Costello Real Estate & Investments Blog | Costello REI

Charlotte's Top 10 Proposal Spots

Are you planning to pop the question? The holiday season all the way through Valentine's Day is the most popular time of year for a proposal in Charlotte. If you're planning to get down on one knee, here are the top 10 proposal spots to consider throughout the city.

Freedom Park

A beautiful background found between the historic neighborhoods of Myers Park and Dilworth, Freedom Park offers plenty of options for a proposal. It covers 98 acres of beautiful space and many consider it to be the "Central Park" of Charlotte. Wait until sunset and propose with the beautiful seven-acre lake in the background or arrive at sunrise for the perfect early-day proposal.


A rooftop bar offering a 360-degree view of the city, Fahrenheit is a great spot to pop the question. Enjoy the comfortable chairs and a drink to celebrate after she says "YES" and you can even bring in a cozy atmosphere with the fire pits found here. The rooftop bar is located above Hyatt Place on the 21st floor.

A few other rooftop bars to consider include:

  • Nuvole Rooftop TwentyTwo
  • Rooftop 210
  • City Lights Rooftop

One of the Charlotte Concert Venues

Maybe you want to propose with music in the background during the holiday season. You will have plenty of options with plenty of great concerts throughout the holidays. The Fillmore is...

Where are the Charlotte Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, and Hayrides Found?

Maybe you have little kids and you don't want to go to the haunted houses for Halloween. When you want something less scary than some of the spooky attractions, you may be looking for a pumpkin patch, corn maze, or hayride. Charlotte has plenty of all three.

While many of the Halloween attractions in the Charlotte area are rather scary, this list is filled with only the Not-So-Scary options suitable for all ages. Here's a look at the best pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and hayrides near Charlotte.

Hodges Family Farm Pumpkin Patch

Offering plenty of pumpkins, hayrides, and animals, this is a fun sot for the entire family. The pumpkins will start around $5 and go up from there. Hayrides are held on the weekends for $5 per person and those age 3 an under do get in free. Admission to the farm itself is free.

Hodges Family Farm Pumpkin Patch is located at 3900 Rocky River Road in Charlotte East and will be open every day through October 31st.

Riverbend Farm

Another good choice for the entire family, Riverbend Farm offers a farm-themed playground, wagon rides, animals, educational displays and a wagon ride through the pumpkin patch. Pumpkins are sold for 40 cents per pound and admission to the farm is $5.50 for those ages 2 and older. You can also enjoy the Air Cannon on the weekends for $1 for two shots.

Riverbend Farm is found at 12150 McManus Road in Midland and will be open every day through the end of October.

Hall Family Farm

Offering free admission and a playground to enjoy, Hall Family Farm is perfect for the entire...

Enjoying Haunted Houses and Trails Around Charlotte

Finding great things to do for Halloween throughout Charlotte isn't difficult. There are plenty of fun events and plenty of haunted houses and trails. If you love to be scared, you'll want to hit up this entire list of incredible haunted houses and trails this Halloween season.

Before we go any further, it's important to note, these choice are not for the faint at heart. You will have to be the judge of whether your children are old enough for the haunts or if they should wait another year or two. Here's the list of the top haunted houses and trails found throughout Charlotte.


Rated at the most entertaining haunt in the Carolinas, BoogerWoods should be very high on your list. It has won several awards and the original Flatback is back, making it even better this year. No matter the weather, BoogerWoods will be open on October 26th & 27th and November 2nd & 3rd.

A total of 14 scenes are found in BoogerWoods including:

  • Mine Shaft
  • Twisted Saw
  • Club Booger
  • Booger Meat Packing
  • Boogerassic Park
  • Booger Vortex
  • Time Machine
  • Booger Maze
  • Texas Full Service
  • And More!

Parking is free and you can take pictures with the BoogerBusters, along with getting your t-shirt, hats, and other gear. There will also be a large movie screen to watch while you're in line.

Tickets are $20 for general admission or $30 for fast pass admission. Make sure to bring cash, as they don't take cards.

Find out more about BoogerWoods on their website here.

The Haunted Mill

Another incredible haunted attrition is the Haunted Mill. This is actually a 120-year-old Mill and includes a total of three...

10 Top Charlotte Halloween Events for 2018

Charlotte has plenty going on for Halloween and it's right around the corner. In fact, some of it has already started, but it's not too late to join in the fun. Here's a look at the top 10 Charlotte Halloween events for 2018.

The Great Pumpkin Festival and SCarowinds

Held at Carowinds every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 28th, this event provides plenty of fun for the entire family. It's very family-friendly and includes:

  • A Costume Parade
  • A Foam Zone
  • Mazes
  • And More!

When 7pm rolls around, SCarowinds begins and it gets a bit spookier in the park. If you want to enjoy one of the best Halloween events in Charlotte, The Great Pumpkin Fest at Carowinds is the right choice.

The 13th Acre

Held in Monroe, NC, The 13th Acre is another great event for Halloween. It's a fun event with a redesigned trail filled with characters ready to frighten you. This isn't an event for everybody and you should probably leave the little kids out of this one. However, if you love a good haunted trail, The 13th Acre is the place for you.

