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This fantastic mid-century split level is now better than new! Renovated from the studs in, this house features new systems and stylish finishes throughout. From the incredible kitchen with granite countertops and Ikea cabinets, to the open flow, you will find surprises at every turn: ample storage, separate laundry room with sink, tiled showers, new fixtures, hardwoods, incredible light, and outdoor patio space. Ideal central location, within walking distance of downtown. $5,000 appliance allowance.

Green features include a sealed crawlspace, 14 SEER HVAC, all new insulated low-e windows with argon, and new insulation (r-15 in walls, r-38 in attics, r-30 in vaulted ceiling, r-19 in floors).

Hello, I’m 104 Masondale.

208 East Knox

208 East Knox

Live in the cherished, downtown Duke Park neighborhood in a 1938 home with tremendous sunlight and flow. The main house has five bedrooms and three full bathrooms, and there is income potential with the apartment above the two-car garage. Mature landscaping showcases the exterior, and there are 750 square feet of front and rear decking. Back deck features a Thermo Spa Hot Tub. The kitchen and bathrooms have been recently updated, and the rest is classic Duke Park.

Live in Duke ParK!

Live in Duke ParK!

List Price:  199,900

Sale Price:  200,000

Neighborhood:  Duke Park

Square Feet:  2619

Bedrooms:  4

Bathrooms: Lot Size:  0.74


  • Address: 210 Bywood Drive, Durham, NC
  • List Price : $144,900
  • Sale Price : $139,600
  • Neighborhood : Bywood
  • Square Feet : 2389
  • Bedrooms : 4
  • Bathrooms : 3
  • Lot Size : 0.46 acre

I know that at this time of year we need to focus on weight reduction (okay, maybe just me), but I must sing the praises of a great restaurant that opened earlier this year in downtown Durham, NC. I recently brought some out-of-town relatives there on a vist for a post-Thanksgiving meal, and they were duly impressed.

Bull City Burger and Brewery is located on Parrish Street, between Mangum and Roxboro Streets, in the rapidly developing downtown area of Durham. On my second visit, I had a group of seven eating there with me. This included some in-laws that I wished to impress with the cosmopolitan nature of Durham that has changed significantly since they lived nearby many years ago.

The biggest draw for this great new eatery is the grass-fed, North Carolina-bred beef that they serve. The hormone- and additive-free burgers are the most flavorful that I have ever tasted. In the past, the hightlight of my burgers seemingly has been the toppings that I choose to place on them. Here, the locally produced lettuce, onions, and pickles greatly complemented the flavor of the all-American sandwich. The meal was fantastic, and came with both types of French fries that they serve (I shared with my wife and my son). Please click on the link above to see the full menu, so that you might see the full range of food that they offer.

The on-site brewery is also a huge attraction. This is the third brewery located in downtown Durham (see also Fullsteam Brewery and Triangle Brewery Company), and the newest is the first with a full-service restaurant attached. On my first visit I had the Parrish Street Pale Ale, and it was hoppy and refreshing like a traditional pale ale, but tasted much fresher because it was only days old.

I was delighted to find my favorite style of beer on my second visit – an oatmeal stout. The Watts Oatmeal Stout had a wonderfully chocolaty and malty finish and had only finished brewing three days before I had my pint. Another experimental keg (which unfortunately had been consumed the night before) was the Watts Oatmeal Stout with both coffee and cinnamon added. I learned from this experience that I need to sign up for email alerts on the Bull City Burger and Brewery homepage so I know when new kegs come on tap!

DPACWe are very fortunate in Durham, NC to have the world-class DPAC that opened here in the Bull City November 30, 2008. Last year I wrote a blog which stated that in 2010 DPAC reached the top-10 list (number 9) of most attended performance venues in the United States. I wrote that with the schedule that we had for 2011, I was sure that ranking would rise for the upcoming year.

DPAC announced earlier this month that, in fact, the ranking did rise to number 4 in the U.S. for the 2011 attendance statistics accoring to Pollstar, a concert industry magazine. Last year, the most popular performances included “The Lion King” and “Radio City Christmas Spectacular.” There were 68 sellout performances for the year.

This year the list of performers are both stellar and diverse: musicians Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt, The Moody Blues, and Elvis Costello will be gracing the stage; comedians Steve Harvey and Lewis Black will be yukking it up; and the plays “Wicked” and “West Side Story” will all be adding drama to the stage this year. The rest of the shows for the upcoming year can be found on their website.

Here is to a very successful 2012, DPAC! Y’all come and see a show, ya’ hear.

