Costello Real Estate & Investments Real Estate Blog

Upcoming Event: The Great Pumpkin Fest

An event you won't want to miss, The Great Pumpkin Fest is coming to Carowinds for more than a month. In fact, it has already arrived. The event started on September 15th and will be held on Saturdays and Sundays through October 28th.

It's a family-friendly Halloween event perfect for your children. You can enjoy a consume parade, mazes, foam zone and so much more.  Here's a look at what to expect at The Great Pumpkin Fest this year.

Attractions

There will be plenty of attractions for children to enjoy including:

  • Linus's Pumpkin Patch and Bale Maze - Found near the Camp Store; this maze will keep kids busy. There are many dead ends throughout and at the end of the maze, kids 12 and under can choose a mini-pumpkin to decorate.
  • Charlie Brown's Tractor Tour - A cook little tour for kids, the tractor tour allows each child to pedal on a miniature tractor and enjoy the fun.
  • Lucy's Mummy Pit - It's a fun bubbly pyramid of sudsy delight. The mummy pit is found near Snoopy vs. Red Barron.
  • Sally's Craft Corner - If your children are into crafts, find this cool attraction near Snoopy Junction. It's a great place to enjoy decorating a mini-pumpkin or creating a mask.
  • Franklin's Game Corner - Enjoy all types of Halloween themed festival games near Harmony Hall Arbor.
  • Trick or Treating - All throughout Camp Snoopy, you'll find great trick or treating options starting at 3pm.

There are several great attractions to enjoy for this event and plenty for children to do.

Shows

Along with the many great attractions, the event will include several shows, such as:

  • Haunted Homecoming - Held five times throughout the day at Harmony Hall, this show will feature a cast of teenage dead-heads performing...

Top 7 BBQ Joints in Charlotte

BBQ is a tradition in Charlotte and there are some spots that simply just do it right. With so many great restaurants all throughout the city, it's not hard to find a great place to eat. However, when you want the best BBQ in Charlotte, you need to know where to go.

There are two styles of BBQ found in North Carolina: Lexington or Western and Eastern. Lexington BBQ includes a red sauce with pepper, vinegar, ketchup, and spices. This is usually served over slow-roasted pork shoulder. Eastern BBQ uses all the different parts of the pick with a sauce made of just vinegar and pepper.

You can find both styles all throughout Charlotte at the best BBQ joints in the city. Here's a look at some of the top spots to go for BBQ in Charlotte.

Bubba's Barbecue - 4400 Sunset Road

A 33-hour process is used to properly roast the hogs at Bubba's Barbeque. This ensures nearly all the fat is gone resulting in a lean meat. The meat is seasoned with vinegar, salt, and crushed red pepper to give it the perfect flavor.

Midwood Smokehouse - 540 Brandywine Road

A newer BBQ spot in Charlotte, Midwood Smokehouse opened in 2011. They have become a local favorite by using an all-wood smoker with hickory logs burring all hours of every day. The brisket here is one of the best in town.

Bar-B-Q King - 2900 Wilkinson Boulevard

Found in Ashley Park, this BBQ option offers a curbside experience. It's known as a historic hole in the wall and the BBQ is amazing. Bar-B-Q-King has been around since 1959 and uses a house-made sauce unlike anything else you will find in Charlotte.

Sauceman's - 228 West Boulevard

...

Which Parks in Charlotte are Best for Kids?

Charlotte is home to more than 21,000 acres of parkland with over 210 parks throughout. There's a ton of green space within the city and the surrounding area.

If you're considering relocating to Charlotte or if you've already moved to Charlotte, finding a great park for your kids isn't hard. There are several excellent parks all throughout the city, the suburbs and the surrounding area. Not all are as kid-friendly as others, however. Here's a quick look at some of the most kid-friendly and family-friendly parks you will find throughout Charlotte.

Chantilly Neighborhood Park

A great park for those living in nearby neighborhoods including Elizabeth, Plaza Midwood, and Chantilly, the Chantilly Neighborhood Park has plenty to offer. It's near some of the best historic neighborhoods in the city and offers one of the best-kept secrets in the park system.

