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Celebrate The New Year In Chapel Hill!

by Masha Halpern

The year is finally coming to a close..2011 is just a few days away. New Year's Eve is a time to not only celebrate but also to reflect upon the past year and look forward to new goals and opportunities for the new year.

From fine dining to exciting night life, there are several fun things to do in the Chapel Hill area to ring in the New Year!

Ring in the New Year with The Nomads
Ring in the new year with local legends The Nomads at Breadmen's Restaurant, located at 423 West Rosemary Street. Enjoy great music, dancing, a Champagne toast, and a midnight breakfast buffet. But mostly just enjoy a really great time to welcome in the New Year. Only $45 per person!

New Year's Eve with Bobby Collins
Goodnight's Comedy Club, 861 West Morgan Street,Raleigh, NC 27601
Thurs., December 31, 7:30 pm; 9:30 pm; and 11:30 pm 919-828-5233

With three show times and two restaurants to choose from, your New Year's Eve will definitely be one to be remembered. First, Bobby Collins is a regular on the Las Vegas strip, who once served as host of TV's VH-1 Stand-up Spotlight. Bobby is also one of the all-time top rated/requested comedians on Satellite radio.

Tickets are available for all shows as "show-only" tickets or general admission. You can reserve your seats at the Old Bar Restaurant or at the Grill Restaurant. Prices range from $30 to $35 for "show-only" tickets and $64.95 to $89.95 for the show and dinner packages. The premium table is a showroom only option and does not include dinner. It is priced from $180 to $210. Dinner can be added for $34.95 to $54.95. Prices do not include convenience fees, food and beverage tax and gratuities

New Year's Eve Celebration at Cypress on the Hill
Cypress on the Hill will be serving an exceptional five course menu to help ring-in the New Year on Friday, December 31st. The meal will be paired with wines to make your meal truly special. Dinner is $65 with the wine flight available for only $20 more. There will be two seatings: an early seating between 5:30pm and 6:30pm and a late seating between 8pm and 9pm. Call now for reservations at 919-537-8817. For more information visit  

New Year's Eve Country Dance
Friday, Dec 31 8:30pm, at The Ark, Durham, NC 
The Ark on Duke University's East Campus. Live Music by Cosi Long and friends. Suggested donation $18. 12 and younger are free. Families of all kinds welcome.  No partner needed. No alcohol. For directions or other questions, see or phone 286-2202

What are you planning on doing to ring in the New Year?



Tips For Going Green This Holiday

by Masha Halpern

Most homeowners are concerned about the environment and do their best with recycling, purchasing eco-friendly products and energy efficient appliances for their home. Going green is a commitment but what many don't realize is that between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Americans throw away a million extra tons of garbage each week according to the book, "Use Less Stuff: Environmental Solutions for Who We Really Are."

The holiday's don't need to be a burden on the environemnt, some simple changes that you can do this holiday can help and even save you some money! Below are some ideas to help you go green this holiday season.

1. One of the best part of the holidays is gift giving. You may not have ever thought about it before, but some gifts are certainly more eco-friendly than others. Instead of another tie or gift basket, consider giving an experience, like tickets to a sporting event or concert.

2. When wrapping your gifts, consider recycling gift wrap. You can easily reuse gift bags, tissue paper, bows and even wrapping paper. For gift wrapping alternatives, think about using reusable items like scarves, or for a unique touch use old posters, maps, sheet music or even wallpaper scraps! Creative, free and good for the environment!

3. If you need to ship your presents this year, avoid Styrofoam packing peanuts and try the biodegradable kind instead. Another idea is to use dry, popped popcorn instead!

4. For many families choosing a real tree is part of their holiday tradition. You can still keep that tradition alive and be conscious of the environment. Be sure to purchase your tree from a tree farm you're not damaging forests or consider purchasing a potted plant that can be enjoyed year round such as a Norfolk pine. Of course a great choice is to use an artificial tree which can be used each year! If you do choose a real tree, remember to recycle it so it can be converted to mulch rather than sent to a landfill.

5. It is easy to find Christmas lights that are made with light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. These lights have been around since 2001 and are ninety percent more efficient than traditional Christmas lights and can last about 200,000 hours. According to one U.S. Department of Energy study, if all families replaced their conventional holiday light strings with LEDs, at least two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved in a month. The savings alone would be enough to power 200,000 homes for a year!

There are many things we can do to help our environement and still have a wonderful holiday. Visit Earth911 for more tips on what you can do this holiday season! 



How To Sell Your Home When You Have a Pet

by Masha Halpern

You love Fluffy and Fido as if they were your children – but don’t expect prospective homebuyers to feel the same way about your four ( or two) legged family members. Here are some tips for showing and selling your home when you have pets in residence.

