Real Estate Information Archive


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Tips For Finding A Contractor

by Masha Halpern

If you are planning to do some some remodeling projects to help your home sell or if you are doing some updates or expanding your home chances are you are looking for a contractor. Locating the right contractor for your project entails much more than just finding the lowest price. Below are some of the things you should look for when researching a contractor for your project. 

Make sure your contractor is properly licensed. Keep in mind that even though a contractor has a license it doesn't automatically mean they will do a great job. It does however provide some financial protection for you.the customer. 

Make sure your contractor is properly insured. In addition to being licenced it is vital that your contracor have proper insurance. Always ask your contractor for a copy of their proof of liability insurance and bonding or the name and number of his/her insurance agent to call and verify proof of coverage.

Ask for references and check them! Talk to other clients that this contractor has done work for in the past. Ask them if they were happy with the quality of work, was the work completed on time? Also be sure to inquire as to if the work was completed by the agreed-upon schedule? 

Get two or three different written bids. As with any large project or purchase it is a good idea to do your research and shop around. Different contractors can vary widely on pricing and level of detail even when bidding for the same job. 

When shopping around for a contractor try to resist the urge to automatically accept the lowest bid. Take into consideration that a higher bid may be worth the price in better materials, workmanship and reliability. Most importantly ask yourself the question, do you trust this person to work on your home? Do you feel comfortable with them around your children and your  valuables?  Create a checklist of all these above items when interviewing your choices to help you make a decision.  




Thanksgiving In Chapel Hill

by Masha Halpern

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and if  are looking for something to do, the Chapel Hill area offers many fun events. Enjoy this special holiday time and give thanks!

 Panzanella Farm Dinners
On Monday, November 23 from 5:30 to 9pm,
Panzanella will offer a special Thanksgiving menu made with ingredients from local farms. Reservations are accepted for parties of 6 or more.

Pie and Wine Tasting at 3Cups
Beginning at 10am on Wednesday, 25th and lasting all day long, 3Cups will be sampling their own Thanksgiving wine six-pack and serving as a pick-up location for Scratch pies. There will also be pie sampling in the middle of the day.

Carrboro Thanksgiving Farmer's Market
Just like the usual Saturday Farmer's markets but it's the special Thanksgiving edition. Held on Tuesday, November 24 from 3-6pm at the Carrboro Town Commons. More than 25 vendors will be there, supplying shoppers with everything they need to host a completely locally-made Thanksgiving dinner.

Fridays Uncorked - Red Wines for Thanksgiving Dinner
The most common questions in our wine department this time of year involve pairings for Thanksgiving dinner. We will provide five red wines that will prove excellent companions to a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, including dessert. November 20th at 5pm. Visit this website for more information.

Thanksgiving Market at the Eno River Farmers Market
Special market on November 24th from 4-6 pm. 
The market will feature all the fixings for a Thanksgiving Dinner, including sweet potatoes, salad greens, collards, turnips and brussels sprouts and more.

Homeowners Tax Credit Extended

by Masha Halpern

The popular home buyer tax credit that was originally set to expire on November 30, 2009 will continue to be an incentive for prospective home buyers. This new measure was just signed by President Obama last Friday and offers an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers that would be extended for up to seven months and expanded with a $6,500 tax credit for buyers who already own a home and have lived in their primary residences for at least five consecutive years.

This bill also increases the qualifying income limits to $125,000 for single tax filers (up from $75,000 previously) and $225,000 for joint filers (up from $125,000). The purchase price of the home is still capped at $800,000.

Under additional provisions included in the bill, taxpayers can claim the credit on purchases completed in 2010 on their 2009 income tax returns. Home buyers will not have to repay the credit as long as the home remains their primary residence for at least three years. This requirement is waived for active duty military personnel who are forced to move due to a military order.

Deadline for qualifying: Purchase agreements must be signed by April 30, 2010, and closings must be final by June 30. Military deadline: The deadline is extended by a year for members of the military who have served outside the U.S. for at least 90 days from Jan. 1, 2009, to May 1, 2010.

Taxpayers can claim the credit on their federal income tax returns. If the credit exceeds their tax bill, the government will issue a payment. Taxpayers who want immediate refunds can amend their tax returns for 2008 to claim the credit.

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Contact Information

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