Enjoy two massive playgrounds with shade pine trees nearby. There are also great walking trails here with plenty of green space to explore. If you need to sit down often, you will find plenty of great benches throughout the park, as well.

Freedom Park

One of the best family-friendly parks in all of Charlotte, Freedom Park is known as the "Central Park” of the city. It's usually filled with children and offers several different playgrounds including the "Panther Zone", which will let the kids enjoy some unique fun.

There are plenty of other things found here, too, including tennis courts and several sports fields. Enjoy the massive lake and go for a stroll throughout the park. Freedom Park is one of the most complete parks in Charlotte.

Latta Park

Found in the Dilworth neighborhood, this is one of the...

Understanding the Differences Between a Condo and a Townhome

When you're ready to buy your first home, you may be considering a condo or a townhome. Do you know the difference between the two? Are you familiar with what each may offer you?

For some, hearing the word townhouse may bring images to the mind of two-story brick buildings in rows. Condos may have you thinking of high-rise buildings with floor-to-ceiling windows and amazing views.

If you're considering purchasing a new home in Charlotte and you want to look into condos and townhouses, you should know the difference. Here's the difference between the two.

Condos

One of the main things that define condos is the fact that they are owned. Condominiums are defined at a property the owner where the owner is responsible for everything found inside the walls but isn't responsible for the shared spaces within the building.

Typically, a condo is found in a medium or large building and the units are stacked on top of each other. It's possible to rent a condo, as some buildings will allow the owner to rent it out. However, it's still a condo for the owner, but now becomes an apartment to the renter.

Townhomes

The architectural style will define the townhouses and they can be owned or rented. Usually, these are much like a condensed single-family home and neighborhoods will share a wall. Usually, townhomes include more than one floor with the living space on the lower level and the bedrooms on the upper level or levels.

Townhome communities usually offer shared amenities and they are a part of a much larger community. They can also be a part of a single row of townhouses and they usually have a front and back with access through both.

Differences Between Townhomes...

Top Charlotte Center City Museums

The Charlotte Center City is known as one of the best places in the city for arts and entertainment. There are several museums, galleries, and theaters found in this portion of the city. If you're looking for amazing museums to visit, heading to the Charlotte Center City will give you exactly what you desire.

From science museums to art museums, there are plenty of choices to enjoy here. You can even find the NASCAR Hall of Fame here. When it's time to take a trip to the museum, here are the top choices you will find throughout the Charlotte Center City in Uptown.

Mint Museum Uptown - 500 South Tryon Street

There are actually two locations of the Mint Museum in Charlotte. The Mint Museum Uptown provides a look at the Craft + Design collection, along with incredible collections of European art and American Contemporary Art. There are several visitor amenities including the James B. Duke Auditorium, a restaurant, the Lewis Family Gallery, art studios and a museum shop.

The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday and admission ranging from $6 to $15. Members do get in free. Find out more about the Mint Museum Uptown here.

Levine Museum of the New South - 200 East 7th Street

Showing off the history of the South since the Civil War, the Levine Museum of the New South is a unique choice in Charlotte Center City. This museum offers plenty of unique artifacts and exhibits to enjoy. They also offer several educational programs for all ages.

Admission runs from $6 to $10 with discounts for EBT or WIC members and for families. Every Sunday, admission is half off. Find out more about the Levine Museum of the New South on their website here....

Discover Some of the Best Bars & Pubs in Charlotte

Moving to a new city can be difficult. You have to find new places to hang out, frequent and enjoy. Lucky for you, if you've moved to Charlotte, there are several great bars and pubs throughout the city. Here's a look at some of the best you will find in the Queen City.

Big Ben - 2000 South Boulevard #150

An upbeat tavern with a classic British feel, Big Ben offers sports on plenty of TVs and so much more. They are known for the live entertainment and draft beer. Of course, the pub is named after the famous bell in the clock tower found in London.

Big Ben serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a kid's menu and plenty of lunch specials every day. You can watch any sports you enjoy on the TVs and enjoy quiz night on Tuesdays. For more information about Big Ben visit their website here.