Real estate consumers today can find ample value in distressed homes – properties that are under a foreclosure order or up for short sale. In many cases, however, “distressed” speaks more for the condition of the homes than their recent financial histories, as they’ve sat empty for extended periods and have been subject to vandalism and theft.

Those considering homes in need of repair and renovation should consider a 203k mortgage, which enables homebuyers to finance both the acquisition and rehabilitation of the property with just one loan.

“FHA 203k purchase loans are the perfect financing vehicle for homeowners seeking the value proposition offered by REO homes,” said David Wind, president and board chairman of White Plains, N.Y.-based Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company, in a company statement this June. “Home buyers’ ‘perfect’ home can be purchased in less than perfect condition with a single-close loan product that allows repairs and remodeling.”

There are two types of 203k loans: the 203k streamline and the full 203k. The 203k streamline is the most popular among homebuyers and lenders.

“The maximum allowable in repairs is $35,000 under the 203k streamline and it does not allow any structural repairs to be done to the home, unless [the repairs are] a result of an unforeseen circumstance,” explained David Krushinsky, a certified mortgage planning specialist for Mesa, Ariz.-based AmeriFirst Financial Inc. “The full 203k allows structural repairs and will allow the buyer to exceed the $35,000 in home repairs. Both loans allow up to $1,500 in swimming pool repairs.”

Contractors chosen to perform repairs must be licensed, bonded and insured, and they usually must provide the lender with a resume and two client-reference letters.

“After the close of escrow is when all the rehabilitation work begins,” said Krushinsky. “Funds usually aren’t released immediately so it’s important for your contractor to start work in a timely manner. Typically, if they’ve been in business, they have existing relationships with vendors so they can order materials and begin work. If not, the project may take longer than anticipated.”

Since the 203k mortgage is based on the home’s potential value after repairs — not its existing value — you can be approved for a higher loan amount. The mortgages also carry long-term-fixed rates, are insured as soon as they fund, and include escrow accounts for the scheduled repairs.

Loan amounts are capped according to local FHA limits. Only owner-occupied properties of one to four units qualify for 203k mortgage financing; homes also must be at least one year old.

When it comes to preparing your home for sale in an environmentally friendly way, Kermit the Frog had it wrong. It is easy being green.

With so many homebuyers seeking green features in the homes they consider, sellers should create an eco-friendly atmosphere for the buyer, and that doesn’t always mean costly fixes.

It’s always nice for a homebuyer who’s been touring houses all day to find water or a snack waiting for them in your kitchen. Instead of leaving the customary bottled water, go the eco-friendly route and have a pitcher of filtered tap water at the ready. Add some organic fruits and vegetables and keep trash minimized. Also, use glassware and plates instead of plastic cups and paper plates. This practice is not only green, it shows class.

Talk with your agent about using recycled paper for all your brochures and advertisements around the neighborhood. Someone who is environmentally conscious will appreciate the effort.

Another way to act “green” is during your de-cluttering stage, where you remove furniture and other items from your home prior to the home’s listing. Instead of simply throwing out all those things you no longer want or need, you can recycle, resell at a garage sale, donate to a charity, or give away the items at the popular website

Big fixes around the home can go a long way, too. In this age of global warming and high-energy costs, more buyers are looking for houses that embrace energy conservation. The simplest upgrade is to replace all the light bulbs in the home with CFLs (compact fluorescents), which use a quarter of the electricity as regular bulbs.

To help with heating, make sure cracks are tightly caulked and leaks are sealed. Doing so can reduce your annual heating bill by $100, according to Department of Energy figures.

Justin Barnes, a policy analyst for the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, said some of the easiest green fixes deal with appliance replacement. Most of today’s appliances are highly efficient and will reduce your energy bills. They’re also more attractive than their worn-out predecessors.

Barnes also suggests replacing doors and windows if the budget allows, and looking for better ways to insulate the home.

Also consider tankless water heaters, which are energy efficient and ultimately use less water during the heating process.

Don’t be afraid to boast about your green home and any recent enhancements. Working with your agent to highlight your eco-friendly features may just be what makes the difference in completing the sale.

Homeowners with young children face a common challenge when their house is on the market: How do you keep the home clean and ready for prospective buyers while maintaining a kid-friendly and safe environment?

Keeping that “staged look” as the kids create instant messes can be overwhelming.  Your primary focus should be the kids’ bedrooms, according to two home stagers.

