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Labor Day In Chapel Hill


It is hard to believe that Labor Day is here already! Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. In many areas parades, and speeches by labor leaders and political figures, mark Labor Day celebrations. The spirit is to pay a national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the power and prosperity of America

The Chapel Hill area offers many things to do for this long weekend! Read the following events and find something to enjoy on this last holiday weekend of the summer.

Its football time again!  Come see UNC Football vs. McNeese State  06:00 PM August 30th. For tickets call the UNC Ticket office at 1-800-722-HEEL. Kenan Memorial Stadium - Stadium Drive - Chapel Hill

Jazz & More Sunday Brunch  11:00 AM - 01:00 PM  Weaver Street Market - 101 East Weaver St - Carrboro. Enjoy jazz, Celtic, blues, percussion and more music while enjoying hot coffee, fresh baked goods and an assortment of hot a la carte breakfast items.

8th Annual Duke Farmers Market. Only a few more weekends left! The market is now open every other Friday from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. until September 26. Visit the LIVE FOR LIFE Farmers Market and get the freshest, best tasting fruits and vegetables available! The Farmers Market offers a wide variety of produce and recipes to help you get the number of servings of fruits and vegetables you need to be healthy. Each week produce is collected from participating farmers for free drawings. Each market also offers healthy lunch vendors.

Labor Day Weekend Kennel Club Dog Shows. AKC (American Kennel Club) registered dogs will compete each day for points leading to championships, as well as dog obedience trials for degrees and obedience championship points.  Championship all breed dog show, obedience and rally trials - a different Kennel Club hosts competitions each day. The schedule is: Thursday, Cary Kennel Club; Friday, Alamance Kennel Club; Saturday, Durham Kennel Club; Sunday, Salisbury Kennel Club, and Monday, Raleigh Kennel Club. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission for Monday is $5.00 for adults, $2.00 for senior adults and children 7-12 years of age.

The summer went fast but soon fall will be upon us turning the hot days into crisp, cool ones and the leaves soon will change. Enjoy your weekend and all that the Chapel Hill area has to offer. Happy Labor Day!


Back To School


It’s that time of year again when the ring of the school bell begins again.  Sharpen your pencils and get ready to go!!!  However, before you do, you might want to check out these  resources to help you get ready to go back.

  • If you are new to the area or just in need of information on the schools in your area visit Great Schools. It is a valuable resource for parents with children in grades K-12.
  • Update your child’s emergency ID kit.  The next time you are at a community festival or expo and you walk by a booth with your local law enforcement agency offering child identification kits, take the time to do one for your child.  If you haven’t seen one you can do the following: to inquire about a child identification kit check with your local Sheriff's Office or contact the local crime stoppers.
  •  Hit the local Back to School sales.  While you may be able to salvage last years backpack, without a doubt, you will end up needing supplies.  Target and Wal-Mart are both displaying the supply list for local schools. 
  • Schedule your child’s back to school physical, dental appointment and eye exam.  It’s better to start back with that out of the way and not have to juggle those with the other things that also begin with the school year.

This time of the year is a hectic time, but with a little help you will be ready when that bell rings.  Get your family ready for back to school, then take time to enjoy the last few golden days of summer.



New Housing Bill Signed


After vows from the White House of vetoing a bill designed to help rescue homeowners buried under increasing mortgage payments, President Bush quietly approved and signed a new housing bill behind closed doors.  The bill will give the Federal Housing Administration the authority to help homeowners refinance with mortgages backed by the federal government.  Current lenders, however, will have to agree to take a loss on their loans.  The new bill will offer up to $300 billion in loans and will reportedly help as many as 400,000 homeowners refinance and be able to keep their homes. 

This bill also gives the Treasury Department the authority to protect the mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  Those who opposed the bill have said it will end up taking money out of the pockets of the taxpayers and putting it in the pockets of the stockholders.  At this time there is no limit to the amount of help Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will receive.  The two companies own or back nearly half of the country's total mortgages.  The bill puts a cap of $625,500 on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in certain higher priced markets and up to 15% over median prices in other areas.

In addition to FHA-insured mortgages the bill will offer a number of other incentives.  One such incentive is the $15 billion in tax breaks such as a $7500 tax credit for first time homebuyers.  This credit is retroactive to April 9, 2008 and is valid until July 1, 2009.  Another incentive is $3.9 billion in grants for communities with the highest forclosure rates.

Flood Insurance: Are You At Risk?


What would happen if you woke up tomorrow and your house was underwater?  What would you save?  What would you do?  It’s a scary prospect isn’t it?  Even if you are dealing with a few inches of water, flooding causes serious damage to your home.

There is a slogan that comes from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is that “Everyone Lives in a Flood Zone”.  While this certainly doesn’t sound optimistic, it is true. Even where there have not been floods for 40 years or more, floods do happen, the recent floods this spring are a sobering reminder.

The hard facts are that a regular homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover flooding. Homeowners insurance covers damage to your property if caused by other means, such as a fire or a tree falling on it, but it does not cover water damage that results from flooding. 
If you are looking for a unique way to evaluate your risk, there is an assessment tool located on the National Flood Insurance Program

There are two types of flood insurance:

Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)

The SFHA, as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) represents the 100-year regulatory floodplain. What this means is that in any given year, properties in this area have a one-in-100 chance of becoming flooded. Residents in the SFHA are only allowed to carry regular or Standard flood insurance which is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). To get a Standard or Regular flood insurance policy, please contact your local insurance provider. For information about the NFIP or flood insurance providers, please call 800-427-4661 or visit

Preferred Risk Flood Insurance (PRPs)
This is available to home-owners that are not considered at immediate risk However, FEMA warns that over the life of a 30-year mortgage, property owners in areas like Sacramento can expect an approximately 26% chance of flooding.  So this really is the “what if’ policy.  Again, just because you haven’t had a flood in 100 years, doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

So, when buying a policy there are a few things to ask and things you need to know:
• Does my community participate in the National Flood Insurance Program?
• Can you confirm which flood zone I live in?
• Does my community participate in the NFIP Community Rating System (CRS)?
• If so, does my community's CRS rating mean that I qualify for a CRS rating discount?
• What exactly will be covered in case of flood damage? What won’t be covered?
• How will my premium costs be affected by choosing coverage for building only, contents only or building and contents?
• How will my premium costs be affected if I choose a higher deductible?
• What is the policy fee?
• Are there additional expenses or fees I should be aware of?
• What is covered by Replacement Cost and what is covered by Actual Cash Value only?
• If your home is considered in a “Flood Zone” your agent may ask you for an elevation certificate.  More information on Elevation Certificates can be found by clicking here.
• Flood insurance has a thirty day waiting period on your policy. 

Finally, put together an inventory of your home’s contents.  Should something happen you will need this to make your claims. A simple form like this checklist can be priceless, it’s a good thing to have in the event of any disaster.


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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