All American Pub - 200 East Bland Street

An excellent pub in Charlotte, the All American Pub offers big screen TVs a great patio and plenty more. It's a top spot for comfort food and offers a good cocktail menu, as well. A true sports bar with just about every game showed on a flat screen, this pub is the place to be on game day.

The casual atmosphere of this pub found in the Historic South End District offers something many sports fans and non-sports fans will love. They serve Sunday Brunch with a Bloody Mary Bar and lunch and dinner all week long. Find out more about the All American Pub by visiting their website here.

The Corner Pub - 335 North Graham Street

A neighborhood bar with plenty to offer, The Corner Pub provides a pool table, TVs for sports, daily drink specials and so much more. A Fourth...

Which Annual Festivals are Held at Charlotte Center City?

Charlotte Center City is a very popular area with plenty of events throughout the year. While plenty of smaller events are found here, you'll also find several annual festivals on the list. Here's a look at the annual festivals held at Charlotte Center City throughout the year.

Hola Charlotte Festival - Fall

Every fall, the Hola Charlotte Festival happens at Charlotte Center City. It's the largest Hispanic Heritage event in Charlotte and has been running for seven years straight. The festival includes plenty of Latin American Culture with entertainers, bands and more. There's always plenty of Latin food, Zumba demos, cultural dance performances and incredible fashion on display.

Find out more about the Hola Charlotte festival by visiting the official website here.

Thanksgiving Day Parade - Late Fall

While it's not exactly a festival, the atmosphere is very much like a festival for the parade. Known as one of the best holiday parades in Charlotte, the Thanksgiving Day Parade may also be one of the best in the country. The parade celebrates more than 70 years of holiday memories as it started in 1947.

The event was once a small-town event and it has grown into a massive parade perfect for families and friends to enjoy together. Usually, the parade includes close to 20 floats, more than 10 huge balloons, about 15 marching bands and more than 10 performing acts. Celebrities such as Miss North Carolina, Santa and Lexi Walker have made appearances in the parade. Find out more about the Thanksgiving Day Parade here.

Holiday on Ice - Late Fall through Winter

While it's also not a festival, a huge event many enjoy in Charlotte Center City is the Holiday on Ice event. This tradition provides an outdoor ice skating...

Your Guide to Fall Festivals in Charlotte

Fall is a great time of year in Charlotte. The leaves are changing, the hot sticky weather is gone and there may even be a little bit of a chill in the air. It's the time of year to light a fire in the firepit, head out camping or hit one of the many great fall festivals throughout the city.

No more swimming pools and lakes, but instead, it's time to change with the season to great music, deep-fried junk food and so much more. Here's a look at the fall festivals you can enjoy throughout Charlotte for 2018.

Charlotte AutoFair - September 6th to 9th

Held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, this is the perfect place to go if you love cars. The Charlotte AutoFair includes some of the best antique cars you will find. Whether you're looking to buy, sell or just look, this is the place for you. You can also enjoy the flea market with plenty of automotive memorabilia and difficult-to-find auto parks.

Find out more about the Charlotte AutoFair here.

Cabarrus County Fair - September 7th to 15th

The fall is the season for the country fairs and the Cabarrus County Fair is one of the best. It includes a huge Ferris wheel, plenty of junk food deep-fried to make it even junkier and livestock competitions. It's also home to some unique things, such as the Frisbee dog acts, pig races and the chainsaw carving artists.

Find out more about the Cabarrus County Fair here.

Lincoln County Apple Festival - September 15th

Held in Downtown Lincolnton, this festival is a great choice. It may not be as big as the North Carolina Apple Festival, but it still brings plenty of fun. Enjoy an apple farmers market, apple pie eating contest, apple pie contest, and even an apple queen...

Why do You Need a Charlotte Real Estate Agent?

Whether you're selling a home or buying one in Charlotte, a Charlotte real estate agent is a must. There are so many good reasons to go into this massive financial transaction with an expert by your side. While you may be able to do it yourself, this type of transaction should never be treated as a DIY project.

