Real Estate Information Archive


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Mistakes Home Buyers Make

by Masha Halpern

1. Waiting to Sell Your Home-It’s more important to sell your existing home before you commit to buying a new one.  It takes a lot longer to find a buyer than it would have a year ago.  With the current state of the economy, you don’t want to be stuck carrying two mortgages.

2. Your Credit Score-Every year you should obtain a copy of your free credit report, especially if you plan on buying a home.  Most credit reports contain some type of error and it can take at least several weeks to have an error corrected.  Sometimes an error can disqualify you from a competitive interest rate or a mortgage altogether.

3, Skipping the Mortgage Preapproval Process-In a tight lending market, it’s important to shop around for a mortgage and get preapproved by a lender before you start looking for a home.  It’s not as easy to get a loan as it used to be.  Your mortgage rate will be based on how risky they feel you are.

4. Your Budget-It’s a buyers market.  Don’t be afraid to make an offer that’s below the asking price.  Also, don’t be foolish to walk away from a property you really like over a few thousand dollars.  I was involved in a situation like this in NY.  I was told as a buyer “You can’t make an offer like that, it’s too low”. I said “Yes I can, worse case scenario they will say no”.  I lived in that home for 7 years!!

5. Signing a Contract with Contingencies-Not only do you need to secure a mortgage, you also need to find a seller that is ready to move at the same pace as you are.  You don’t want to get yourself involved in a situation when the sale is dependent on the seller finding a new home first.

I hope these tips have helped you.  Let us know if we can help you find a home that is right for you!





Great Tips to Spring Clean Your Finances

by Masha Halpern

Now that spring is here, I read a great article in Kiplinger Finance that I wanted to share.

Take some time this spring to get your money matters in order by following these tips:

1. Toss unnecessary documents-Do this every year after you file your tax return. Click here to see what you should toss and what you should save.

2. Freshen up your insurance coverage.-If you're looking to cut costs, increase the deductibles on your car and homeowners policies. Ask your insurance agent about an umbrella policy.

3. Tidy up your credit report.-Once a year, you can request a free credit report at If you are planning on purchasing a home, it's important to check that your credit report is accurate and up to date. Errors on a credit report can hurt your ability to borrow money or get new credit.

4. Clean out your portfolio -Take a look at your investments. It may be time to sell some investments and purchase new ones. Evaluate your holdings. Don't forget to add to your IRA each year.

5. Plug leaks in your budget - When was the last time you tracked your expenses? Try using a budget worksheet to see how much you spend per month. It's the little charges that add up each month.

The above tips are something we should all do every year, especially if you are planning to buy a home.


Masha Halpern has been an agent in Chapel Hill since 1992. Contact Masha at or toll free at (877)478-4669 for all your real estate needs.


Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2




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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