, you could consider decorating miniature gourds this Halloween. The project calls for three to five small bowls and lidded dishes and, if they aren’t already black and white, it’s suggested that you use spray primer to paint them. If you aren’t keen on the idea of painting your own dishes, sneak into your neighbour’s house at night to see what they’ve got. No, I’m kidding. What you can do, however, is visit your local thrift shop to see what’s available there. You can pick up used dishes for pennies, and remember, you’ll be painting them, so it doesn’t matter if they have tacky grandma-ish designs on them. The HGTV website has a complete list of supplies and instructions.

More? You Want More?!

These cheap homemade Halloween decorations not enough for you? If you check out any of the websites linked to above, each has a plethora of other ideas in addition to what’s mentioned here. So go ahead, check ‘em out, and when you find something really cool, make sure to leave a comment to let us know what you’ve found!

Oh, and happy Halloween!

[Image credits: screenshots have been captured from the respective websites]

Tips for a Low-Stress Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving cupcakes, turkeys made of fondant  Photo credit: WishUponACupcake on Flickr

In the Maritimes, the changing of the leaves is almost synonymous with Canadian Thanksgiving. The holiday is linked to the European tradition of harvest festivals. A common image seen at this time of year is a cornucopia—or horn—representing the “Horn of Plenty,” a symbol of bounty and plenty that dates back to ancient Greece.

While few household boast an actual horn these days, many families host a large dinner for friends and family featuring the the bounty of the fall. If you are hosting a dinner this weekend and are looking for some tips to keep it low stress, here are a few tips:

  • Shop on Friday or Saturday. While it may seem like leaving things to the last minute, this is when the stores have the most stock. You’ll find the best choices, and often the best deals. Alas you won’t be the only only out so be sure budget some extra time and wear comfortable shoes!
  • Shop with a friend or neighbour and save. Shopping with a friend is a great chance to chat and catch up while you pick up your groceries and wait in the inevitable lines. Getting together with friends also allows you to buy in bulk and save some money , or even split some of the cooking and save some time.
  • Know how much turkey you need. Most people by bigger than they need and it ends up going to waste. Quantities vary depending upon your appetite, side dishes and desire for leftovers. A generous rule of thumb is 0.75 kg (1.5 lbs) per person. For 6 people, that is a 4.5 kg (9 lbs) turkey.
  • Share the cooking. If you are hosting, you can provide the turkey, but ask your guests to bring their favourite or traditional dishes. This reduces your work load, while and helps your guests feel part of the special day. Learning about the history of the dishes also provides great dinner conversation and helps you all get to know each other better.
  • Organize activities. While watching football is a Thanksgiving tradition for many families, some people may not want to spend the day in front of the TV. If the weather permits, think of organizing a touch football or street hockey game or going on a short hike to enjoy the fall foliage. Board games and puzzles are great indoor alternatives. If there will be lots of children around, plan some seasonal arts or craft activity to keep them busy.

Do you have any thoughts or ideas on how to host a low stress Thanksgiving dinner? Let us know in the comments

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