Are you well-versed in real estate law? Do you understand any recent changes to the laws impacting real estate? Are you familiar with homeowner's associations in the area? Do you know Charlotte's neighborhoods like the back of your hand?

Unless you answered yes to all of these questions (and it wasn't ego driven), you need a Charlotte real estate agent. Here are several great reasons why you should always hire a real estate agent when buying or selling a home in Charlotte.

It's a Huge Financial Transaction

For most people, buying or selling a home will be one of the largest financial transactions of their life. Hiring an expert to ensure the "t's" are crossed and the "i's" are dotted is just smart. Without an expert by your side, one small mistake could end up costing you thousands of dollars.

Expert Negotiator

We all like to think we are great negotiators, but you probably don't negotiate for a living. Real estate agents negotiate real estate deals every single week and they know exactly what to expect.

Buying and selling real estate comes with plenty of challenges. One of the main challenges is making sure you can get the right deal. Negotiating is vital to a good real estate deal and you need an expert to handle it for you.

A skilled Charlotte real estate agent will not only negotiate the price, but also the terms of the deal. There are several things that go into...

Which Concerts are Coming to Charlotte This Fall?

While the summer concerts are winding down and they are a ton of fun, it doesn't stop with the end of summer. Charlotte has several great concerts coming to the area throughout the fall, too. If you haven't got your fix of live music yet, here are a few of the top fall concerts you can enjoy this year.

Miguel - September 6th

Miguel will be performing at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre on September 6th. This R&B musician is nationally acclaimed and has become one of the top choices in the new wave of R&B talent.

Alan Jackson - September 15th

Another headlining name coming to Charlotte, Alan Jackson will be live on stage at the Spectrum Center. He was once one of the biggest names in country music and known as one of the best songwriters, as well. Jackson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2017 and will be performing for all in attendance on September 15th.

Portugal. The man and Chicano Batman - September 18th

The Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater will host this incredible musician. Portugal won a Grammy award from the single "Feel it Still" and will perform with The Man, which is a psychedelic indie rock act and Chicano Batman, a SoCal Latino fun quartet. This is a show you won't want to miss.

Father John Misty - September 26th

The Fillmore will host Father John Misty on September 26th in Charlotte. This is one of the biggest and most unique options coming to Charlotte. Father John Misty once toured under his given name of Josh Tillman and was also a drummer with the Fleet Foxes. Since 2012, he has been known as Father John Mistry and has been creating incredible music for all to enjoy. His latest release, "God's Favorite Customer" has already become super popular.

Christ Stapleton - October 11th...

Top Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Learning Resources for Kids

The kids are back in school in Charlotte and having the right learning resources at your fingertips is a big deal. Libraries always have plenty of books, but they also offer learning services. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is known for offering some of the best learning resources for children. Here's a look at the top choices by age range.

For Babies, Toddlers and Preschool Students

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers several great learning resources for the younger children including:

  • StoryPlace - This bilingual website is perfect for young children. Kids can explore all types of stories, enjoy online games and activities and learn at the same time. It's in both English and Spanish
  • Active Reading Workshops - Perfect for the youngest of children, the active reading workshops including reading a book with the child instead of reading it to them. This helps children to develop vocabulary language skills and more.
  • TumbleBooks - A great choice for your children, this collection of talking picture books offers books in French and Spanish, along with English. Children can enjoy nonfiction books, puzzles, games, graphic novels, and language learning.
  • Get Set 4 K - If your child will be going into kindergarten soon, this month-by-month guide will help get them ready. It includes activities to do with your children, books to read together and plenty of tips.

For Children Age 4 and Up

While many of the library programs and resources cater to the younger children, some are still available for the children age 4 and up including:

  • Paws to Read - Perfect for children ages 5 to 11, this program allows children to read aloud to a certified...

Top 5 Towns Near Charlotte with a Real Main Street

Charlotte is filled with amazing neighborhoods and places to call home. From Uptown to the South End, you can choose from several amazing neighborhoods throughout the city. However, the Greater Charlotte Area also offers plenty of great towns with real Main Streets.

