Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 82

Bringing the Holiday Spirit to our Clients and the Community

by AH for Masha Halpern

Our annual Holiday “Party with a Purpose” had a new theme this year, “Come Chill with Us Before It Gets ‘Chili’!” This was a great opportunity for us to tell our current & past clients how much they are appreciated and to allow us to work together to give back to our community.

We shared good food, enjoyed awesome conversations, and spent time with so many of our favorite people!


On top of it all we gave our clients over 60 pies at our "Come Chill with Masha Before It Gets “Chili” Party 2019 & made a difference for our community writing holiday cards to our local Veterans, donating food & toys for kids and dogs & kitties ( Thank you to TABLE and Independent Animal Rescue for hanging out with us )!!!!.


Our “Party with a Purpose” was definitely full of Purpose this year.  While we gathered together to enjoy a fabulous Chili Bar, our clients joined us in giving back to our community. 

Thanks to everyone for your generosity! 

  • We delivered a huge stack of your handwritten thank yous & coloring sheets to veterans at the VA Hospital in Durham & lifted a lot of spirits!! 
  • We collected 185 boxes/cans of food & $63 for TABLE, our local organization to help feed school children.
  • We collected lots of pet food & monetary donations for  Independent Animal Rescue.

One of our favorite things about this party is the opportunity to introduce so many of you to each other!!  Being able to help foster connections is a bonus and one that I want to keep growing. If you have a service, run a business, or would like to start a group (something fun or something serious) let me know. Please think of me as a “connector”! I’m pleased to continue to be a referral source for you.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR RAFFLE DRAWING WINNER!!!!!…..Anne Marie Schneider! We are glad you could join in on the festivities and hope that you and your family enjoy all the holiday treats in your gift basket !

A VERY special thank you to Sunshine Scoville of Scoville Photography for capturing the essence of our event with her gorgeous photos. Enjoy photos & video of the event below.

We want to thank each and every one of you for coming to YOUR party and allowing us to express our gratitude for your friendship and business!  We are honored to give back to our clients.  Thank you so much for your continued friendship and supporting Masha with your referrals to friends and family.

Keep an eye out for upcoming Ambassador and VIP client appreciation events in February and Spring of 2020! 

Five Pieces of Tech to Make Your Home Smarter

by KW for Masha Halpern

Five Pieces of Tech to Make Your Home Smarter

New home automation technologies pop up each year. Here are five pieces of currently trending tech that can make your home a little smarter:

1) Video doorbells.

See who is at your door, whether you're inside or halfway around the globe. In addition to cameras, these doorbells offer two-way communication, so you can tell that deliveryman to leave your package by the door.

2) Smart speakers.

These Wi-Fi-enabled speakers not only let you queue up your favorite jams on demand, but many also come with smart assistants, like Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant or Apple's Siri. 

3) Smart lighting.

Thanks to special lightbulbs and switches, you can turn lamps, overhead fixtures or exterior lights on with a simple voice command.

4) Smart fridges.

Ever been to the grocery store and forgotten if you needed eggs? With smart refrigerators, you can get a virtual peek inside your fridge from anywhere, so you'll always know exactly what you have on hand.

5) Smart security.

Instead of outsourcing your home's security, smart security systems allow you to take the DIY route with sleek sensors, battery backup systems and command centers that allow you to monitor your home 24/7 wherever you are.


Click here to download my mobile app!

Copyright 2018 Keller Williams® Realty, Inc. If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a solicitation. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Equal Opportunity Housing Provider. Each office is independently owned and operated.

Energy Saving Tips To Save You Money Year-Round

by KW for Masha Halpern

Saving energy whenever you can is important to reducing environmental impact, and it can also have a significant impact on your electricity bills. According to, there are several simple solutions to help save you energy and money: 

Heating water can be a significant expense.
Try using less hot water by washing your clothes in cold water or installing low-flow showerheads.

A power strip can help reduce your electricity bill up to $100 a year.
By plugging in all of your electronic devices and turning it off when not in use, you can reduce phantom load – the power a device consumes when still plugged in, yet powered off.

Use fans to cut down on heating and cooling expenses.
In warmer months, the effect of windchill from the circulating air will help reduce cooling costs. Having your fan spin counter-clockwise in the winter will push warm air down and heat rooms more efficiently.

