Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Summer Festivals 2008

by

Memorial day kicks off the summer season and our area offers many festivals and events all summer long to enjoy. From music to art and everything in between, there is sure to be something to do for everyone! Summer always goes quick so take time to enjoy the below events!

 

 American Dance Festival Performance Season

June 5, 2008 - July 20, 2008
The largest and most influential modern dance festival in the world featuring more than two dozen modern dance companies and hundreds of choreographers, writers and students participating in classes, seminars, and performances.

Latino Festival

June 14
Cultural arts festival highlighting Hispanic traditions. Featuring Health Information. Diabetes/Blood Pressure Tests, Multicultural Booth, Arts and Crafts,Variety of Booth Vendors and games and prizes. For all ages and the event is free.

Third Friday on the CCB Plaza

June 20
A free multicultural event featuring local talent and music  for all ages.Enjoy an evening program of arts and music on the CCB Plaza from April to November. Third Friday/Culture Crawl is a year-round city-wide free art event that occurs on the third Friday of each month.

2008 Summer Music Festival

June 21-August 2
The City of Durham Parks and Recreation Department will transform Durham's historic parks into a weekend get-away full of music, fellowship and fun. This summer, citizens will enjoy a summer-long succession of concerts at Duke, Rock Quarry, Pineywood, Twin Lakes, Forest Hills and Oval Parks. The concerts will feature the sounds of Blues, R&B, Gospel, Jazz, Old Skool and Reggae music. All concerts are free and will be held on Saturdays from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. No alcohol is allowed.

 

Questions To Ask HOA's

by

If you are looking to buy a house, condo or townhouse you will likely look at some that are part of a homeowners association. New home buyers who have never lived in a community with an association before typically have many questions. The Community Associations Institute estimates that nearly one out of every six Americans lives in a community association and that, in 2007, HOAs governed 23.8 million American homes and 58.8 million residents. 

A HOA is essentially an internal regulatory board often found in planned communities, gated communities, condominium complexes and subdivisions.  A homeowners association collects fees or "assessments" from individual home owners to cover certain expenses, such as maintenance of common areas, insurance, and health or safety improvements.  An HOA also enforces the rules and regulations set forth by the developer or property owner.

Before purchasing a home that is regulated by an HOA it is important to read the by-laws governed by the association and ask questions. Below are some questions that can get you started so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

  • Ask the HOA about parking limitations/restrictions, pet limitations/restrictions with respect to quantity, size and type, restrictions related to outdoor decor/furniture/grilling restrictions (for balcony/patio), and if there are any current outstanding assessments the new owner will be responsible for assuming.
  • Be certain to ask if there is any active litigation, as this may affect buyer financing, and also indicates possible red flags with property in general you will want your home inspector to do extra due diligence on.
  • If you don't agree with something in the bylaws/restrictions, do you have any recourse?
  • What do monthly HOA assessments/fees cover? HOA fees typically cover common ground concerns such as landscaping, pest control, pool and fitness center maintenance, guard gate/security services and common area taxes. They sometimes cover utilities such as trash, water or cable television.
  • How often do HOA assessments/fees increase (and at what percentage), so you can be prepared for rising costs down the road?  Also ask, will the members be able to vote on the rising cost?

There are pros and cons to being a part of a homeowners association, it may or may not fit with your lifestyle and ideals.  Before considering a home with an owners association read the agreement.  Ask the homeowners in the community about the services they receive.  This way you can get a feel for how happy the locals are about their association.  Also, be sure to make sure you know how the association deals with issues that arise.  It is better to be safe and know what you are getting into before you fall in love with the house.