“Children’s bedrooms are often problematic when getting a home ready to sell,” said Külli Yee, founder and president of Ilus Design Home Staging and Re-design, Port Coquitlam, B.C., Canada. “They tend to have more clutter than most rooms in the form of toys and activities, and out-of-season and hand-me-down clothes and toys are often stored in the child’s bedroom.”

Yee suggests limiting the number of toys and activities that children play with each week and adding and subtracting as the kids get bored.

“Most kids only actively use three or four favorite toys at a time and the rest just sits there collecting dust,” Yee said. “Pack away extra toys, stuffed animals and books. Organize the remaining toys neatly in baskets, boxes and bins and display only a few items on the shelves.”

Alice T. Chan, a Fremont, Calif.-based home stager and author of the book 8 Steps for Creating an Irresistible Market Ready Home that Sells, recommended keeping a child’s bedroom floor and closet free of clutter by lightening the load.

“Reduce the amount of items stored in the closets,” she said. “Pack, store or give away anything that the child doesn’t need for the next two to three months. This is also the perfect time to get rid of unused or broken toys and old clothes.”

For those with infants, a nursery should be kept tidy with all extra diapers, wipes, lotions, baby bottles and clothes hidden away in a dresser. Make sure that the diaper pail is emptied frequently.

Moreover, remove any furniture that doesn’t serve a purpose in the nursery. Anything beyond a crib, dresser, rocking chair, changing table and small accessories should be packed away.

If your kids have their own rooms, consider asking them to share a room for a couple of months until the home sells. This allows you to set up the other bedrooms as a guest room or home office, adding extra value to your home.

Unlike pets, you can’t simply pack up the kids and send them away for weeks at a time. Remind your children that once your current home sells, the new home will bring them exciting new adventures. If that doesn’t make them more cooperative in helping keep the place then there’s always plan B: bribe them with ice cream, outside!

An oldie, but a goodie…


It is finally below freezing in my hamlet of Durham, North Carolina, and I am very thankful for the extra insulation that is in our attic now that keeps our furnace from running all night. Although that upgrade was one of the ones made as a result of the Neighborhood Energy Retrofit Program of 2011, I still have weather-related improvements that I can make to my house to cause the furnace to work less hard. For instance, I need to place the putty-type caulk along all the openings in my 1950s crank windows.

I found this great website that will facilitate those who are similarly looking to reduce their carbon footprint, It is a website designed by the Residential Energy Savings Network that offers a wealth of ideas about saving energy for each room in the house.

Please check it out, and resove to implement many of the suggestions over this coming year. If you do, it will ensure that you and your family live more comfortably in your house, and that your energy bills are lower. This will be one of the rare instances where costs will decrease in the future, and know that you have direct control of it.

Good luck in your efforts!

208 East Knox

List Price:  $399,900

Sale Price:  $399,000

Neighborhood:  Duke Park

Square Feet:  3,175

Bedrooms:  6

Bathrooms:  4

Lot Size:  0.33 acre

List Price:  $128,500

Sale Price:  $128,000

Neighborhood:  Five Oaks

Square Feet:  1,602

Bedrooms:  3

Bathrooms:  2.5

Lot Size:  0.05 acres

List Price:  $159,900

Sale Price:  $157,500

Neighborhood:  Birchwood Lake Estates

Square Feet:  2,132

Bedrooms:  3

Bathrooms:  2

Lot Size:  6.0 acres

For Sale By Owner-no MLS photo

Sale Price: $63,000

Neighborhood:  Duke Tower Condominiums

Square Feet:  600

Bedrooms:  1

Bathrooms:  1

Lot size:  0

Check out this link : Click Here to View Listings




I only had this wonderful property listed for one day, when we received an offer on it! It is in the wonderful Watts Hospital Hillandale Neighborhood, and is conveniently located very near a golf course, two parks, and the 17-acre Ellerbe Creek Nature Preserve.

If you would like to find another great house in the neighborhood, please contact me, and I would love to help you find one.

There is a great new listing available for sale in Burlington, NC, (1010 Central Avenue ) that I recently listed. It is a great property that was built in 1951 that has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, and offers many attractive features.


The house is a spacious (2,819 square feet) mid-century house that presents one-floor living with tons of light, hardwoods, built-ins, and studio space overlooking the large backyard. The interior has been lovingly redone with a professional’s eye to detail. It provides a great flow for living and entertaining with a welcoming kitchen and easy access  from the breakfast room to the exterior.

DSC_0214at DSC_0209


The renovated garage is now a large and cozy living space with separate office or studio that offers
a great refuge at the end of the day, or a space for relaxing or game-filled family time.


Please contact me for a showing, or if you have any additional questions, and I love to show you this great listing!