Use sunlight to your advantage.
Keep curtains open on windows that get direct sunlight to help heat your home in the winter. 

Simple tips like these can create a happier, healthier and more valuable home.

Thank you for thinking of me for all of your real estate needs, and be sure to share my contact information with anyone you know of looking to buy, sell or invest in a home.


Click here to download my mobile app!

www.TheSmartMoveTeam.comCopyright 2018 Keller Williams® Realty, Inc. If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a solicitation. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Equal Opportunity Housing Provider. Each office is independently owned and operated.


First Time Home Buyer Client is the New Owner of a Delightful Townhome!

by AH for Masha Halpern

Masha Halpern and her team had the pleasure of representing the buyers in their purchase of this delightful townhome. With an easy maintenance lifestyle, this townhome offers the perfect blend of space, location & amenities. Located in Hope Valley Farms with community recreational opportunities and proximity to shopping, restaurants, the American Tobacco Trail, downtown Durham & so much more! Take a tour and call us today if this sounds like the home you've always wanted - we'll help you find it!

Masha's extensive knowledge of the current local real estate market & supply of homes (i.e. inventory), and our team's exhaustive efforts in locating potential homes for sale in a low inventory market led to the result our buyers wanted - their new home! 

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website at 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 Chapel Hill & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  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

Could Homes Near These Stores Have a Higher Value?

by AH for Masha Halpern

According to an Inman article, not only is healthy food good for your body, but “it’ll do your home some good as well.” The article cites research that suggests living near a Whole Foods or Trader Joes can increase the value of your home.

While some may argue that these companies are choosing already high income areas, some of the data suggests that they are “not simply piggybacking off already hot neighborhoods.” If you are a data person, you’ll want to check out the charts and research over at Zillow, which also suggests Starbucks has a similar impact to neighborhoods.
Whether or not the Trader Joes & Whole Foods neighborhood phenomenon is a myth,  we’ve set up home searches for neighborhoods within close vicinity to area stores. Feel free to check them out. Even better, Masha can help customize a new home search for you or help you determine the value of your current home.

Click here for the Chapel Hill Search

Click here for the Durham Search

Happy Shopping!


Adding Curb Appeal - First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

by AH for Masha Halpern

First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

Whether it’s driving by a home with a for sale sign in the yard or seeing it for the first time online, today’s buyers first impression of your home will be of the outside.

Even with the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”,  making sure you home has lots of curb appeal can help get buyers in the door.


For great visual tips on what can help add instant curb appeal, check out this slideshow from DIY Network.

Of course there’s nothing like having an expert guide you on the particulars of your own home. Masha excels in telling the story of your home and has a high ability to stage your home both inside and out to make it stand out amidst hundreds on the market.

In addition to staging, Masha will be able to educate you about recent relevant sales affecting your home, show and help you understand local market trends, review your potential competition, and get you familiar with timing the market.

Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-951-1780 or by visiting

6 Must-Do Outdoor Maintenance Tasks

by EM for Masha Halpern

Preventative outdoor maintenance is an important part of being a homeowner. Not only does it minimize the cost of future home repairs but it also allows you to enjoy the outdoor spaces you love. With pool party and backyard barbeque season upon us, now is the perfect time to get your outdoor spaces ready for the upcoming season. Check out these six helpful tips to get the job done!

Cleaning the Gutters

Fallen leaves, twigs, and other debris often clog downspouts in the fall and winter months, preventing water from moving away from the home properly. Having clogged gutters can cause water damage to your roof, fascia (the board behind the gutter), foundation, and basement. To combat the potential damage, it’s recommended that you clean your gutters twice a year. If you are going to do-it-yourself, spring and summer are great times to tackle this task. Grab your ladder and use a gutter scoop, plastic sand shovel, or a trowel to remove the gunk. Spare your lawn, and dump the gunk into a bucket or onto a tarp. After you’ve de-gunked, flush the rest of the debris out the gutters with a garden hose. This is also a great way to check if there are any leaks. Lastly, don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you clean- it’s much easier to clean when the gunk is dried out!


