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Factors that helped spur a widespread real estate market recovery in our Chapel Hill, Durham, & Raleigh Real Estate Sales will most likely continue in 2014 - although at a more moderate pace - say experts. That's a great thing since the market is returning to a stable, healthy state. 

Area appraisers, local newspapers, and our local MLS are reporting between 11% -14% rise in home sales from January 2014 over this same time in January 2013. No one is expecting the Triangle housing market to have another year like 2013 which saw a 24% increase in home sales ( mostly due to pent up demand ). Most expect double digits to continue to occur but decrease as the year progresses.

Any idea why that would occur? Our local job growth has been growing at 2-3% and that doesn't make an easy correlation to high double digit home sale growth. We need more jobs to spur on home sales, and frankly, we as Chapel Hill Real Estate Brokers or Durham Real Estate Brokers have had a low inventory of resale homes to sell. Until recently even New Homes in Chapel Hill and Durham, ( Raleigh and Cary too ) have been very limited. The good news is new home construction is picking up and that means more inventory to sell! 

There were just 6,435 homes for sale at the end of January in Durham, Orange, Wake and Johnston counties. That is down 16% since October and off 7% from the same time last year.  What does that mean to you and me as your  Realtor, buyer?  Lack of inventory means homes are more desirable when they are priced right and in good condition; they sell fast and oftentimes with competing offers. What does that mean for me as your Realtor, seller ? They sell for more and they sell faster! In fact, the avg home in the Triangle sold 23 days faster ( 85 avg days on the market ) than one year ago ( 115 D.O.M )! Prices will rise and eventually more sellers in Durham, or sellers in Chapel Hill, will offer their homes for sale.

One last note about inventory, Pending home sales were down 1% & showings were down in January by similar numbers. This is the first time in 31 months that we saw any decline in contract homes for sale. Local Appraiser Stacey Anfindsen attributes this partly to lack of inventory, but notes our recent extended inclement weather ( yes, the SNOW, beautiful as it is ), kept buyers and their Realtor- Brokers from actually touring homes and deciding which ones to buy! Now that the weather is giving us something more palatable - although still cold temps - we should see more showing activity in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

 

Here are some figures of interest noted by Anfindsen:

  • January 2013-2014 inventory of homes dropped 9%
  • Closed Sales ( SOLD ) between 11-14% in January; up 24% from 2013!
  • New Construction sales increased 11.5%
  • 1% increase in new listings for sale on the market
  • Expired and Withdrawn listings down for the last 3 years!
  • Pending sales had 31 months of increase but were down 1.3% in January
  • HOMES SOLD FASTER IN JANUARY  ( 23 DAYS FASTER ) than one year ago.

The reality is, the market really NEEDS more homes to sell to home buyers this spring!  Many of my clients are waiting for homes to come on the market so they can buy a home. At the same time many of my sellers are waiting to sell their home for the spring market to 'hit'. What I would say is " It's Here, Let's Sell and Buy" ! If you would find a personal conversation about your real estate plans useful, it would be my pleasure to speak with you.

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website at www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com  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 Chapel Hill & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  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 pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

 

 

 

 

Raleigh One of Leading Tech Hubs in the World

by LC for Masha Halpern

The world is a big place, but you already knew that.

What you may NOT have known is that North Carolina is home to one of the world's top emerging tech hubs (notice that we said WORLD, not nation).

According to TheNextWeb.com, Raleigh, NC is among "eight cities where technology's influence is growing by the minute, and the world should start paying close attention." The list that we all should be paying close attention to is pretty impressive, especially since Raleigh is the only city representing the USA (and it's right here in our back yard!).

Excluding Raleigh, the list includes Eindhoven, Netherlands, Pune, India, Nicosia, Cyprus, Dublin, Ireland, Hong Kong, China, Malmo, Sweden, and Tel Aviv, Israel.

So how did Raleigh manage to be among these elite eight? There are several reasons, actually.

First, Raleigh is highly attractive to university graduates and technology companies due to its short commutes, housing affordability, and a notable title of being the number one city in the US for young families.

Second, the past twenty years have brought Raleigh the recognition of "third-highest job growth and second-highest population increase in the country."

And third, Raleigh teams up with Chapel Hill and Durham to be part of the North Carolina Research Triangle, which is one of the nation's leading research parks. RTP boasts greatness in the IT and biotechnology fields and houses such companies as IBM, Cisco, Sony Ericsson, and much, much more.

It's hard to believe that Raleigh, OUR Raleigh, is one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world....but it's true!

If Raleigh or neighboring Durham and Chapel Hill intrigue you as possible cities to one day reside, don't hesitate to contact the real estate team who knows the Triangle BEST, Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team

 

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website atwww.TheSmartMoveTeam.com  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 Chapel Hill & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  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 pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

North Carolina's "The Triangle" is THE Place for Fine Cuisine

by LC for Masha Halpern

If you're a Triangle resident you're in luck (if not, this gives you reason enough to visit or relocate!).