If you prefer the feel of a small town over an urban neighborhood, you're in luck. You can have your cake and eat it, too, when you choose one of the towns near Charlotte. Living close enough to enjoy big city amenities, while keeping the small town feel like a part of your home gives you the best of both worlds.

When you start shopping for a home in one of the Charlotte suburbs, you might be surprised at what you find. Wide sidewalks, ice cream shops, coffee cafes, fine dining restaurants and plenty of shopping will likely greet you in these downtown havens. Here are five the very best towns near Charlotte with a real Main Street.

Matthews, NC

Maybe the best suburb of Charlotte and certainly one of the top downtown areas, Matthews has so much to offer. It's filled with great places to shop, dining and plenty of entertainment. The Main Street is found right next to Stumptown Park, which is known for excellent events all year long. You can enjoy festivals and movies on the lawn as this park, along with the Food Truck Fridays event held every week.

If you want one of the very best downtown areas and Main Streets in the Charlotte area, your next home needs to be in Matthews. It's a vibrant town to call home with plenty to offer for all types of residents.

Mooresville, NC

Another great town with an excellent Main Street, ...

Charlotte Named as A Top City for Starting a Business

If you're an entrepreneur, relocating to Charlotte may just be the right move. It was recently named by WalletHub as one of the best large cities to start a business. After surveying 180 U.S. Cities WalletHub came to the conclusion that Charlotte belonged high on this list.

The list was compiled based on 19 different key metrics. The metrics even included the five-year survival rate for businesses and the affordability of office space. Here's why Charlotte made it onto this list from WalletHub.

Charlotte 9th Best Large City for Starting a Business

Charlotte landed in the 9th spot, which was better every other city in North Carolina, except Durham. The city was ranked as the 23rd best Business Environment, 43rd for Access to Resources and 56th for Business Costs.

Some of the major cities Charlotte beat out include:

  • Denver, CO
  • Miami, FL
  • Orlando, FL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Houston, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Nashville, TN
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • San Jose, CA
  • And many more!

Charlotte was tied for first place for the Highest Average growth for Small businesses. It tied with the following cities:

  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Austin, TX
  • Winston-Salem, NC
  • Gulfport, MS

How WalletHub Came to This Conclusion

The methodology used by WalletHub compared a total of 182 cities in the United States. This included the 150 most populated cities with at least two of the most populated cities in each state. The key factors considered were the Business Environment, Access to Resources and Business Costs. In addition, the...

5 Top Labor Day Festivals in Charlotte for Free

When Labor Day arrives it's a good idea to take some time away from work, catch up with family and enjoy some relaxation. Charlotte also offers several great Labor Day Festivals and many don't charge admission. If you want to enjoy a fun event, but you don't want to break the bank to get in, here are five top festivals in Charlotte you can attend for free over Labor Day Weekend.

U.S. National Whitewater Center's Labor Day Celebration

While this is an annual event and it's free, you will need to pay $6 for parking and they do charge for other activities and races. However, if you carpool or arrive without a vehicle, you can get in for free and enjoy the event for free.

Enjoy plenty of fun with Dr. Dog and Great Peacock providing live music. There will also be trail races, fireworks and plenty more for all to enjoy.

This fun festival will be held on Sunday, September 2nd from 9am to 10pm at the U.S. National White Water Center, located at 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway. You can also come out on September 1st for plenty of other competitions.

On September 1st, The Dry Tri - Paddle, Bike, Run will be held, along with the Aqua Rock - Deep Water Solo competition.

Fifth Annual Charlotte Kosher BBQ Championship

If you love BBQ, this is the event for you. On Monday, September 3rd (Labor Day) you can enjoy this competition from 11am to 3pm with plenty of things to do and fun to enjoy. It's a free event, but they do charge for food.

Come out and enjoy plenty of live music, a mechanical bull, kids' activities and more. You can purchase tasting tickets or you can enjoy lunch at the event.

The Kosher BBQ Championship will be held at the Levine Jewish...

