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Southern Village Halloween Events

by Masha Halpern

Southern Village offers trick or treaters of all ages a variety of events for Halloween.  Here is a peak at all the options. 

Chapel Hill Day Care Center Halloween Costume Parade

Get the coffee and enjoy the festivities offers by Chapel Hill Day Care Halloween morning to see a super-cute spectacle.  The pre-schoolers at Chapel Hill Day Care Center will leave their building at around 11:00 am, and parade (or amble) around Market Street in their adorable costumes.  

Cheer them on--they appreciate your applause, and no candy or other treats are necessary.  This is an event you don't want to miss.  Super Adorable!!!!

Southern Village Farmers Market Halloween Celebration

Shop for the wonderful fresh produce that our farmers have grown so that we can put healthy food on our tables. Sadly, this is our last market of the 2013 season, so stock up, and say farewell to our hard-working farmers & other vendors until spring of 2014. See if you recognize them in their Halloween costumes!

Find autumn produce, baked goods, Chapel Hill-raised meats, fresh NC seafood, farm-fresh eggs, pumpkins, mums, & artisan cheeses. Shop for a wide selection of veggies, including sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, kale, collards, lettuces, arugula, winter squashes, broccoli, cauliflower & shiitake mushrooms. Check the Market website to see the complete list of items that you'll find this week. 

Meet the volunteers from the Chapel Hill Service League, who will tell you all about the 10th annual SV5K , coming up in November (see article below). 

Bring your children to the Market for our annual Halloween celebration. Read more below. 

Visit the Farmer Foodshare Donation Station to donate cash or food to help feed hungry families in our community. Bring your children to enjoy fun Halloween activities in our KidsZone play area.

Bring your children to the Farmers Market in Southern Village for our annual celebration of the year's spookiest holiday. They'll enjoy Halloween crafts, pumpkin painting, face painting, treats & trick-or-treating.

TRICK-OR-TREATING FROM 3:30 - 5 PM: Take your children around Market Street to get treats from many of our businesses. Come to the information desk at the Farmers Market to pick up the list of which businesses are on the "Trick-or-Treat Trail". 

SCARECROW VOTING: View all of the clever scarecrows that our businesses have created, and vote for your 2 favorites. Read more below. 

Annual Southern Village Scarecrow Contest

Take a stroll around Southern Village, any time up through Halloween day (Thursday, October 31) and view the original scarecrows that 15 of our businesses have created. 

Then go into one of the following businesses to fill out your ballot to vote for your 2 favorite scarecrow:

Village Pediatrics, 300 Market Street
Town Hall Grill, 410 Market Street
Strays at Ship-N-Shop, 710 Market Street 

Moving with Children: Make it Easier on Your Kids

by Masha Halpern

Moving is hard for everyone. It’s a lot of work, and there are a lot of emotions that go into packing up one home and moving to another one.

A move can be especially difficult for children, however. Kids can feel like they have no control during a move. They are leaving behind their home, their school, their friends, and most of what they know.

You can’t completely eliminate the stress of a move, but you can help your children get through the process a little easier. Here are some tips from parents on how to make your household move less stressful for your children.

Give your kids time to adjust to the idea of moving. Children will need time to say goodbye to friends, but giving them too much time can cause them to worry more about the upcoming move. Younger children need only a month or two of advance notice. Older children and teens, however will need more time. They have more friends, more activities, and more memories in the old house.

Involve your children in the process if you can. Bring older kids along on a house-hunting trip. Consult your children about paint and decorations in their new room. If you have some flexibility, ask your kids for input on what they want in your new home. If you are able to find a home that fits some of their requirements, your kids will be much more excited about the move.

Encourage your children to remember your previous home. Talk with them about your favorite memories in your old house, or make a scrapbook. If your child has never lived anyplace else, the home is obviously very special to them. Help them deal with the separation by allowing them to share their memories.

At the same time, help them get excited about their new home. Visit the new neighborhood and school before the move if you can, or show them pictures and videos of the area. Talk about the new friends they will make, the new things they’ll learn, and the details about your new neighborhood. This will make it easier to deal with the anxiety of leaving behind what they know.

Most of all, pay attention to how your children are feeling and support them. Acknowledge their separation issues and help them work through them. This will make it easier for your kids to settle in and enjoy their new home.

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

 Photo courtesy Doriana S., Stock.XCHNG

The Chicken and the Egg of Real Estate

by Masha Halpern

Should I buy first, or sell first? I don’t know what to do. A commonly asked question without a correct answer. Many people find themselves in this classic real estate predicament most associated with “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Unfortunately, there is no right answer that covers the board. Circumstances, finances, and many other variables play a role in determining which best case scenario is for you.

If you buy first, you may find yourself in the quandary of owning two homes, paying two mortgages, and having to pay all of the other expenses that come along with home ownership. With any luck, your current home will sell quickly, and the problem is then solved. However, there are no guarantees that accompany this scenario. If your house does not sell quickly, you may be forced to close on your new home, and then you have become the proud owner of 2 homes, that you cannot afford. If you sell first, a whole different realm of possibilities opens up. In this scenario, you sell quickly and luck into finding an ideal home, and closing on it in a reasonable fashion. Otherwise, you sell your home, and are stuck with having to put your belongings in storage, and find yourself shacking up with friends, or family. Either scenario presents its own risks and uncertainties. There are too many conditions involved in determining a correct answer for the “Do I buy first, or sell first” question.

Generally speaking, there is less pressure, and less risk, involved in selling your current home first. Put your house on the market, while at the same time, be out house hunting. As your house is showing, you can be compiling a list of potential contenders in a new home. And speaking in financial terms, the majority of home buyers need the equity, and profit, of their current home in order to purchase their new home. Many people need to sell their current home in order to qualify for a loan, leaving them with no choice, but to sell first. Not all people, especially in the eyes of the bank, are in a financial position to carry two mortgages.

While your current home is on the market, you can feel free to write a contingency offer on any home you find while house hunting. But, bear in mind that you will be paying a premium with a contingency offer. That is, if the seller even gives it any thought. Also, you may deem it necessary to take less for your current home in an effort to get it sold more quickly. So, be cautious. You can have comfort in knowing that you do have an opportunity to write a contract if the perfect house arises, but don’t lose sight of your current home’s value.

Or...do I buy first? With the economy still on the rebound, and interest rates still low, many people are entertaining the thought of running out and buying first. The market, like the economy, is also in recovery mode, meaning home prices are still somewhat lower than they traditionally would be. The housing market is moving very quickly because of this, and dictates that homebuyers are more focused on buying, than on selling. Motivated buyers are being recommended to obtain a mortgage commitment that is not contingent upon selling their current home, in order to dive into this fast-paced buyer’s market. Homebuyers are realizing that even in a strong market, the selling end of a transaction can drag on, potentially leaving them in the dust when it comes to landing a good deal on the purchase of a new home.

Either way, the choice of buying, or selling first, is 100% circumstantial, and financially dependent on each individual. Circumstances may have you in a position where you have to sell first in order to obtain the money to buy. Or, they may have you in a position where you have to buy because of a job relocation.

In today’s market, there are benefits and perks to each version. Buy first, and plunge into the hot buyer’s market. Or, sell first, and have the relief of knowing that you will not be trapped into the potential payment of two mortgages. For most people, the stress level is much lower when selling their current home first, and buying second. Nonetheless, it is a decision only you can make, given your current circumstances and financial position. There is no universal right answer to “Should I buy, or sell first?”

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

Photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-wanderers-eye/

Get Organized Before You Shop for a Home

by Masha Halpern

The process of buying a home has gotten more complicated in recent years. To make sure everything goes smoothly, you’ll want to get organized before you even begin to look for a house. Once you’ve taken care of these things, you’ll be ready to shop for the home of your dreams.

Check Your Credit Score. Examine and fix any blemishes on your credit score, before you apply for a loan. Also, avoid taking on any new debt at this time. This includes buying a new car or other large item on credit.

Look at Your Finances. Take an honest look at your budget and figure out how much home you can afford. There are many online calculators available to help you with this. In general, most loan programs require that your mortgage payment be no more than 28% to 31% of your gross monthly income.

Beef up Your Savings. You should have enough cash saved up to cover your down payment and closing costs. Depending on your mortgage, you’ll need anywhere from 3.5% to 20% down, plus money available for closing.

In addition, mortgage lenders like to see borrowers with a healthy savings account. This shows that you have enough money to pay for your closing costs and any incidental expenses, as well as enough to live on once you move in. Savers aren’t likely to be living paycheck to paycheck, and are good candidates for a loan.

Apply for Your Mortgage. Get preapproved for a loan before you even start to look at homes. Applying for a loan first gives you a definitive answer on how much mortgage you can afford, and ensures you have financing ready when you find your dream home.

Refine Your Shopping List. Finally, think about the features you really want in a house. You’ll probably live in this house for several years, and you want it to serve your needs the entire time. After all, if you change your mind in a few years, you may not be able to sell this house quickly.

Shopping for a home is exciting. Take the time to organize and prepare before you look at properties, so you can be ready to make an offer when you do find a home that you love.

 

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

Photo courtesy Kristja, Stock.XCHNG

Easy Ways to Go Green in Your Home

by Masha Halpern

The term “green living” means a lot of things. Mainly, though, it’s about living in a way that’s friendly to the environment. When you think about a green home, you may think of solar panels, wind turbines, grey water recycling, and other expensive projects. An environmentally friendly home doesn’t have to be expensive, however.

Homeowners that want to go green on a budget have many different ways to do it. With some time and a little work, you can go green in your home without spending a lot of cash.

You can get a big bang for your buck from basic maintenance projects around your home that make your home more energy efficient. Using less energy to heat and cool puts less strain on natural resources. Some of these projects include weather-stripping your doors and windows, plugging leaks in your walls and foundation, switching to low flow shower heads, and fixing dripping faucets. Each of these tasks only takes a few minutes and costs very little. However, they can significantly cut your energy use.

Going green is not just about energy savings, however. It’s also about using products that have less impact on the environment. Green up your shopping by buying products that use less packaging, buying local so that less fuel is used to transport items, and switching to household cleaners and detergents that are environmentally friendly. You may end up buying fewer things overall, which can save you money as well.

There are many other simple things you can do green up your home, including:

  • Install a programmable thermostat, and set it so your air conditioning doesn’t run when you are not home.
  • Switch to energy-efficient LED light bulbs.
  • Plant landscaping in your yard that will shade your house in the summer but allow sunlight through in the winter.
  • Replace old appliances with a newer, energy-efficient models. This is an investment, but can save you money in the long run on your utilities, which will help offset the cost.

You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars for new solar panels on your roof or a wind turbine to go green. There are many other ways you can green up your home and routine. Remember, every time you make an environmentally friendly choice, no matter how small, you make a difference.

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

  Photo courtesy B Cleary, Stock.XCHNG.

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Photo of Masha Halpern - Boutique Real Estate Real Estate
Masha Halpern - Boutique Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty
101 Cosgrove Avenue, Suite 200
Chapel Hill NC 27514
Direct 919-951-1780
Toll Free 877-478-4669
Fax: 919-928-9030




Masha Halpern of Keller Williams Realty provides real estate services in the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area including real estate services for buyer, sellers and those relocating to the surrounding areas of Apex, Bahama,Cary, Efland, Hillsborough, Holly Springs, Mebane, Raleigh, and Wake Forest. Search for homes in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham or the surrounding communities.  Request a market analysis for your North Carolina property.  I list and sell residential real estate, investment property, vacant land, lots for sale in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area.

Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina real estate and homes for sale in North Carolina - Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team

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