Several chefs and restaurants in the Triangle area are, well, kind of a big deal. So big, in fact, that NC residents aren't the only ones to have been impressed. Not even close.

Ten of NC's very own chefs and restaurants have been recognized on a national scale as semifinalists in the James Beard Foundation's annual awards (in other words, the Oscar's of cooking). 

Semifinalists from the Triangle include Durham's Phoebe Lawless of Scratch BakeryGiorgios Bakatsias for outstanding restauranteur in Durham, and Pittsboro's The Fearrington House Inn for outstanding restaurant (one of its chefs, Colin Bedford, is a semifinalist for Best Chef Southeast!).   

Other semifinalists for Best Chef Southeast are Raleigh's Ashley Christensen of Poole's Downtown Diner (among other restaurants in Raleigh), Cary's Scott Crawford of Heron's at the Umstead Hotel and Spa, Hillsborough's Aaron Vandemark of Panciuto, and Durham's Matt Kelly of Vin Rouge and Mateo Tapas and Scott Howell of Nana's

If you've never tried one of these restaurants in the Triangle, you really should! After all, you'd be dining in Durham and Chapel Hill's finest restaurants! It doesn't get much better than that!

From fine dining to eating mom and pop style, the Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh areas have it all. Contact us today for our recommendations or to give us yours!

 

 

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website atwww.TheSmartMoveTeam.com  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 Chapel Hill & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  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 pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

10 Greatest Cities to Raise Your Kids

by LC for Masha Halpern

Kids change everything. Your sleeping pattern, your monthly spending habits, even your vocabulary. But one of the greatest ways they rock your world is where you end up living to raise them.

As singles or couples, excitement and fun are often what drives us to live where we do as our mentality is focused on living in the moment. But when kids come into the picture, our frame of minds change from "Where is the best bar in town?" to "What is the most kid-friendly restaurant in the area?" You now have to think about factors that weren't necessarily applicable before, like schools, playgrounds, libraries, safe, family-oriented neighborhoods, and the list goes on...

So where do you begin your search for the best city to raise your children?

Kiplinger provides a list of the top 10 cities in America to raise a family.  The criteria is based on "metropolitan areas with high household incomes relative to living costs, a large percentage of families with children under 18, and low crime rates." 

Let's see what cities made the list!

10. Stamford, CT

9. Corona, CA

8. Middletown, NY

7. Sunnyvale, CA

6. Appleton, WI

5. East Grand Rapids, MI

4. Thousand Oaks, CA

3. Suwanee, GA

2. Richland, WA

1. Omaha, NE

Even though the Triangle didn't make this list, we have some of the top schools in NC, several museums, parks, playgrounds and other kid-friendly activities. Plus, many families with small children are choosing to establish themselves here as well.

If you're in search of a wonderful place to raise your kids and you'd like to learn more about the Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh areas, contact Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team today!

 

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website atwww.TheSmartMoveTeam.com  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 Chapel Hill & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  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 pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

UNC Heavy Contributor to Academic Program, Teach For America

by LC for Masha Halpern

We all love inspirational stories, don't we? Especially the ones about teachers transforming the lives of underprivileged and unruly children; those stories that tug at the heart and encourage us to believe in a brighter tomorrow.  

And while we mainly see these stories being played out on the big screen, they're happening every day across the US because of a program called Teach for America.

Teach for America was founded in 1989 by Princeton grad Wendy Kopp. Her senior thesis introduced the idea of a national teacher corp, and today Teach for America members are sent to schools that are in desperate need of teachers and resources - poverty-stricken locations like the rough sections of big cities and rural, isolated areas of the country. Corp members spend two years in these schools and are expected to utilize their energy and creativity as teachers to turn around the academic lives of their students.

Teach for America is an extremely competitive program with only 13% of applications accepted. Many of its applicants hail from Howard University, Morehouse College, the University of California-Berkeley, and Ivy League schools.

But did you know that the University of North Carolina is a huge contributor of outstanding academics as well? By the end of 2012 it ranked third among big universities and colleges in supplying Teach for America with the largest number of graduates. An impressive 8% of UNC's graduating seniors applied for last school year. 

We are proud of our UNC grads who are making a daily difference in our nation. Education is a gift, and they are bestowing it upon disadvantaged children throughout the US. What an amazing thing!

For more information on UNC contact Masha Halpern. As a UNC grad and Chapel Hill resident, no one knows this school and city better!

 

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website atwww.TheSmartMoveTeam.com  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 Chapel Hill & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  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 pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

 

 

Interior Improvements To Do Before Listing Your Home

by LC for Masha Halpern

Is it your goal to sell your home this year? If the answer is yes, the obvious thing to assume is that you want it to sell for the best possible price, and one way to make that happen is to give your home's interior a mini makeover.  

Here's what you should focus on.

Appliances

If your refrigerator and stove are flaunting the look of the late 1990s, it's probably time to replace them. Simply updating appliances in your kitchen can grant you a nice return at the closing table.

Fixtures & Hardware

One of the most cost-effective ways to update your home is to update light fixtures. By installing various levels of light (both in placement and brightness), you can create an effect of layered lighting that will bring special attention to the kitchen and bathroom. You can also create natural harmony in the design of your home by updating the hardware on kitchen and bathroom cabinets and doors.

Paint

To create that "move-in ready" aura in your home, consider repainting walls in neutral tones. Bright or dark colors tend to make buyers look the other way, but a freshly painted wall in an attractive neutral tone is an instant crowd pleaser! (P.S. To save money, touch up faded or marked up areas instead of painting the whole room - the room will look brand new!)

Flooring

To make the greatest splash, invest in hardwood flooring. Buyers LOVE hardwood flooring - and they'll love it even more if it's brand new! If hardwood is too much for your wallet, replace old carpet or add an area rug to hide blemishes on existing flooring. 

Bathrooms

Begin your bathroom update by changing out light fixtures. Take the "sprucing up" to a new level by replacing the vanity (and if you have the room, make it a double!). If you're feeling really adventurous, transform your bathroom into a spa with the installation of a whirlpool tub! 

These are great updates that will take your home from boring to brilliant. But if you want help knowing what specific things to update in your home, contact Masha today - with her advice and 20+ years of experience, your home will sell quickly and at top dollar!

 

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website atwww.TheSmartMoveTeam.com  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 Chapel Hil & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  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 pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visitingwww.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

 

 

Top Apps for Healthy Living

by LC for Masha Halpern

Struggling to maintain your New Year's Resolution for a "healthier you"? Who can blame you when the monotony of dieting and exercising loses its sparkle after the first few weeks? There's got to be something out there making it easier to live a healthy lifestyle, right?

Right! There is! If you're the owner of a smartphone, there are numerous apps for healthy living that are waiting to be downloaded and put to use. Here's a few you might find helpful in achieving your New Year's Resolution in 2014...

MyFitnessPal

This calorie-tracking app is designed to help you lose weight in a healthy fashion...and it's FREE. If accountability with a friend is important to you, you'll love the progress updates between you and your friends who use the app as well. The coolest function of the app, though, is the bar code scanner that allows you to keep easy track of your calories from store-bought foods!

Moody Me

Find yourself getting cranky over the little things? Manage your mood with the Moody Me app and monitor what makes you happy and sad!

iMapMyRun

For the runners out there (and those who are striving to be called such): iMapMyRun is for you! This app will keep track of your pace, distance, elevation, calories burned and nutrition. And when you're in the midst of a marathon (or quarter mile jog), a voice updates you on your progress, and you have the choice to listen to music at the same time! Very motivating if you ask us....

Superfood HD

Last, but certainly not least, is the Superfood HD app. Sometimes it can be a challenge to find healthy recipes that incorporate superfood ingredients (like avocados), but when you download this app you're privy to over 200 superfood recipes that are disease-fighting and that will carry you to the healthy lifestyle you desire!

Other healthy living apps to check out include Accupedo Pedometer, MediSafe Medication Reminder, Sleep Cycle, Lumosity and HeartWise.

 

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website atwww.TheSmartMoveTeam.com  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 Chapel Hil & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  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 pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visitingwww.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

 

Chapel Hill Ranked #3 Most Exciting Small City

by LC for Masha Halpern

If there's one thing working and living in Chapel Hill has taught us, it's that Chapel Hill is a great place to be. Period.

And it's not because we're blindly biased... it's because it's true! According to Movoto.com's real estate blog, Chapel Hill, NC is ranked #3 overall in America's most exciting small cities. Chapel Hill and 9 other cities (including Hoboken, NJ and Lancaster PA) were chosen based on six criteria out of a list of 140 small cities with populations between 50,000 and 60,000.

The six criteria were:

1. Nightlife per capita

2. Live music venues per capita

3. Active life options per capita

4. Fast food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better)

5. Percentage of restaurants that are fast food (the lower the better)

6. Percentage of young residents ages 20-34 (the higher the better)

Chapel Hill impressed the socks off Movoto.com's blog team with its high student population, local hot spots like Local 506 and Cave, and it's delectable display of restaurants like Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen and Merritt's, calling them "unique gems."  Movoto.com describes Merritt's BLT's as being "not so much a sandwich as it is an artform." If that's not a compliment we don't know what is!

Chapel Hill is every bit as great as it sounds on paper. But don't trust our word for it - find out for yourself! We think Movoto.com would agree... you won't be disappointed.

Got to http://www.movoto.com/blog/top-ten/most-exciting-small-cities/ to see the whole article, and contact Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team if you want to learn more about this exciting city!

 

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website atwww.TheSmartMoveTeam.com  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 Chapel Hil & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  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 pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visitingwww.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

 

 

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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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