A Closer Look at the 7th Street Public Market

A unique shopping experience in Charlotte with plenty to offer, the 7th Street Public Market is open to everybody. It's filled with great food and drink, plenty of vendors and so much more. If you love artisanal local products, this is the place for you.

Every trip to the market is a bit different with new vendors and new products. In addition, plenty of great events come through the 7th Street Market every month making for a great experience. Here's a closer look at the market man

Vendors

Several local companies sell their good at the 7th Street Public Market. Some of the vendors you will find here include:

  • Tank's Tap
  • Rico's Acai
  • Orrman's Cheese Shop
  • Bonsai Fusion Sushi
  • Not Just Coffee
  • Pure Pizza
  • Local Loaf
  • Viva Raw
  • Assorted Table Wine Shoppe
  • And More!

New vendors are added regularly, as well.

Events at the 7th Street Public Market

Several events are held regularly at the Market including Tuesday Night Wine, Raclette Night on Thursdays and Live Music on Fridays. In addition, Fridays often include Craft Night and Wednesdays are known for events, such as Wine & Cheese Pairings and Potions & Pixels Board Game Night.

While the regular weekly events are a blast, the Market is also home to several other events including:

  • The Annual Cookie Crumble
  • Crafternoon
  • Firefighters Pancake Breakfast
  • Shop Pop-ups
  • Jazz Brunches
  • Savor 7
  • And More!

There's always something new going on at the 7th Street Public Market.

About the Market

The 7th Street Public Market is found in the very popular ...

5 Things to Know Before Buying a Historic Home in Charlotte

Even though the United States is a pretty young country, North Carolina is home to some of the oldest places found in the country. Charlotte offers several historic attractions and historic homes all throughout. Some may see these as just old houses, but others see them as the perfect dream home.

If you love the idea of living in one of the historic homes in Charlotte, you should know what you're getting into first. There are several things to understand from historical designations to local laws to preservation regulations. Here's a look at five of the things you should know before you buy a historic home in Charlotte.

Understanding the National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places will become something you get very familiar with if you're searching for a historic home in Charlotte. Whether you're looking in Myer's Park, Dilworth or Plaza Midwood, you will need to understand how the NRHP works.

The NRHP works with the local government in Charlotte to designate and help regulate buildings, historic districts, and landmarks. They make recommendations and the local government will make the final decision about how to control and protect historic areas throughout the city.

In Charlotte, most of the historical sites have already been names as historic landmarks. However, the city can ask the NRHP to make a district, building or landmark a historical place, but it's not the easiest process in the world.

As an owner of a historical property in Charlotte, it's important to understand whether your home is protected as a landmark or not. If it's not protected, but lies within...

Should I Hire an Agent When Buying a Home from a Builder?

You're ready to buy, but you don't want to buy an existing home in Charlotte. Instead, you want to buy from a builder and customize your new home to fit your needs. Should you hire a real estate agent for this transaction?

Buying from a builder may have you convinced you don't need an agent. However, the salesperson or agent working with you represents the builder and will likely try to get the best deal for the builder, not you. With new construction on the rise throughout Charlotte, it's important to know why you need a real estate agent when buying from a builder.

Advantages of Buying New Construction

When you choose to buy a new construction house in Charlotte, you'll get plenty of advantages. It's brand new with a longer warranty and will likely not have any of the logistic issues of buying from someone else. You don't have to wait for anybody to move out, but you do need an agent representing you.

While you can customize this home to fit your needs, a skilled real estate agent will ensure you get the best possible deal without any issues. Many buyers don't think about hiring an agent when buying new construction, but they really should.

Why Buyer Don't Hire an Agent for New Construction

One of the main reasons homebuyers in Charlotte don't hire an agent when buying from a builder is a misunderstanding of how that agent will be paid. They think they have to pay the commission, but this simply isn't true. A buyer's agent is paid by the seller, not the buyer of the property and this is true with new construction, too.

Another reason many don't hire an agent is their own pride. They think they can do the negotiating with...

Ask the Right Questions Before Buying in a Charlotte Golf Course Community

When you're considering buying a home in a Charlotte golf course community, there are some things you need to know first. Golf is a very popular sport with more than 25 million people in the United States playing every year. Even those that don't play golf may prefer to live on a golf course.

