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For Sale: $247,900

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Local Gardens, Market Update & Tax Reform

Spring Fever? Enjoy These Local Nature Escapes.

Nothing could be finer than springtime in the Triangle Area!  Blue skies, colorful flowers, budding trees and gentle breezes make spending time outdoors a pleasure. Our part of North Carolina boasts a large number of opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of this season. Here are a few highlights...

The NC Botanical Gardens located in Chapel Hill has free admission and offers a large variety of native plants, including the venus fly trap. Families can enjoy the education center, giant outdoor chess set, and the original cabin of playwright, Paul Green.

The Botanical Gardens also maintains Coker Arboretum, which is located on campus at UNC-Chapel Hill. This shaded garden with meandering pathways is located near Morehead Planetarium and Franklin Street. It’s a great place for a picnic lunch or a quick game of frisbee while visiting the university.

The Sarah P. Duke Gardens, adjacent to Duke University, is a beautiful place for picnics, special occasion portraits, and wildlife sightings. Terraced flower gardens, arched bridges and open spaces provide for hours of exploration and recreation. The Duke Gardens offers a terrace shop & cafe on site. Find out more about special programs and nature camps here.
Photo courtesy of NCMA.
The NC Museum of Art features a park that “connects art, nature and people.” With miles of recreational trails, visitors can picnic, jog, bike or stroll while enjoying the beauty of nature and art. From March 22-25 this year, the Art in Bloom festival will feature exhibits, presentations, workshops, a walking tour, and a special gift shop & trunk show. It’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon with your favorite garden enthusiast.

The annual Orange County Garden Expo and Plant Sale in Hillsborough is May 4-5 this year. The show includes both public and private gardens, and features a plant sale. The Hillsborough Gardening Club’s website provides lots of helpful information about area events, native plants & pollinators, and vegetable gardening.


Looking for an escape from urban life? Look no farther than Duke Forest. This serene escape is over 7,000 acres and spans across Durham, Orange & Alamance counties. The forest is used for education, research and recreation. The Pine Cone Pacer is a 5K Run/Walk event that is being held April 14th. Learn more about  recreational opportunities, such as fishing, picnics, horseback riding, by checking out their website.


Roses rule at the Gene Strowd Rose Garden. Located in the heart of Chapel Hill this garden is adjacent to the Chapel Hill Community Center & Park. The labyrinth-style brick pathway winds around 130 different varieties of roses grown in over 350 bushes.  The colors and fragrances will make you “stop and smell the roses”. This small garden is a perfect outing when you are short on time.

Plan an outing to one (or more) of these beautiful sites and enjoy what nature - and our local area- has to offer! And if you find another favorite place that we should feature, let us know.

Market Update

From the National Association of Realtors, “REALTORS® report ‘low inventory’ and ‘interest rate’ as the major issues affecting transactions in January 2018.” And research from Zillow also shows a fall in existing home sales nationwide.


Just like the rest of the country, our housing inventory is low. So, it’s a great time to sell! We are excited about the possibility of helping your with your home sale.


Selling your home takes a lot of planning, and in today’s market, it’s a multi-faceted process. Masha’s approach makes it easy for her clients to count on her to manage the entire process for them. Our team is dedicated to providing you with ‘Concierge Service’. The entire team has one simple philosophy: To deliver exceptional personal service & the attention you deserve, regardless of your time frame or price point.


Find out more about the selling process here and contact Masha here.


Genuine Support. Qualified Expertise. Personalized Service.

Tax Reform Highlights

The tax code hasn't been thoroughly reformed since 1986, but the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act impacts every facet of real estate. We'll touch on some of the key highlights here.

The advocacy of National Association of Realtors' (NAR) members, and consumers, bore fruit. The legislation will benefit many homeowners, homebuyers, real estate investors, and NAR members as a result. Two important wins include the exclusion for capital gains on the sale of a home, and preservation of the like-kind exchange for real property.

Key Takeaways from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Most individual provisions take effect for the 2018 tax filing year and expire on December 31, 2025.

The new legislation provides generally lower tax rates for individual tax filers. Not everyone will pay lower taxes, but the great majority will. The total size of the tax cut from the rate reductions equals more than $1.2 trillion over ten years. The tax rate schedule retains seven brackets with slightly lower marginal rates of 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%.


The law keeps the  maximum previous rates on net capital gains (generally, 15% maximum rate; 20% for those in the highest tax bracket; 25% rate on “recapture” of depreciation from real property).


Exclusion of Gain on Sale of a Principal Residence: The new law keeps current provisions, so to qualify for a capital gains exclusion, homeowners must live in their home 2 out of the past 5 years. The Senate-passed bill proposed a change to 5 out of the past 8 years.


Mortgage Interest Deduction: The law reduces the limit on deductible mortgage debt to $750,000 for new loans after 12/14/17. Current loans of up to $1 million are grandfathered in, and are not subject to the new $750,000 cap.

The legislation repeals the deduction for interest paid on home equity debt through 12/31/25. Interest is still deductible on home equity loans (or second mortgages) if the proceeds are used to substantially improve the residence.


Deduction for State and Local Taxes: The new tax law allows an itemized deduction of up to $10,000 for the total of state and local property taxes and income or sales taxes. This $10,000 limit applies for both single and married filers.


Standard Deduction: Standard deduction will be $12,000 for single individuals and $24,000 for joint returns. By doubling the standard deduction, Congress has greatly reduced the value of the mortgage interest and property tax deductions as tax incentives for homeownership. Congressional estimates indicate that only 5-8% of filers will now be eligible to claim these deductions by itemizing, meaning there will be no tax differential between renting and owning for more than 90% of taxpayers.


Child Credit: The final bill increases the child tax credit to $2,000 from $1,000 and keeps the age limit at 16 and younger. The income phase-out to claim the child credit has grown from $55,000 single/$110,000 married under current law to $500,000 for all filers in the final bill.


Student Loan Interest Deduction: Current law remains, allowing deductibility of student loan debt up to $2,500, subject to income phase-outs. The House bill would have eliminated the deduction for interest on student loans.


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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