This Halloween event will be held on Fridays and Saturdays through October 27th at 3718 Plyler Mill Road in Monroe, NC.

Scarrigan Farms

Every year in October, Carrigan Farms transforms into Scarrigan Farms with a trail filled with haunts and horrors. This is one of the most frightening trails you will find this Halloween and it's not for the faint of heart. Leave the little ones with the babysitter and come out to Scarrigan Farms on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October.

Creepy Crawly Critter-ween

Reedy Creek Park and Nature Center has the perfect family-friendly Halloween event for you to enjoy. It will be held on Friday, October 26th...

Take a Fun Ski Trip This Winter Less Than 4 Hours from Charlotte

It's not here yet, but winter is coming. Before you know it, you'll be able to enjoy the holiday season, a chill in the air and sweaters, whether cute or ugly.

While the winter certainly brings with it colder temperatures, it's not all bad. With winter rolling in, you can enjoy a fun ski trip and you don't have to go very far. There are a few great skip trips you can take and they are all four hours or less from Charlotte.

Beech Mountain

Maybe the most famous place for skiing near Charlotte, Beech Mountain is only 2.5 hours away. This beautiful area for skiing is close to Banner Elk and Blowing Rock, which are both very popular mountain towns you can enjoy. Of course, the skiing is why you're going, but who doesn't want to enjoy a bit of shopping and great food while they’re at it?

Beech Mountain may not be the world-class ski resort you're looking for, but they do offer five to eight slopes with plenty of activities for the younger children, too. With the close proximity to Charlotte and plenty of things to do, you can't get much better than Beech Mountain for your ski trip.

Wintergreen Ski Resort

Found in Virginia, Wintergreen Ski Resort is a great choice, but it is a bit further than Beech Mountain. From Charlotte, it will take a good four hours to arrive in Wintergreen, VA. However, it's worth the drive and if you plan to go for the weekend or even for a mini-vacation, you're sure to have plenty of fun.

Wintergreen Ski Resort is found in Blue Ridge, which is known as one of the most beautiful areas in the country. The drive to get there is quite scenic and you'll certainly enjoy it. The resort gets plenty of its own snow and does make...

How do You Know You Chose a Great Charlotte Listing Agent?

The right agent makes a huge difference. Some Charlotte listing agents have a specific way of marketing your home and making sure it gets sold. If you choose wisely, it can lead to a faster, more profitable sale of your home.

However, choose the wrong agent and you may be in for a ride you simply won't be thrilled to take. A good agent knows how to cut through the fluff and get your home listed properly and sold fast. Here are a few of the most common signs to look for when you want to choose the right Charlotte listing agent for your home sale.


A good real estate agent will be honest with you, even if they know it's not something you want to hear. The truth can hurt a bit, especially when you're emotionally attached to your home. A good agent won't sugar coat things or keep the truth from you as it can be dangerous to get your home sold.

You may have an unrealistic perceived value of your home or you may think it's in better condition than it really is. Your agent should be willing to tell you these things without worrying about hurting your feelings.

They Use Stagers

A good listing agent will have a professional stager or two they can recommend to you. Staging goes a very long way to getting your home sold, especially in the age of technology. Since most potential buyers will first see your home online, staging matters. It will show up in ever listing picture and every showing.

They're Very Likable

Good listing agents are always very likable. If you like your agent, there is a good chance potential buyers will also like your agent. This is something you simply cannot go without as it makes a difference throughout the entire process.


8 Common Home Buying Expenses First-Time Home Buyers Don't Anticipate

As a first-time home buyer, there's a ton of information you will have thrown your way. You have to think about the budget but remain excited about getting a new home. It's a balancing act you've never done before and it can become very overwhelming.

Hiring a great buyer's agent is the first step to making this balancing act easier. Your agent can help to ensure you're protected during the process and help you find the right home for you. However, there's more to the equation than just hiring the right agent.

A big part of the stress for first-time home buyers is the unexpected expenses. You've never been through the process, so how are you supposed to anticipate every expense? Here's a look at eight of the common home expenses most first-time buyers don't anticipate.

Moving Expenses

Moving, even just down the road, can get expensive. Before you decide to relocate to Charlotte, make sure your account for how much you will need for the moving costs. These costs can vary and can run thousands of dollars if you hire a professional mover. Even if you just rent a truck, it can get expensive if you're moving from out of town.

Closing Costs

You may have heard of closing costs, but you may not know how much the costs will be. Typically, the closing costs will cover all types of feeds from the loan origination fee to the attorney fee and more. This cost can range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price of the home. Sometimes, the seller will pay the closing costs or a percentage of the closing costs, but not always.

Due Diligence Money

Do you even know what a due diligence fee is? If not, you need to read this entire...

Which Schools Will Serve Your Children in Center City?

Living in Center City Charlotte offers several benefits from great shopping to amazing dining to an incredible location. It's one of the most popular places for new residents to choose to call home. However, before you decide Center City is the place for you, it's important to understand which schools serve the children here.