When you start considering homes for sale in golf course communities, you need to know what to look for. It's obvious that you will want to be on a good course, but there are other things to consider, as well. Here are some of the top questions you should ask if you want to live on a Charlotte golf course.

How's the Course Funded?

You may not think about this right from the get-go, but it's an important question. Often, private courses are funded by country club dues, but a public course may depend on foot traffic from golfers to survive. It's important to know the financial situation for the course, as a course struggling to survive could have a negative impact on your property values if it shuts down.

Is there a Home Owners Association?

An HOA means you will have to pay dues, which isn't that big of a deal, but something you should consider. Most golf course communities will have higher dues than other neighborhoods to cover amenities, such as the on-site restaurant, course, and clubhouse. They could also be used to help cover infrastructure and other neighborhood necessities.

Is the Community Still Under Construction?

It's not that big of a deal if a community isn't finished yet, but it's still something you should know. You should understand the phases they will be building in and consider the construction in your decision.

How Old is the Community?

Golf courses and golf course communities have changed quite a bit over the past few decades. Older courses have narrower...

Which Charlotte Neighborhoods are the Most Bike-Friendly?

Charlotte is filled with bike-friendly neighborhoods. While the city itself isn't the most bike-friendly on the planet, it's working on becoming more bike-friendly. With a new bike-sharing system, several new trails and many neighborhoods becoming far more bike-friendly, it's getting better and better every year.

If you love the idea of traveling to work on your bike or you just love to ride, you need to know which Charlotte neighborhoods are the most bike-friendly. Here's a look at a few of the top choices for those looking to enjoy their bike regularly.

Davidson

It's actually a city, but a suburb of Charlotte. While you won't be commuting to Uptown by bike from Davidson, if you work in Davidson, you will probably be able to ride to work. This is one of the most bike-friendly neighborhoods in the Charlotte area and offers a very attractive downtown with plenty of bike lanes throughout. Bike riders also enjoy the Davidson Greenway, which covers a total of six miles and runs through downtown.

South End

While South Boulevard isn't the place for bicyclists, the Charlotte Rail Trail makes the South End a very bike-friendly neighborhood in Charlotte. It's a trail that is still growing and goes along the light rail tracks. You're even allowed to take your bike onto the LYNX light rail if you want to get to Uptown or even to South Charlotte.

Plaza Midwood

Maybe the most bike-friendly neighborhood in all of Charlotte, Plaza Midwood is trendy, cool and super inviting for foodies. It's a great place to live...

Why An Indie Firm May Be Better For Your Real Estate Career

What! 

You're going to work for who?  Never heard of them. 

Sounds really risky.  

There is no way they can offer what we do. 

We aren't perfect but we are better than the other firms.

Aren't you afraid your clients won't like working with a small brand?

These thoughts filled my mind when my Broker-In-Charge, mentor, and friend that was a rock star agent left for an indie brokerage that no one had heard of at that time.

What about you? 

Have you ever really considered a world outside of a big box firm? If not, I can understand.  That was my story for most of my career. 

You see, I began my career at a big box brokerage in Northern VA at the age of 23 sitting behind an office computer trying to help renters on Craigslist find homes. I didn't interview other firms. Why would I?  I liked being apart of the big box brand.  It felt great telling people I worked there.  

However, I was new, not producing, and overlooked.

Just before I died the new agent death I was lucky enough to connect with an indie firm, that had just partnered with a big box brand. This indie firm was new to the big box world so they still operated like a smaller shop. Culture is king for me so I was all in.

I hung around the office just to be around the team.  We were innovative, ridiculously collaborative, we had face-to-face training and not only what I call informational sessions.  We worked our butts off and only hired the right people who fit the culture.

The big box had blessed us with their exclusive tools and resources, which I never used because they always felt sub-par and I didn't love the idea of a big box owning my client's data. I went from being the rental master to a top producer in the Mid Atlantic region.

As time passed they grew, which was great,...