Repairing Outside Paint

Have you noticed any chipping or peeling on your home’s siding? Are your shutters and front door a few shades grayer or bleached-out? If so, it may be time to pick up a paint scraper to minimize damage from the elements and increase your curb appeal. If you’re not sure whether you should paint your house, check out this helpful blog. Once you’ve decided to go ahead and re-touch, use a paint scraper to liberally remove any damaged areas. Then, switch to a wire brush to get the remaining loose edges and debris off. Next, apply a thin, flat layer of wood filler that extends past the edges of the spot you want to fix with a putty knife. Let the filler dry for about 2 hours and then use a fine grit paper to sand. After that, apply a primer and paint. When painting, make sure to blend the paint in with the rest of the exterior. If the color is too light once it dries, consider applying a second or even third coat.

Preparing the Grill

Cleaning and maintenance are necessary for quality grilling. Now that the weather is getting warmer, it’s time to get your grill ready for barbeque season. Before you begin cleaning, make sure the dials are in the off position and the grill is disconnected from the propane tank (if applicable). Remove your grates and place them in a bucket of warm water and dish soap. Use a scrub wire brush and degreasing agent to thoroughly clean the grates. It’s also in good practice to oil your grates. Find out how using this article. After that, move onto the main part of the grill. Loosely cover the heating elements with pieces of tin foil for protection. Take a grill brush or steel-wool pad and scrub the inside walls and under the hood. The ash and debris should fall onto the foil. You may also notice that a residue that looks like peeling paint while cleaning. These are the remains of a harmless buildup of carbon from grease and smoke and should be discarded. Once your finished, wipe the walls with a damp paper towel.


Washing the Windows

After rain and snow, windows can look grimy and dirty because of water spots, streaks, and residue on the glass. Clean them inside and out by taking out the screens and gently hosing them off then leaving them outside for a few hours to dry in the sun. At this step, consider renting a steam machine from your local home improvement store to quickly clean your windows but if not, bucket with dishwashing soap and warm water and wash the windows with a cloth or sponge. Starting at the top, use a squeegee and pull in a ‘s’ pattern. After each stroke, wipe the squeegee blade with a rag. To remove water on the edges of the glass, use a damp chamois since it absorbs water without leaving streaks. The last step should be drying the windowsills with a rag.


Freshening up the Outdoor Furniture

Goodbye rust marks, mildew, and stains! Ensure that your outdoor furniture will look beautiful for years to come by periodically cleaning and freshening your pieces. Since outdoor furniture is constructed from a wide variety of materials, the way they are handled, cleaned, and cared for varies greatly. So, the first step in maintaining your outdoor furniture is reading the care label for instructions. After that, begin with some light cleaning like sweeping the surfaces and using gentle cleansers and soft-bristled brushes. Lastly, pick a sunny day to put in your elbow grease so your furniture will air dry faster.

Restoring the Deck or Patio

Whether your deck is wood, composite, or concrete, the constant exposure to the elements can result in mold and mildew that love to grow during the warmer months. Wooden decks are especially susceptible to rot and deck, so make sure to inspect and repair if necessary. Also, consider scrubbing the wood with an oxalic acid to kill microbes, and restain. For, composite decks, a professional powerwash is a simple solution. Make sure to check if your deck is suitable for a powerwash first though! To clean concrete decks, use vinegar or baking soda with water for a great natural and eco-friendly mixture that work wonders on outdoor, concrete spaces. For how to clean and maintain other types of decks and patios and more general tips, check out this comprehensive guide.

     Follow these outdoor maintenance tips to improve your outdoor spaces today!

Keep Your Home Allergy Free

by KW for Masha Halpern

Keep your home allergy-free with these simple tips.

Allergies are often associated with the arrival of spring, but indoor allergy sufferers will often find themselves sniffing and sneezing year-round. The culprit? Indoor allergens such as dust, dust mites and pet hair and dander. So how do you make sure your home is a respite from both seasonal and interior allergens and create a healthy environment for you and your family?

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, there are several best practices you can adopt to manage allergens in your home:


1. Keep it clean.

Regularly cleaning your home will go far in reducing allergens such as dust, dust mites and pet dander.

2. Redo your floors.

Replacing rugs and carpets with wood or vinyl floorings will help minimize dust and other allergens that become embedded in fabric fibers.

3. Groom your furry friends.

Regularly bathing and brushing your pets will help reduce the amount of dander and pet hair in your home.

4. Go on mold patrol.

Be on the lookout for any leaks or moisture in your home as this can cause mold to thrive.

Simple tips like these can create a happier, healthier and more valuable home.Thank you for thinking of me for all of your real estate needs, and be sure to share my contact information with anyone you know of looking to buy, sell or invest in a home.