First Ward Creative Arts Academy

The elementary school for Center City students is the First Ward Creative Arts Academy. This school specializes in arts-integrated learning with plenty of elements of arts in the classroom including dance, music, visual arts and theatre arts. The school is found in Uptown Charlotte and provides a high level of education for those in the community.

They offer a unique perspective on learning that includes more than a traditional school. It's a hard school to explain, but once you see the way they do things, you'll understand. They want students to use their special talents and develop a passion for the arts.

Irwin Academic Center

Another elementary school serving Center City Charlotte is the Irwin Academic Center. This school is found just minutes from Uptown and offers six grade levels from kindergarten to fifth grade. They serve about 550 students per year with a full magnet program including Learning Immersion for K-2 and Talent Development for academically gifted- grades 3 to 5.

The school has been recognized as an "Honor School of Excellence" by the states ABC goals multiple times and offers a great education for children. The goal of the Irwin Academic Center is to create critical thinkers and lifelong learners. They...

Understanding Mixed-Use Developments in Charlotte

Charlotte is filled with mixed-use developments and it seems like new ones pop up regularly. There's a reason for this and it's important to understand what mixed-use developments or MUDs are.

Whether you're shopping for a new place to live, a vacation home or you're trying to sell from a mixed-use development, understanding what these are will help you out. Here's a look at what MUDs are and why they are so popular in Charlotte.

Defining MUDs

Mixed-use developments are urban developments that combine social, residential, commercial and in some instances industrial into one. They are very pedestrian-friendly and offer a bit of a community within the community. Typically, these developments feature plenty of things residents can walk to without much issue including grocery stores, restaurants, shopping options and more.

While these are developments featuring different types of space, they can vary quite a bit. Some may offer ground floor retails, while others offer a ton of amenities. There really isn't one way to lump them all together and make them the same.

Mixed-use developments come with a ton of benefits, especially for growing cities. They can help create a stronger community while encouraging more walking and biking. They also create shorter commutes for workers and provide a way for homeowners to enjoy their neighborhood without the same amount of maintenance as a single-family home.

Why So Many MUDs in Charlotte?

MUDs are very popular in growing cities as they are great for those looking to live in a new city. Charlotte is a flourishing city and the urban growth is very important. MUDs allow for cities to add housing options by building up instead of out. They allow homeowners or renters to live close to work and close to downtown,...

Top 7 Hottest Neighborhoods in Charlotte for Home Searches

The summer is always a busy month when it comes to real estate. More buyers and sellers are out trying to find a home or sell a home. Some of the Charlotte neighborhoods were far hotter than others. Here's a look at the top seven hottest neighborhoods in Charlotte for home searches from this past summer.


The most searched neighborhood in Charlotte was NoDa. This neighborhood is already known as one of the most popular for many good reasons. It's filled with great restaurants, shopping options, nightlife, and the art galleries are some of the best you will find. With live/work condos being built, plenty of beautiful bungalow homes renovated mill homes and some modern homes. NoDa also appeals to a variety of buyers.

The average list price for this neighborhood is just over $335K. It may have been a hipster neighborhood, but it has evolved into a historic, fun neighborhood attracting all types of home buyers in Charlotte.


Next on the list is a unique neighborhood in the South End area of Charlotte that has become incredibly hot. It's one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Charlotte and provides plenty for buyers to get excited about. The neighborhood offers the style of Dilworth with more affordability. The homes are not as big as most found in Dilworth, however.

Wilmore offers plenty of bungalow homes from the 1920s and 1930s with plenty of growth potential left. The average list price is nearly $407K. Buyer can expect this neighborhood to continue to be hot and just get hotter.


It may have been higher on the list, but Southpark...

Top Spots for Wine Drinking in Charlotte

While North Carolina may not seem like wine country, there are certainly plenty of places to go to drink wine. From bars to wineries, there's a bit of everything found throughout Charlotte. Even some of the state's best wines come from near the city.

It doesn't matter if you prefer red, white or a fruit wine, you will find it throughout the area. If you're looking for a great place to go out with friends or family for wine, here are some of the top spots for drinking wine in Charlotte.

Foxcroft Wine Co.

Anybody that knows anything about drinking wine in Charlotte has been to the Foxcroft Wine Co. This is simply one of the best spots for wine drinkers to enjoy. They provide a great food menu to go with the many wines you can choose from and they even have locations in both South Park and Dilworth.

Both locations are open from 10am to 11pm, Monday through Saturday and from 5pm to 10pm on Sunday. Find out more about the Foxcroft Wine Co. by visiting their website here.

Corkbuzz Restaurant & Wine Bar

Located in South Park, Corkbuzz Restaurant & Wine Bar is one of the most elegant choices on the list. They offer a wide variety of red, white and sparkling wines, along with cocktails and beer. The restaurant serves small plates and entrees to enjoy.

If you have an event you need a space for, they offer a beautiful private room. In addition, Mondays are the Buy a Bottle, Take a Bottle optional and Saturdays and Sundays offer half-priced Champagne.

Corkbuzz Restaurant & Wine Bar is open from 4pm to 10pm, Sunday through Thursday and from 4pm to 11pm on Friday and Saturday. They also open for lunch from 11am to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday....