Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Chapel Hill, North Carolina Ranks #10 As Best Small City To Live

by Masha Halpern

According to Money Magazine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina ranked #10 as America's best small city. The highest voted towns provided strong job opportunities, great schools, low crime, quality health care and lots to do.

"Chapel Hill has been referred to as a "town within a park." The roads wind through tunnels of arching trees, and the area has a rain forest-like charm."

Chapel Hill is part of the state's Research Triangle (what we refer to as RTP). RTP boasts one of the highest numbers of Ph.d's per capita in the United States. The town also houses the nation's oldest public university (UNC), along with great educational opportunities.

The public school system is great. My children just graduated from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School system and now  attend State Universities in North Carolina.

If you are interested in living in the Chapel Hill area or somewhere near RTP, give us a call. We will find you a home that best suits your needs.










Fall Yard Work for Year-Round Beauty

by Masha Halpern


With summer drawing to a close, it's a good time to take care of a little work on your landscaping. Your lawn will reward you greatly if you'll spend a little time giving it some TLC. And some things are just best done as the weather turns cooler.

Fertilize your lawn. If you only fertilize once a year, the cusp of fall is the best time. It's also a great time to sew a new lawn with cool-season turf like perennial ryegrass, fescues and Kentucky Bluegrass. The North Carolina Cooperative Extension has some great guides to fall lawn care that covers everything from testing your soil to pest control.

If you have a garden, now's a good time to start planting for a fall harvest. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, mustard and arugula all grow wonderfully in later summer and early fall. And they'll help prepare your soil for your spring gardening. We've still got several months of freeze-free days, but don't wait much or slower growing crops might not have enough time to mature.

Plant flowers now, specifically annuals like asters, mums and Japanese anemones. Keep them watered and prune dying flowers regularly. Take care of your roses now, and you'll see a more beautiful fall.  Remove all the dead stems and prune the rest back by about a third.  Add rose fertilizer and cover with clean mulch.  Only water if it hasn't rained in a week.

Remember that your lawn and landscaping is often the first thing potential buyers will see when they visit your home, so make sure that first impression is an excellent one.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Rob Ireton/

Can A Small St. Joseph Statue Help Sell Your Home?

by Masha Halpern

Statue of St. Joseph infront of a for sale house

For many years, regardless of religion, St. Joseph has become the patron saint of real estate. After reading a Zillow Blog about this statue and after burying a St. Joseph statue in front of my home, I thought I would share the contents of the blog and the St. Joseph tradition with you.

We all know that some listings take longer than others to sell. Sometimes we stage the home, we take new and brighter photos for marketing, we remove clutter, and sometimes we reduce the price. And when all else fails...we leave the rest to a St. Joseph Statue!

The tradition has been going on for at least several hundred years. One tale suggested that nuns during the Middle Ages buried a St. Joseph medal and asked the saint to help them find land for a convent. Some believe German carpenters started the tradition centuries later by burying St. Joseph statues in the foundations of the homes they built.

All I know is my house is under contract and St. Joseph has been situated peacefully in my yard since the day it was listed.

If you are looking to sell your home, give us a call. We have a St. Joseph Statue ready and waiting!






Luxurious Choices for Lottery Winning Home Buyers

by Masha Halpern

You may have heard that there's another huge lottery jackpot, and that has a lot of people thinking about what they could do with all that money if they won. As a service to those of you who are entertaining thoughts like those, I present three real-estate options for your consideration.

For just under 5 million dollars, you can pick up House Island, just off the coast of Portland, Maine. First settled in 1623, the 24-acre island includes three cottages and a fort that was occupied by the military from 1808 through to 1945. Harold Cushing Jr's family has owned the place since 1954, and he won't say why he wants to sell. Perhaps the island is haunted? Let's hope not!

Maybe you're looking for something a bit more upscale? If that's the case, you might consider the Crimson Palace for sale in Beverly Hills. Sitting on an acre in the 91020, the magnificent house has 48,000 square feet of living space. That includes seven bedrooms and eleven bathrooms, which should be enough for the huge parties you'd probably throw in home like this.  Oh, the asking price? A cool 58 million dollars. With three floors, indoor and outdoor pools, a huge wine cellar and an underground garage, it might be worth it.

And finally, with one hundred million dollars, you could buy the most expensive apartment ever listed in New York City.  It's the penthouse that takes up the top three floors of the CitySpire building, overlooking Central Park. 8,000 square feet of living space, plus an additional apartment below for staff members and a wine cellar with room for a thousand bottles of your finest.

Of course, if you are in the market for a new house and your tastes aren't quite as extravagant, I can certainly help you find a beautiful home here in North Carolina. Just let me know how I can help you!


This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Wayne31r (House Island) and Troy McClure SF (CitySpire Penthouse)/

Knock Out Pet Odors Before Opening Your Home to Buyers

by Masha Halpern

Many people enjoy being greeted at the door by their pets. But, no one likes being greeted at the door by the odor of pets living in your home. So, if you're selling your home and you've got pets, you need to make sure you don't have a problem before anyone comes to the door to see your home.

First off, you're not going to solve a pet odor problem with air fresheners, candles or incense. That might mask smells for a while, but it won't solve anything. And some folks will just assume you're trying to hide something.

No, the answer isn't different smells: If you want your home to smell clean, it's going to have to be clean. Scrupulously clean from top to bottom. Make sure to include fabrics that can trap odors, and upholstery and carpets. Professional ozone-based carpet cleaning can do miracles.

Once you get your home smelling clean, keep it that way. Some experts advise moving your pets somewhere else while you have your home on the market, but that's not always a realistic solution. So make sure cat boxes and dog urine pads are always fresh. Let your home air out naturally. When temperatures outside cooperate, open the windows for a while. The scent of the outdoors around your home will help ground it when people walk in the door. 

It can be hard sometimes to notice an odor you live with, so as a final test, ask your real estate professional or a friend to walk through and do a sniff test. Better a friend than a prospective buyer!  

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Charles Huss/

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5




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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