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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.



Kindergarten to Grade 4: Forest Glen Elementary

Grades 5 to 8: Sunday Brae Middle School

Grades 9 to 12: Moncton High School



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!

Moving To Moncton Monday: Take It Outside (Your Skating That Is)

There is something whimsical about strapping on a pair of skates and taking it outside, isn’t there?  One of my absolute favourite discoveries about Moncton has been the abundance of outdoor skating rinks!  In fact, there’s one just two blocks from my home, in gorgeous Victoria Park.

While weather outside can have so many of us wanting to pull up the covers and zone out to Netflix, outdoor skating has some amazing benefits!  In addition to the calories burned and the balance control, getting outside in the winter also helps with depression.  Seriously, how many people have you ever seen on skates with a frown? (The NHL aside).

Take a drive around the city after school or on the weekend and you’ll see kids & adults alike, gathering to share some winter fun!

So, where are Moncton’s rinks?  According to the City of Moncton, they are in almost every neighborhood:

Outdoor Rinks

Mapleton Place (90 Candlewood Drive)

Prince Edward Park (25 Burlington Avenue)

Sunny Brae Park (45 Centre Street)

Hamilton Heights Playground (120 Evergreen Dr)

Roxborough Park (140 Barrington Crescent)

Other Outdoor Rinks:

Centennial Park Pond
Centennial Park Kaboom Rink
Mapleton Park
City Hall
Victoria Park (Weldon at John Street)

Have you been using any of our city’s outdoor rinks?  Which is your favourite and why?

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?

Neighborhood Profile: Baron Heights

Location: Elmwood Drive (across from the new Moncton High, Irishtown, NB

Ground Breaking: Fall 2014

Image Credit: The Barons, Inc.

Welcome to Baron Heights “country living at it’s finest”. This prestigious, country community is located next to the Irishtown Nature Park offering lots between 1-6 acres, ranging in price between $69,000-79,000.   This gorgeous community is truly going to be the next high-end development in Moncton with admirers comparing it to Rural Estates in the North End,


  • Golf Course nearby
  • Only 12 minutes from major shopping
  • Walkable to Moncton High School
  • Strong covenants to protect your investment
  • Amenities: Irishtown Nature Park, schools

To book a Discovery Session and start planning your new home in Baron Heights, call Pierre today at 506-871-5237 or by email pierre@themartellexperience.com.

Moving To Moncton Mondays #2: Cottage Country

Thanks so much for checking out our second instalment of Moving To Moncton Mondays! Oh, wait… is it Tuesday?  Well, hopefully you were all having WAY too much fun over the long weekend to be on social media in the first place!  Our family spent the long weekend being tourists in our backyard with trips to Fundy, Parlee Beach and the Neptune Drive-In.

One of the most amazing things about living in the Moncton Area is the fact that an average person can be a cottage owner. If you dream of owning your own vacation getaway, be it lakeside or oceanfront, the affordability of cottages in the Moncton area can’t be beat.  I’ll take a look at two prime cottage areas that are easy commutes to Greater Moncton.

Shediac, NB 

Seaside town of Shediac, NB is known for having the warmest waters North of The Carolinas (yes, THAT warm).  If you’re looking for a cute cottage community, Shediac may be for you.  With various beaches, marinas and restaurants, life in Shediac feels like being on vacation every day.  And, to top it off, Shediac is only 21 minutes from downtown Moncton meaning that many cottagers actually move to the cottage for the entire summer as it’s an easy commute into work every day.  After all, we don’t have traffic here… remember last week’s post?

Sound like paradise?  Hop on to www.realtor.ca and search recreational properties under $100k.  You’ll quickly see that cottage life is much more possible than you may realize.

Grand Lake Area, NB

Perhaps you’re a laker at heart. Well, New Brunswick has you covered.  My own favourites include Grand Lake & Washademoak Lake.  While lake country is a little further away than the beach, (1-2.5 hours from Moncton) you can be on your dock much faster than in most cities and, again, the drive is much more stress-free than the usual city grind.  Prices are a little higher than most beach towns as well however, you can still be on the water under $100k… a great investment as waterfront property becomes more and more scarce.

If you’re considering moving to the area, I highly recommend you consider New Brunswick’s cottage country for your next vacation!  You can snatch up a rental at http://www.cottagesincanada.com/cottage-rentals/new-brunswick

Local readers… do you cottage?  If so, where?



Moving To Moncton Mondays #1: Traffic and Our “Oh-So-Fabulous” Commutes

Welcome to the inaugural post in our Moving To Moncton Series, highlighting why Moncton is such a fantastic place to live!  I consider myself to be a bit of an expert on the topic as I personally made the move from the Greater Toronto Area 4 years ago and am enjoying the benefits of life in Moncton to the fullest!

One of the most significant lifestyle changes that my family experienced when moving to Moncton was the traffic- or lack thereof which is the today’s topic.  In fact, I knew that I had adapted to our new city when I  caught myself complaining about being stuck for two entire minutes at an on-ramp.  It’s all about perspective.  In my previous life, I always allowed myself an hour to 90 minutes to get anywhere… in Moncton, 15 minutes to cross the city is ample.

The reality is, long commutes & hours spent idling in traffic are not only inconvenient, they are extremely bad for your health!  Stress & anxiety, air quality and strained relationships are all terrible side-effects of long commutes and overcrowded highways.

Last year, City News published “Toronto traffic affecting driver health: stress expert” .  In the article, City News interviewed Dr. Mel Borings:

“Some people when they walk into a car, it’s like they’re in a combat zone. They feel like they’re at war; they have to speed, and conflict and anger — that is the life of some people in a car,” Dr. Borins said.

Although my GTA was 40 mins from my office, I would spend 90 minutes making my way in and another 90 making my way out. That’s 3 hours a day- gone.  Once we had kids, I simply did not have 3 hours a day to sit in the car and, as a result, made a major life decision to move to Moncton.  My commute is currently 7 minutes.

Coastal Shediac, NB is an easy 21 minute commute to Moncton.

The relative absence of traffic allows Greater Monctonians more freedom and choice in their lifestyle.  For example, cottage country in Shediac, NB is only 21 mins away.  Many Monctonians move to their cottages for the summer (or even year round) as 21 mins is an easy commute by most cities’ standards.

Thinking of moving to Moncton? Have you recently moved back?  Share your story with us and let us know how much time you’ve gained in your life.

Hand-In-Hand Lottery Is Coming Up Fast: Dates You Need To Know

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Wow! What an absolute thrill it’s been to be involved in the amazing Hand-In-Hand Dream Lottery as this year’s builder.  From planning, through construction, launch day and press interviews; it has been a great ride and we are so pleased to see a program of this caliber supporting our local hospitals.

Time flies when you’re having fun and the promotion of the lottery is already wrapping up.  Here are the dates that you need to know:

July 5&6: The FINAL weekend open house

July 11: Ticket Sales DEADLINE and last chance to view the home in person

July 24: DRAW DAY!

If you still haven’t purchased your tickets, what are you waiting for?






Don’t Believe The Hype: Homebuilding Myths Debunked


Myth 1:” It is always stressful to design & build a custom home.

It’s no secret that building your dream home CAN be stressful.  Let’s face it… we all have that friend who experienced a horrific homebuild.  Some of the stories we’ve heard are enough to make anyone want to bury their head in the sand and forget the whole idea.  That said, while homebuilding can be stressful- it doesn’t HAVE to be.

In anything, a team is only as strong as it’s weakest link.  So you need to think long & hard about your design/build team and make sure that they are not your weak link.  You’re the client & you don’t build homes for a living.  YOU should be the weak link!  You cannot compromise when it comes to hiring your builder….

Are they organized or is their truck piled with papers and files on the floor?

Are they taking notes on their burger wrapper? Do they respond to your questions in a timely manner or do they wait until you’re ready to file a missing person’s report before getting back to you?

And. most importantly, are they stressed out and out-of-control?  If they are, it’s likely that your build will be too! Your experience will only  be as great as the people that you trust to manage it.  This is the single most important choice you will make throughout the entire build.

Myth 2:” It takes too long to build a custom home.

Before buying into this myth, you have to ask yourself WHY you want to build a custom home.  Really, WHY?  Building a custom home means expressing all of your ideas, dreams and passions and watching them literally grow into the absolute perfect home for you!  If that doesn’t excite you, then you may be better suited to buy resale and be on with it.  Building a custom home will take anywhere from 4-7 months in Atlantic Canada depending on a few variables.  Consider how long you’ve spent planning and thinking about  your dream house… for some of people (*cough* me *cough*), planning started when they were just a kid! A custom home is more than just a house… it’s already a home- before it’s even started.  Isn’t that worth a few months of your time?

Myth 3:” You will go over budget by 20-30%.

Dr Evil "On Budget"

Ahh, yes. The classic over-budget myth.  Last month, we wrote a post titled 4 Signs That Your New Build Will Go Over Budget
because we know that it IS possible to stay on budget.  In fact, there are builders out there who do not go over budget at all- the trick is finding them.  Builders who stay on budget accurately price the house in the first place.  They ask you questions about specific items in the home (Think: doorknobs vs. levers) & they “get” your vision.  If you’re thinking “Four Seasons” and your builder is thinking “Holiday Inn”, you will go over budget.  That’s why it’s a MUST that you and your builder/designer are on the same page from Day 1.

Myth 4:” Your home will not close on time.


Closing is important.  After all, who wants to show up with a moving truck and find their new home unfinished?  Delayed moves, extra costs, stress and safety are just some of the possible outcomes of not finishing the new home on time.  That said, closing a new home on time does not require the Delorean… The requirements to closing on time include “fancy” things like a scheduling system for tradespeople, an experienced project manager who can solve problems on the spot and an organized, clear communication system.  Not sure if you’re builder has these systems in place?  Then ask for references!  Past clients are often more than eager to share their experience with you (good or bad).

What else have you heard about home building? Let us know- we LIVE to show people that bad practice in our industry doesn’t have to be the norm! Comment below or tweet us @martellhomes.




4 Signs That Your New Build Will Go Over Budget

Nobody wants their new home build to go over budget.

You hire a builder, they quote you a price, they build the house, final bill comes in… Notwithstanding new items that you chose to add or upgrade along the way, the final cost should be the same as the contract price.

Should be. A home-builder, after all, does this for a living.  You, the client, have likely never priced a home in your life and you’re trusting your builder to do it for you- accurately and without surprises.

But we’ve all heard the stories.  You have that friend, cousin, workmate that built a house and ended up paying way more than they were quoted.  This happens all of the time and it shouldn’t… going over budget is avoidable and should be a focus of any solid home builder worth working with.

If you’re about to get into a contract with a builder, make sure that you look for the following signs to ensure that your home will cost what you’re builder says that it will.

4 Signs That Your New Build Will Go Over Budget

Your Builder Is The Cheapest

You’ve done your homework & met with multiple builders.  You’ve probably narrowed it down to 3 or 4 builders that you like/trust and had them price the home.  So where did the pricing come in?

I’m going to let you in on an industry secret… if the builders priced the exact same quality of materials and finishes, their prices should be extremely close.  Extremely.  After all, they’re sourcing material and labor from the same region.

If you’re finding that one builder is significantly cheaper than the others, chances are very good that they are planning on using cheaper materials.  There’s nothing wrong with that, you think, until you find out that your kitchen allowance will not cover that “painted, cabinets-to-the-ceiling” dream you’ve been coveting on Houzz.

Your Builder Doesn’t “Get” Your Vision

You’re planning 10 foot ceilings, a double-sided fireplace and custom woodwork throughout.  Is your builder thinking 8 foot ceilings, non-existent fireplace and mini-baseboards? Communication is key and it is impossible for the builder to price something that you’ve never discussed.

Prior to pricing your plan, your builder should be asking you extremely detailed questions about the finish that you want in the home.  If they don’t include these items when pricing upfront, these items will become upgrades and will drive you over budget in no-time at all.

Your Builder Only Builds “A Few Homes Per Year”

Maybe they told you that you will get a more custom experience because you’re 1 of 3 projects… Perhaps, the owner of the company himself will be able to be on the job-site every day… Heck, he may even do the finish work himself! Great…. or, is it?

First, there’s buying power… Obviously, Wal*Mart buys better than Joe’s Convenience.  Shocker.  Similarly, home-builders are rewarded by vendors based on volume.  The builder who builds 3 homes a year is simply not getting the same pricing as the builder who builds 50.

Next comes the issue of limited experience.  20 years of home-building experience, building 3 homes/year = 60 homes built.  10 years experience at 50 homes/year= 500 homes built.  The builder that is more active is much more likely to be current on trends and customer wants (aka. more likely to know that you want an open-concept floor plan instead of the halls & walls of yesteryear).

Your Builder Did Not Give You A Detailed List Of What They Priced

Whether your builder is a relative stranger or your second cousin, you need to get a detailed list of what’s included in a quoted price.  This is not negotiable.  Not requiring this level of detail of your builder is giving up too much control and allows the builder to decide what is (or isn’t) included on whim.

Having a detailed list of inclusions creates accountability.  Always ensure that the inclusions are added to your contract, making them part of a legally binding document.


If your home builder is demonstrating these signs, talk to him about budget & share your concerns.  Cross-reference your wishlist with the pricing specs.  Ask for past references and find out what their experience was like.  Only when your builder demonstrates to you that these items are taken care of, should you move forward with a contract.

If you have any questions about staying on budget throughout your build, shoot us an email to natalie@themartellexperience.com.  We’d be happy to help out!

Insulation 101: What Every Home Owner Should Know

A great insulation job on one of our job sites.

A great insulation job on one of our job sites.

With the arrival of winter, you may be more concerned with your Christmas list than your R-Value but you shouldn’t be.  If your home is inadequately or improperly insulated, you could literally be throwing away hundreds of dollars that could be much better spent Christmas shopping- or maybe on a vacation down South!!  This month’s column covers what you need to know about insulation. Whether your home is old or new, every homeowner should have a basic understanding of what is inside their walls.

1.     Batt Insulation:  A very common insulation, batt insulation is usually placed in the walls of the home and has a cotton-like appearance.  The insulation is positioned in the cavity between the studs of the walls.  Because batt insulation traps air in the fiberglass to add R-Value, it is imperative not to crush or squeeze the insulation into the cavity or you will lose insulation value.  We highly recommend an experienced installer to ensure that you are maximizing the efficiency of your home. The downside to batt insulation is that you usually have exposed studs remaining which creates cold spots that allow heat/cold to transfer easily.

2.     Blown-In Insulation: Blown-In insulation is available in a variety of materials however, cellulose (fire-retardant paper fiber) is our favorite product due to its ability to fill different sizes & shapes of cavities.  It is essential that your blown-in insulation is applied at the same depth across your space to maximize your R-Value.  Any low spots will create weak points for your insulation.  Also, it is essential that you do not cover your ventilation system to avoid future potential roof problems.  While blown-in insulation can be used inside wall cavities, it can be prone to settlement and compaction.  We recommend batt insulation in the wall cavities over blown-in.

3.     Rigid Foam: Rigid foam is available in solid sheets and is a strong material that does not get crushed thereby diminishing your R-Value.  We are big fans of applying Rigid foam on the exterior of our new homes, under the siding, to minimize thermal bridging- the heat loss through wood studs.   And a bonus feature of Rigid foam is that it does not mould.  Other applications of Rigid foam include under a floor slab during construction or inside basement walls.  When we use Rigid foam in conjunction with Batt insulation, we are able to obtain an R-Value that is superior to ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) construction.

If you’re looking for a new home and want to learn more about the options available for insulation & energy efficiency, please give us a call!  If you’re looking to increase the R-Value of your existing home, we highly recommend that you connect with one of the many qualified insulators around town to ensure you get the best bang for your insulation buck.

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