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Welcome to the Dream Home!

Not able to make it to an open house? Click HERE to see more!

Not able to make it to an open house? Click HERE to see more!

We are so proud to yet again be partnering with CHUDUMONT and The Friends of the Moncton Hospital to bring you the 2016 Hand-in-Hand Lottery Dream Home!

This home is like nothing you have ever seen. Nestled into the beautiful Royal Oaks community, we have pulled out all the stops to create the home dreams are made of.

73 Oakcroft Crescent, Moncton, New Brunswick
SHOWHOME HOURS:

Wednesday – Friday 4pm – 8pm

Saturday & Sunday 11am – 5pm

The Final Word in luxury! Showcasing the largest Dream Home ever nestled amongst a magnificent golf course. Royal Oaks is a wonderful place to call home with superb water features and walking trails! PLUS we’ve brought back the expertise of Josée from Azure Dezign showcasing her talent of design with furnishings from Lounsbury!

 

Island Entertaining

Custom kitchenYour kitchen is the most memorable and probably most used room in your home, and when it comes to entertaining, there is no more important area. But if you have an open-concept design and your kitchen looks out into your main living area, how do you maintain the balance between the flow and the compartmentalization that entertaining calls for?

Enter: your island.

You’ve heard it said for years: Parties always end up in the kitchen. These days, many of them start there, too. If you enjoy hosting friends and family at home, you might want to create an entertaining island for your special events.

 

Things to focus on when designing your entertaining area:

Lighting. There’s nothing worse than a glare coming from harsh lighting (and then being reflected by a shiny countertop), except a room so dimly lit you can’t tell what kind of cheese you’re eating. Go for mood lighting, adjustable if possible, and allow for natural light.

cool islandSpace. Allowing for the ebb and flow of entertaining means making sure there is enough space all the way around for two lanes of foot traffic. Also, take into account moving and managing of people when deciding what to put in your island drawers – you don’t want to make every move every ten minutes during a gathering!

Add-ons. There are so many ways to make your island stand out, and be the talk of the party! Built-in planters, bottle openers and other gadgets attached, extra features hidden in drawers – really your imagination is the limit. Be creative (but be aware of overdoing it!)

Appliances. Planning to entertain year-round? Install a mini bar fridge and never have to waste valuable refrigerator real estate! Include a water or ice machine to keep drinks flowing all night, or a small range to add warming space.

No matter how you choose to design your island entertainment, all you really need is great friends, great food, and your style!

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Materials Matter: Kitchen Countertops

When it comes to your home, the kitchen makes the biggest statement, and is often the most memorable room in the house. Countertops make up a huge part of that statement, being both functional and aesthetic, useful and visible.

Choosing the right material to make your countertop an asset rather than a pain is essential to any kitchen design. There are five materials that we use most commonly, each with their own pros and cons: quartz, granite, marble, and concrete. Which one is right for you? It depends on a lot of factors.

Quartz

Pros: This manufactured material can be created in any colour to match any decor. Quartz has the same durability as concrete and granite, but is quite a bit more forgiving, so it won’t chip or crack as easily. It doesn’t have the same hardness in the feel that some people find unpleasant.

Like other hard surface countertop materials, quartz is non-porous so it resists staining much better than granite, marble and concrete. It stands up to juice, oil, wine, tomato, coffee and other sources of stains in the kitchen. For cleanliness, a non-porous surface means that it will not harbour bacteria or viruses.

Cons:  Quartz doesn’t stand up to heat as well as granite, and the seams of manufactured stone can be less attractive to some buyers. The biggest disadvantage is the price, however the durability means it won’t have to be replaced for a very long time, making it an economical advantage in the long run.

Granite countertop

Granite

Pros: There is a rich beauty to granite countertops that no other material can match. Seamless and heat resistant, granite countertops are functional and will take any high-end kitchen to the next level.

Cons: Since granite is a natural stone, buyers are limited to the colours and styles found in nature – including imperfections and patterns. Also, granite is porous and requires sealing. The most concerning problems can occur when the countertops are not sealed correctly or the sealant wears off without the counters being resealed. This means that unsealed or poorly sealed counters can absorb wine, juice or oil, producing a stain that might be impossible to remove. A poorly-sealed countertop can also harbour bacteria in its pores.

Marble

Pros:  Marble countertops offer spectacular beauty. This igneous stone comes in a wonderful display of colour and shade. No two slabs are alike, so you’ll be assured of having a unique countertop for your home. Marble countertops can withstand heat, and stand up well to pots and pans.

Cons: Marble is porous, and requires sealing every few years to avoid liquids being absorbed causing stains that are virtually impossible to get out. It is also the least durable material on the list, being prone to chips from knives or even coffee mugs. Due to its delicate nature, marble is often saved for the bathroom where there is less chance of overuse.

ConcreteConcrete Main

Pros: Concrete countertops can be absolutely beautiful, with pigments allowing buyers to create nearly any desired shade. With staining, you can give your countertops the look of granite or other natural stone. Concrete is extremely durable, perfect for the wear and tear of a busy kitchen or active family. It won’t scratch and is very heat resistant.

Cons: Concrete prices are on the higher end, and they require sealing upon installation and resealing every 1-3 years. When not sealed correctly, concrete is susceptible to staining, a weakness it shares with granite and marble.

 

Neighborhood Feature: Royal Oaks, Moncton NB

Located on Elmwood Drive in Moncton, NB

Currently building

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Image source: 123turnthekey.com

Nestled amongst a magnificent golf course, Royal Oaks is a wonderful place to call home. It carries many hallmark attributes, such as superb water features, walking trails and striking lots. This development is situated just minutes away from école l’Odyssée, the new Moncton High School and many Elmwood Drive amenities.

 

Schools:

Kindergarten to Grade 4: Forest Glen Elementary

Grades 5 to 8: Sunday Brae Middle School

Grades 9 to 12: Moncton High School

 

Écoles:

Primaire – École le Sommet OU École Champlain

Secondaire – École l’Odyssée

 

Features include

  • Fine golf community living
  • Water features
  • Walking trails
  • Close proximity to amenities
  • Underground wiring
  • And more!

 

 

Lot Prices

Semi-Detached Lots Ranging between $56 900 and $85 900

Single Family Lots Range between $48 900 and $94 900

 

If interested, please contact Pierre at (506) 871-5237 or pierre@themartellexperience.com to start your own Discovery Session today!

Neighbourhood Profile: Centennial Gardens (Fredericton)

Looking for that perfect lot in the highly sought after village of New Maryland can be difficult…


Centennial Gardens

Welcome to Phase 1 of Centennial Gardens – These fully serviced large lots are in the heart of the village adjacent to New Maryland Elementary School, Athletic Park which includes: a new soccer field, tennis courts, baseball diamonds and playground.  In addition, there is a direct walkway from this development to the School and Athletic Park.

Centennial Gardens 2

This is the perfect place for those looking to be in a family neighbourhood but close to all the major city services of Fredericton.  These amazing lots are within ten minute drive to: Regent Mall, Hospital, University, Costco, Knowledge Park, and the Grant-Harvey Centre.

 

Lot Prices starting at: $65,000.00

Centennial Gardens 1

To book a Discovery Session and start planning your new home in Centennial Gardens, call Jason today at

506-292-2169 or by email jhaines@themartellexperience.com.

 

Heat Pump Probs?

photo (17)Ahh, the beautiful, snowy East Coast.  Personally, I LOVE snow but I know that it’s got many other New Brunswickers feeling down. With so much snow on the ground (and more on the way tonight), it’s not surprise that we’ve gotten a few calls from past clients whose heat pumps are not operating.  A very common problem with an abundance of snow (and nowhere to put it) is snow in your heat pump condenser.

We spoke to our buddies at ConAir Ventilation here in Greater Moncton are here are the steps that they advise you to take prior to making a service call:

STEP 1- remove snow on and around the condenser. We’re talking REALLY clean it out here… (The condenser is the unit outside the house).
STEP 2- clean as much inside the condenser as possible.
STEP 3- pour hot water in the condenser to remove excess snow inside.
STEP 4- turn heat pump breaker for about 15 minutes then turn it back on.
If this process does not work, then it’s time to make a service call.
Good luck & stay warm!

 

 

 

The Only Reason Your Home Isn’t Selling.

I’ve been toying with writing this post since 2012… that was the year that it became much more challenging to sell your home in Greater Moncton.  And, if your house isn’t selling, this post is directed at you.  So before you read on, I want you think about how badly you want to sell your house.  Also, please remind yourself that my only intention in writing this post is to help you sell your house.  Period. I’m sure you have great taste & style! 🙂

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I’m no stranger to what it takes to sell a home.  I’ve been marketing and selling homes for 11 years (as a former Realtor and now a builder).   I even completed a home staging designation and have overseen complete transformations of my client’s homes to ensure that they get the most money when they sell. So here’s the kicker… I’m not a Realtor any longer but I still hear my clients’ disappointment when they can’t start their new home project because they can’t sell their current home!

