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How to Successfully Approach the New Market

by Masha Halpern
Is now the right time to purchase a home, or should you
continue to wait and see how the market fares in the future? According to the latest reports, real estate markets in many areas are nearing a return to normal. With a combination of rising prices and declining foreclosure rates, many prospective buyers feel the time for waiting is over. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Trulia, 75 percent of people believe it is better to buy now rather than wait another year. Not all sellers agree, however. Only about one-third of sellers feel that now is the right time to sell. As a result, buyers who are ready to take the plunge are now facing a combination of low inventory levels and rising prices for the first time in years. In our area we are 39% down in inventory from this time last year. Click the video to see what local appraisers and our own MLS reports
 
 
What exactly does this mean for you? It is only natural for prospective buyers to be concerned.
While it is important to avoid the temptation to make snap decisions, working with Masha you will be given the most up to date real estate statistics to help you understand if moving quickly- and at what price point, you ought to be considering to make THE smartest move for you and your family.
 
 Make sure to take the time to analyze your financial situation carefully. By understanding where you
stand in terms of finances and looking at the statistics of your potential home's recent sales history provided by Masha Halpern, you may find that you are better able to afford a home that is more in
line with your needs and Masha will help you purchase it.
 
In addition, it is important to make certain you are working with a qualified agent. As
multiple offers become the norm and inventory becomes more limited, it is imperative that you
work with an agent who is knowledgeable regarding the local market. When working with Masha you will find she is  highly resourceful and reliable.  Masha will also be
able to guide you in best practices for making your offer stand out from the crowd if you do find
yourself in a multiple offer situation. 
 
The local real estate market IS evolving, requiring a change in how you approach home
buying. Call us so Masha can help you get started on the right path to home ownership.

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website 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 also a 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 points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

How to Deal with a Mold Problem

by Masha Halpern

Mold spores are a fact of life. They’re tiny, too small to see with the naked eye, and float about in the air. Trouble arises when they land on something wet and begin growing.  Once that happens, the clock is ticking.  As long as there is moisture, the mold will grow and spread. Mold can cause suffering for people with allergies or asthma.  Left unchecked, mold can cause damage to your home.

The keys to preventing a mold problem are ventilation, humidity, and preventing water leaks. Mold thrives in moisture, so ventilation and low humidity will dry out wet spots. And when you find moisture in places where it shouldn’t be, you need to be looking for a source of leaking water and fix it as quickly as possible.

The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that as long as the mold area is less than ten square feet, you can clean it up yourself. If the problem has grown beyond that, you’ll want to hire a contractor with mold remediation experience.  If you are going to try handling a small area yourself, the EPA has these suggestions:

  1. Protect yourself and others from exposure to mold. Wear goggles, gloves and an N-95 respirator, which looks like a paper dust mask with a nozzle on the front of it.
  2. Fix leaks and other water problems and let affected areas dry completely.
  3. Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water and let it dry.
  4. Porous materials like carpet and ceiling tiles may need to be thrown away because mold is nearly impossible to remove completely from them.

The problem with mold is that you can’t always see it. If you smell mold, but don’t see any or the house has had water damage and your family is having allergic reactions, you may need some help.  Mold problems can be hidden inside the walls of your house, under wallpaper or paneling, on top of ceiling tiles, on the underside of roofing materials and even in your ductwork. Finding it and exposing it to clean it can release massive amounts of spores, which is why you may want to bring in a professional.

The cost of cleaning an extensive mold problem is high enough that you need to protect yourself when buying a home. An experienced home inspector should be able to see the signs of mold or water damage that could lead to mold.  If you’re selling, you’re going to wind up paying a mold problem, so it’s not a bad idea to have your home checked well ahead of that time if you suspect there may be a problem. As always, if you have questions about how mold problems can affect buying or selling, contact me and I’ll help put it all into perspective for you.

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website 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 also a 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 points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.

The Trouble with Pets

by Masha Halpern

For many homeowners, pets are part of the family. And just like other members of the family, pets can sometimes cause problems around the house. A stain here, damaged wooden floors there: It can add up over time. Before selling a home, a homeowner will want to rectify these problems just like any others.

Oh My, What’s That Smell!

Sometimes you can tell pets live in a house the moment you open the door. This is not something you want to happen to potential buyers coming to take a look.  There is no simple fix for pet odors.  Sprays, plug-ins and scented candles might cover the smell, but may also set off alarm bells as people wonder what you’re trying to hide with all that perfume.

The secret to solving this problem is thorough and complete cleaning of all problem areas. That means deep cleaning carpets, furniture, and floors and walls. The smell of cat urine is perhaps the worst offender, and it the hardest to remove successfully.  The process can be involved, but here are guides from wikihow.com and petfinder.com that will help immensely. In addition, here are some more suggestions:

The Damage Pets Can Do

Hardwood floors and sharp, hard claws do not mix well. Cats and window screens is a disaster in the making. We won’t even consider some of the more exotic pets. All of this can add up to significant repair costs. So, here are some ideas to help prevent damage in the first place

  • Keep pet’s nails trimmed so they won’t wear away the finish of a hardwood floor.
  • Give your cat something to scratch so they’ll leave window screens alone.
  • Don’t train your dog to scratch at the door when it wants to go outside. Unless the door is protected, it’s going to suffer over time.
  • A bitter smelling spray from the pet store will help discourage teething puppies from chewing the edge of a door.
  • Double-wide sticky tape will keep cats from scratching that area.
  • Make sure to clean up urine and water spills quickly. Water can seep through the floor, and cause damage all the way down.
  • You’ll have to do it when you sell your house, so go ahead and vacuum up all of that pet hair hiding behind the refrigerator.

A final tip: Your homeowners insurance policy will only cover damaged caused by pets if that animal is covered by the policy. You’ll need to talk to your insurance agent if you think you need to expand your coverage.

And when it comes time to sell your home, I’m here to help you. Give me a call and let me help you get the best possible price for your home, pets or no pets.

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website 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 also a 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 points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.

Getting the Most from Your Swimming Pool

by Masha Halpern

Summertime means a lot of things, including a trip to the pool. But, if you happen to own the pool, you know summertime means lots of regular pool chores.  And no one will enjoy your pool if you neglect them!

  • ​Regularly test your pool water chemistry. Twice a week is a good base line. It’s easier to keep things in balance is you don’t let them get out of control.  Make sure to check after periods of heavy rain.
  • You’ve got to keep your pH level as close to 7.5 as you can, and make sure your alkalinity stays between the recommended levels. If you must add chemicals, do it in the evening. Strong sunlight will weaken the effect.
  • Make repairs promptly. Broken drains or suction pipes are dangerous. Cracks in a pool wall will worsen over time, as will liner tears. Problems with pump equipment can allow the pool water to stagnate.
  • Keep things clean. No one wants to swim in a pool with algae covered walls and debris on the bottom. Brush and scrub floors, walls and tile. Empty the skimmer basket every time you check the water chemistry.
  • Your pump has to run between 8 and 12 hours each day to ensure proper circulation. Most have built in timers, but you’ll want to make sure they’re working properly.  And you’ll want to run the pump during the heat of the day. You’ll need to backwash a sand filter every three to four weeks, depending on the size of the pool.
  • Once summer is over and temperatures begin to fall, you’ll need to properly winterize your pool. Failing that can mean expensive repairs, which may not be covered by your home owners insurance.

Maintaining a pool does take some work, but it can be well worth it. Taking care of the pool is essential to maximizing its value if the time comes to sell. And if that time comes, let me help you get the best price for your home.

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website 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 also a 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 points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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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