  1. Remove your pets from the home during showings – It’s unlikely that you will relocate your pets during the entire season your home is on the market, so at a minimum, make sure that they are not present during open houses or scheduled showings. Take them with you or drop them off at a friend’s house.
  2. Completely remove litter boxes and dog potty pads - These items are unsightly and also have an odor, even if you are used to it. Try to avoid heavy air fresheners – they really serve to compound the problem. Make sure all pet areas are very clean and fresh, not fragrant.
  3. Treat pet stains on carpets and furniture – If home remedies don’t work, have the floors and furniture professionally cleaned.
  4. Replace carpets or furniture that can’t be cleaned – It may seem extreme, but if you are serious about selling your home, especially in a buyer’s market, you have to put your best foot forward. If you clean or replace items and they get damaged again, think about relocating your pets until you get the home sold.
  5. Seal pet doors and pick up pet toys and food dishes – Don’t leave obvious signs of your pet’s habitation in plain view. Chances are that some clues will remain that you have animals, but try not to be too obvious with toys, beds and dishes scattered about.
  6. Crate pets as a last resort – You may have no alternatives but to keep your pets in the home during showings – as a last resort, at least crate your animals and leave a note that they should not be disturbed.

Be understanding – not everyone loves to have animals in their home, and some people are allergic. Respect prospective buyers’ sensitivities by creating a neutral space where your pets and their food and accessories are not in the way of your buyers and agents.

Share any tips you may have for selling your home with pets!


Chapel Hill Holiday Events

by Masha Halpern

The holiday's are finally here and it's the best time of the year! The Chapel Hill area has many festive events for all ages to enjoy. Below are some of the happenings around the area. Happy Holidays!

Singin' and Swingin' for the Holidays

North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra will perform for this special holiday event. Cost is $15, $20 and $25 for general public. For more information, contact Memorial Hall Box Office at (919) 843-3333 Friday, December 10th, 2010, starts at 11:00 AM. Memorial Hall
Cameron Ave, UNC Campus, Chapel Hill, NC 27599

 Arts at the Holidays Trolley Tour

Womancraft and the Shops at Eastgate will team with FRANK Gallery in downtown Chapel Hill to introduce a Holiday Art Loop that will run between the two locations on Friday, December 10, departing from Eastgate every half-hour, beginning at 6pm and running until 9pm. The program is designed to give shoppers an opportunity to purchase local arts and crafts for the holiday gift-giving season.  The Arts at the Holidays Trolley Tour will begin at Eastgate at 6pm and travel straight down Franklin Street to FRANK gallery. FRANK’s artists will be-on hand to welcome shoppers and will feature their Small Wonders exhibit. The trolley will travel back on Franklin Street to Eastgate.  1800 E. Franklin Street - Chapel Hill (919) 968-2060  This is a free event.

Gingerbread Village Display

Nothing says the holiday season like Gingerbread Houses! Enjoy the festive display of the 8th Annual Gingerbread House Competition entries. Contestants from Chapel Hill and surrounding areas will showcase their creativity and imagination with their edible masterpieces this holiday season. Competition is open to amateur and professional bakers alike, with separate categories for youth and adults. Registration form is due Friday, December 3rd. This is a free event that goes from 8am-10pm December 11 - December 27. The Carolina Inn - 211 Pittsboro St - Chapel

 Breakfast with Santa at The Carolina Inn

What could be more fun than breakfast with Santa? Make reservations today for your little ones to create a special memory!  Reservations required, Open seating.
The Carolina Inn - 211 Pittsboro St - Chapel Hill. $20 Adults/$15 Children 3 and under Free 



Durham Chapel Hill Area Ranks High In Jobs And Intelligence

by Masha Halpern

According to The Herald Sun, The Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area gained 4,600 jobs in the past year. The Durham area had the highest percentage gain of jobs in the state at 1.6% and the lowest unemployment rate at 6.6%.

A new survey by the business site shows Durham is the fourth smartest city in the nation. Having large universities, which focus on research, attract a talent pool that companies are interesting in tapping into.  The Triangle area has an educated work force. 43% of adults in Durham have attained at least a bachelor's degree.  We are smarter than those 5th graders after all!

The National Board of Realtors said today that the index of pending home resales jumped a record 10% after dropping 1.8 percent in September. Low mortgage rates and reduced prices have finally helped the housing market.

Even though the recession will take years to rebound, housing should be expected to grow in 2011.  That is good news for sellers.  If you are thinking about selling, be smart and list your house with Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team. 2011 is right around the corner.

How To Sell Your Home During The Holidays

by Masha Halpern

We all know the holiday season isn't the best time to sell your home but it doesn't mean it can't sell.  Anyone who is house hunting during this time of year is usually seriously about buying.  I recently read an article in the newspaper by Annalisa Burgos from HGTV's She suggested the following tips:

1. Decorate tastefully-Don't overdo it. Friends and family may like to see lights and trees but buyers want to see your home. Try to steer clear of religious items.

2. Add curb appeal-Fall foliage is over, bare trees are now exposed. Touch up paint and clean gutters since they will be more visible. Clear walkways of snow and ice.

3. Price for a fire sale-Price your home 10-15% below comparable homes on the market. It will take that much longer to sell your home if it's overpriced.

4. Hire a good agent-You'll need a professional who is readily available. Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team is reliable and will get the job done!

5. Use the Web-Market your home with photos and a video tour. Masha Halpern and the Smart Move team does both!

What are you waiting for? Tis' the season to sell your home!



Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6




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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