Click here to download my mobile app!

www.TheSmartMoveTeam.comCopyright 2018 Keller Williams® Realty, Inc. If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a solicitation. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Equal Opportunity Housing Provider. Each office is independently owned and operated.


Four Ways to Help Your Appliances Last Longer

by KW for Masha Halpern

Four Ways to Help Your Appliances Last Longer

Appliances like your washing machine, dishwasher and refrigerator tend to be major investments. You can protect these investments and prolong their lifespans through regular maintenance.

Here are four ways to help those appliances – and your investment – last longer:

Make sure the seals seal.

One of the biggest reasons refrigerators break down is because the doors aren't closing properly, causing the motor to work too hard. The magnetic strips in the gaskets around the doors wear out after a few years, but replacing and re-magnetizing them can be a simple DIY fix.

Keep the drum clean.

Always empty your pockets before loading your washing machine to prevent the drum from rusting or getting nicked. Also, clean or swap out the thimble-shaped filter in the machine that traps water sediment.

Inspect the vents.

Cleaning out the lint trap on your dryer should be a routine task after every load, but go one step further by inspecting the exterior vent to see that it pops open and scraping off debris with a toothbrush.

Clean the dishwasher.

Once a week, run an empty dishwasher cycle with nothing but a cup of white vinegar to keep smells at bay. Also, wipe down seals and clear the food trap often.

Click here to download my mobile app!


Copyright 2018 Keller Williams® Realty, Inc. If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a solicitation. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Equal Opportunity Housing Provider. Each office is independently owned and operated.

Why Working With a Real Estate Broker Benefits You - Part 5: Emotions

by AH for Masha Halpern

This is the last article of a 5 Part series about Why Using a Broker Benefits YOU! If you missed the previous articles, start here.

"A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work." ~John Lubbock

Just as there are many types of people, so are there reasons for buying or selling a home. No two stories are the same with emotions ranging from joy and excitement, to loss and uncertainty. Sometimes these emotions can get in the way, that’s where a professional comes in handy. Having a ‘buffer’ between parties to manage the communications, and being available to talk through all of the steps and processes can be very helpful. As helpful is to have someone available to listen to your concerns and fears and problem solve for you. That is also something Masha will do with you!

Reasons to Buy or Sell
For some, delving into purchasing or buying a home may mean the thrill of first time homeownership, or maybe it’s bittersweet because your family is growing and you have to leave behind your first home. Sometimes it’s finally getting into the neighborhood you’ve been wanting to live in and sometimes it’s the uncertainty of moving to a new place for a job. Loss, divorce, marriage, needing to be near elderly parents, and downs-sizing as life changes can feel like an emotional rollercoaster.


Sometimes there may be disagreement within a family as to what will best serve their needs and what it is they are looking for. A dedicated Broker can give you some perspective as a third party with no particular attachments to a house. Masha is great at taking your emotional needs into consideration while helping serve your real estate needs in a way that gets you closer to your goals.

Taking the time to discern what your ideal outcome would be allows Masha to customize your search or sale and then create a plan with you in mind.

Asking the Right Questions

Experience with past clients has given Masha the insight to know the right questions to ask. They may be house related, but they may also be related to life goals & aspirations or personality traits. Getting to know you serves as the foundation for your experience with our team. We enjoy working with people. We enjoy helping people with a process that can be deeply emotional. We enjoy guiding you through one of life’s major events - selling or buying a home. It all starts with a consultation meeting to hear what you have to say! Fill out this quick form to set up a time to talk with Masha.

Support After Closing

Because we get to know you and develop a relationship, we want you to know that we are here for you after  settlement has occurred! As a part of our larger family of past clients, we will continue to support you with your real estate questions, your community questions, and whatever else you need. We stay in touch on a regular basis and offer fun client appreciation programs and events! Check out our most recent ones here. Our hope is that you’ll entrust us with your referral to your family and friends for their real estate needs based on the experience you’ve had with us.

“Make sure everyone who works with you or for you feels the need to tell others about the incredible experience.” ~Chris Murray.


This is our goal- to give you such great service you will want to RAVE about us to everyone who wants to buy and sell a home in Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough.

This is the last entry of this blog series and we want to hear your comments about it!  Email us at Feel free to find out more about our team, our services and our community involvement on our website at

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 82




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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