Saving Money On Gas

by

Everyone is talking about the steep gas prices and are feeling the pinch at the pump. The entire nation is seeing record high prices and the current average for a gallon of gas is now hovering at $3.73 according to a survey of stations by AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Prices have now risen to the level at which the Energy Department forecasts they’ll peak in June, on a monthly average basis; that means prices may still go higher. Those feeling the sting the most are commuters as well as businesses that depend on driving as part of their job such as delivery persons and truck drivers. With summer coming up and the threat of stagflation -- inflation coupled with slower economic growth -- there doesn’t seem to be much relief in sight.

To help you make the best of the situation, we have found a great resource to locate the cheapest gas closest to you in your area. Just enter your zip code and it tells you which gas stations have the lowest and the highest gas prices in your zip code.  It will even give you a map to show where they are. It is updated daily, every night MSN Autos receives pricing data from over 90,000 gas stations across the nation.  

In addition to helping you find the cheapest gas you can below are a few other tips to help you stretch your gas dollar!

Car Check Ups. Vehicle maintenance saves gas. Use the recommended motor oil, replace dirty air filters, keep tires -- including the spare -- inflated to the proper pressure, and tune up your engine.

Check Your Driving Habits.  Flooring the pedal at every green light, then slamming on the brakes at the last minute, guzzles gas at a surprising rate.  By trying to drive more moderately, you can save over 30 percent of the gasoline you use.

Use Your Cruise. Many people don’t know that using your cruise control can yield surprising increases in fuel economy. If your car is so equipped, try using it on the freeway to keep your speed at a consistent rate.

Fuel Alternatives.  The alternatives to standard gasoline are growing in number and popularity. Biodiesel, the blend of gasoline and ethanol known as E85, and other alternative fuels aren't available everywhere yet, but check to see if your car can accept what's sold in your community.
   
   
   
   
    


   

Prevention and Treatment of Mold

by

Preventing mold from growing in your home is key, but if you have a mold issue all is not lost and it is not impossible to treat it.  Mold spores are unavoidable, they are in the air all around us.  The only way to keep them from taking hold is to prevent the conditions that foster their growth.

Prevention:
Mold needs very little moisture and dirt to grow, below are few things to help you get prevent the growth of mold:

  • Remove moisture- If you have a room which feels damp, a dehumidifier will go a long way to removing the catalyst.
  • Proper ventilation- If an attic is stuffy and improperly ventilated moisture can gather creating mold growth.
  •  Dirt- It doesn't take much to feed mold but keeping an area like a basement free of organic debris keeps from feeding the spores that land.
  • Keep a vigilant eye on the areas under sinks and around fixtures.

So what if the unexpected happens?  A line breaks in the basement while you are away and the basement gets flooded.   In just a few days you have mold growth.  What can you do?

Treatment:
In order remove mold and prevent recontamination you can do the following:

  •  Depending on how sever the mold problem is, you may be able to treat the problem yourself. The EPA recommendation is that if the affected area is less than 10 square feet you can probably handle it yourself, any bigger than that it is best to hire a remediation specialist. 
  •  If you do decide to remove the mold yourself remember to wear protective gear.  Protective gear includes: goggles without ventilated openings, a N-95 respirator (this item is available a many hardware stores).  Also, don't forget the gloves; normal household cleaning gloves can be used if you are not using a biocide.  If you are going to be using a biocide you should wear natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC. 
  • Clean-up can be as simple as cleaning the area with a chlorine bleach mixture. Other biocide options can be found at: www.epa.gov/mold.  Dispose of anything that you can that is likely to recontaminate the area, such as rugs or paper.  
  • Close off the contaminated area while clean up is ongoing so that further contamination does not occur. 
  •  If items are particularly of sentimental value or expensive pieces which chlorine might damage you should consult a remediation specialist.

In some areas with high moisture, like bathrooms, mold will always be present.  A simple daily or weekly cleaning with a product containing chlorine will often take care of that.  Also, increasing ventilation with a good fan will help keep the mold to a minimum. While a completely mold free house may not be possible, the key is keeping the mold from growing into a problem.

 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Syndication

Categories

Archives

365 Things To Do In...

Share This Page

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