Why Isn’t Your House Selling?  It’s simple really…. you haven’t created enough VALUE for the buyers. Period.   

Marketing 101:  Value = Benefits/Cost

How do you create value?  Follow the simple equation above and you will see that once benefits outweigh cost, in the mind of buyers, you’ve achieved value and your home will sell.  The problem that you’re having is that the benefits to the potential buyer of your home have not yet outweighed the cost.  To sell your home, you need to start thinking like a marketer and of your home as a PRODUCT! Buyers don’t have the sentimental attachment that you do, so it’s best to save the nostalgia for the photo albums and take it out of the home.

To shift the value equation and sell your home, you have two options:

  1. Increase the benefits
  2. Decrease the cost

In this post, I will to consider each way that you may not be maximizing your home’s value.

Increase Your Home’s Benefits

You really need to be in tune with what buyers are looking for on the market to understand what your home may be lacking.  Particularly in a buyer’s market, there is so much choice out there that you cannot afford to have a home that is just average.  In our market, your home will often be competing with brand new construction homes so you need to recognize your best assets and let them shine.

1. What is special about your home already? Scream it from the rooftops. 

Does your neighbourhood have mature trees? Do you have an oversized lot? Are you close to an amazing school? Can you walk downtown?  What does your home have that it’s competitors lack? Buyers need to be told what makes it special. (Remember, the home is a product).

2. What is not so special about your home? Fix it.

Flooring and paint make over this kitchen.

 

Remember, this post is for people who REALLY want to sell their homes.  This is the single hardest hurdle to overcome with home sellers.  I’ve had to convince clients to stain their floors, paint their wood cabinets, change their siding… you name it, my clients have done it.  And their houses sold.

There are a few reasons that I see people list homes that are not “market-ready”.

1. Many sellers will not change things about the home because they personally like the house as it is.  This is a dangerous way to approach your home sale in a buyers market.  Have a look at the homes that are actually selling in your price point.  If those homes all have dark modern hardwood and your home boasts a golden oak, it’s time to consider the idea that your flooring is not appealing to buyers and needs to be changed if you want to sell (see image above).

2. Another argument against doing the work up-front: “Why would I change the house? I don’t know what the buyers will want.”  The reality is that the majority of buyers have already looked at photos of your home.  If you haven’t given them a reason to come see it in person, they simply won’t.  You can’t afford to look dated/average in a buyers market.

Decrease Your Home’s Cost 

Market value does not lie.  Buyers are only willing to pay the price that they are willing to pay and overpricing your home can be dangerous to the selling process.  Frankly, it’s great if you think that your home is worth $500,000.00 but that doesn’t change anything if buyers value your home at $350,000.00.  Overpricing a listing simply means that the buyers who would have considered the home are not even visiting because they perceive the home price out of their budget.

The price of your home should only be set using a Comparative Market Analysis- a set of stats showing what other comparable homes are selling for.  If you’ve done a CMA and your home still isn’t selling, you may be experiencing a market shift and should consult your Realtor regarding whether a reduction in price would be helpful.

Over the next while, I’ll follow up with some specific actionable steps you can take to work on increasing the benefits of your home.  Have you had success updating your home to sell it?  What worked for you? I’d love to hear.

-Natalie

 

Building Hope in Uganda (And How We Need Your Help)…

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It’s been a whirlwind few months at Martell Home Builders and we couldn’t be happier.  Our founder Pierre Martell & his fiancee Jess Boudreau have been busy expanding the Martell Home Builders family, by 17 people!  Have a look at what they’ve been up to:

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One of the best parts of the CHAT program, beyond the lives that they’re saving in Uganda, is the way that they’re impacting the lives of Canadian kids.  Literally, we are raising a generation of Canadian kids who are global activitists, entrepreneurs and philanthropists.  The future is BRIGHT for these kids!

Obviously, we’ve got a big job ahead of us in raising the finds required to DOUBLE the amount of children whose lives are saved by CHAT to the Future!

How you can help? Teachers/parents: is your school a CHAT school yet?  http://www.chattothefuture.org/teachers/

Everyone else: we can’t start construction until we’ve hit our funding goal….We need to raise some funds and we need everyone to see this video!

1. PLEASE SHARE this with your network and as many people as you can!

2. Please, please, please consider opening your heart (and wallet) to this amazing organization and help us impact that many more children: http://www.chattothefuture.org/invest/ (Click Build)

How are you giving back this Holiday Season?

Fall 2015: Our 5 Hottest Custom Home Trends

With more and more options for fixtures and finishes available in the custom home market, clients are really able to have their home reflect anything their heart desires!  As we look back on one of our busiest Fall custom home seasons ever, I thought that it would be great to recap the trends that our clients are going “ga-ga” for.

1. Barn Doors: These days, almost every client we meet with is looking to implement a barn door somewhere in their home.  We’re particularly fond of using barn doors in areas that do not require sound detonation (as in, you don’t want to put a barn door on a bathroom).  The image below offers an amazing option in using the barn door to offer separation for a pantry.

Image Source: http://www.thekitchn.com/

2. “Anything-But-MDF” Mantles: Traditionally, MDF is the material of choice when building mantles in new construction homes.  Lately however, our clients have been really looking for creative options when it comes to their fireplace mantles!  While one set of clients brought us an antique wooden beam, another set recently opted for stainless steel (see below).  We think that the position of a mantle and it’s location as the focal point in a room makes it the perfect place to let your style shine!

Image Source: www.themartellexperience.com

Image Source: www.themartellexperience.com

3. Faux Cedar Shake: When it comes to exterior finishes, the trend has been to get away from traditional vinyl siding.  That said, few clients want to absorb the additional cost of wood siding or cedar shake.  This leaves many clients choosing to outfit the exterior of their homes in faux cedar shake which allows them the maintenance-free benefit of vinyl while offering a more upscale look.

Image Source: themartellexperience.com

Image Source: themartellexperience.com

4. Composite Decking: One of the hottest items that we’ve worked with this year is composite decking as an alternative to wood.  Composite decking is a maintenance free product that stays looking new much longer than wood.  While this product is more expensive than wood, many clients are making the investment in this long-term product.

Image Source: thisoldhouse.com

 

5. Dark Ceilings: For clients looking to up the drama factor without darkening their room, dark paint on the ceilings is the way to go!  Light continues to reflect off of neutral/light coloured walls while the darkness of the ceiling gives the illusion that the ceiling is much higher than it really is.

Image Source: themartellexperience.com

 

Moncton Halloweeeeeeen… Twenty Fourteeeeeen!

by: Natalie

Let me preface this post by declaring that I LOVE holidays. LOVE! I love decorating, dressing up, building traditions and having a blast!   So, it should come as no surprise that my family has a jam-packed schedule for the week leading up to Halloween.  As I was planning out our activities, I noticed that there was no list anywhere online with this year’s “MUST-DOs” for Halloween in Moncton.  So, here are mine 🙂

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Yours truly… Halloween 2011.

1. Spirit Halloween Superstore Plaza (Main Street).

Granted, I have not yet tried out the other Halloween stores around town but this place was the bomb! It took 20 minutes for us to even get into the store as my kids toured the very exciting decor display.  We’re talking electrocutions, mad scientists, attack dogs and even a little zombie girl on a swing.  **WARNING** My kids are 6 and loved it but they would have had nightmares if we brought them when they were younger.

2. 131 Broadview (Old West End).

I absolutely the holiday people who go all out (a la Clark Griswold)… whether their thing is Halloween, Christmas, Easter, whatever….  That’s why the people at 131 Broadview probably think that I’m some sort of stalker.  From Oct 1-31,  I try to pass by this fantastic display as often as possible.  On Saturday, they’re hosting a Halloween block party from 3-6pm and will be accepting donations for the local food bank.  I spoke with the resident of this home and he told me that they see 400-500 trick or treaters every year!   We are so sad that this is their last year doing their display.

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Photo by me… driving by during daylight to see everything better.

 

3.  Boo At The Zoo

This will be our first year at Boo At The Zoo and I’m so excited!  Open Sat & Sun from 11am-5pm, they promise inflatable fun as well as a scarier area for the parents.  With admission, you also get to do your rounds of the animal displays.  Be sure to wear a costume… Parents too!  This one’s likely to be my kids’ favourite event.

4. Keillor House Halloween Tour

By far, my favourite event of the season is the Keillor House Tour!   Open Friday and Saturday night from 7-9pm.  Honestly, if you haven’t been, it is a MUST see.  My kids begged to join us this year but there would be way too many nightmares and tears at their age.  As you tour this historic mansion, live actors engage with you and make sure that every person leaves terrified.  Get ready to scream!!

Imagine this place at night, filled with live ghouls and ghosts…

That’s what we’re up to this weekend.  So, Moncton, did I miss any Halloween “MUSTS”?  Tell me… how are you celebrating the spookiest season?

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