Costello Real Estate & Investments Blog | Costello REI

Top Denver, NC Neighborhoods

Choosing to call the Charlotte area home doesn't mean you have to live directly in Charlotte. There are several wonderful towns and cities surrounding Charlotte including Denver, NC.

Denver offers a great place to call home in eastern Lincoln County. It's right on the western shores of Lake Norman, which means many of the area neighborhoods offer waterfront homes.

A wide range of home styles is found throughout Denver giving home buyers plenty of options. Here's a look at some of the top neighborhoods you can choose from throughout Denver, NC.

Norman Pointe

A luxury community offering plenty of waterfront options, Norman Point provides homes ranging from the high $300K range to more than $3 million. Many of the homes here offer custom options and some type of water view, whether fully waterfront or a partial view. Buyers will even find opportunities for new construction here.

Webbs Chapel Cove

A gated community with massive home sites including multiple acres, Webbs Chapel Cove homes start in the $700K range. There are some lots still available for new home construction. The best part about Webbs Chapel Cove is the location found right in the middle of Denver.

Cobblestone

A one-street enclave filled with luxury homes in Denver, Cobblestone offers a great place to call home. The homes offer plenty of custom options and there may be a few lots left for building.

The Westport Club

A multi-phase community with homes ranging from about $150K to more than $450K, The Westport Club is a golf and tennis community. It's found near Lake Norman and has an Active Adult section. The community also has an 18-hole golf course, fitness center, community pool and plenty of other amenities.

Verdict Ridge

Another...

Will Solar Panels Add Value to Your Charlotte Home?

Solar power has become very popular and for good reason. Adding solar panels and a full system to your home offers many benefits including a lower electricity bill. You also have the ability to reduce your carbon footprint, as your home becomes more eco-friendly.

When you decide to sell your home and you have installed solar panels, you may think it makes your home worth more. This may be the case, but it may not always be the case. Before you add a solar power system to your home, make sure you understand what you're getting into.

Speak with a Bank Appraiser or Realtor

The best way to find out if a solar system will add value to your home is to speak to your bank appraiser or Realtor. They will be able to let you know if it will add any value to the actual appraiser, make the home sell faster, or cause any issues when you try to sell the home.

Adding solar panels to a home isn't as black and white as some of the other things you can do when it comes to adding value. It's a bit of a newer upgrade and there are many factors that could impact the value added including:

  • Are the solar panels leased or owned
  • Your home type
  • Where you live in Charlotte
  • The expense of the property
  • If the panels are installed in the front or back of your home
  • The overall energy and monetary savings from the panel

These factors must all be considered when looking at any value being added to the home.

Owned Systems are Best

While many homeowners lease solar panels due to the high cost of having a solar power system installed, an owned system will add the most value. Most appraisers won't add value to your home if you don't own the solar system.

Best...

Streetcar Neighborhoods: Charlotte's First Suburbs & Most Charming Neighborhoods

The late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century saw the rise of the streetcar. This new form of transportation caused a huge expansion in Charlotte as the streetcar network started to expand. New suburbs started to become popular and they became known as streetcar suburbs or streetcar neighborhoods.

Charlotte is home to several of these incredible suburbs, which were once made popular due to the streetcar. Today, the streetcar doesn't make them popular, but it's still a unique part of each of these neighborhoods.

Here's a closer look at some of the streetcar neighborhoods found throughout Charlotte.

Dilworth

The very first streetcar suburb of Charlotte, Dilworth remains as a popular place to call home today. It was built around the streetcar system in the 1890s and would have never been developed in the same way without the streetcar.

Dilworth provides a very historical area to call home. Edward Dilworth Latta developed the area and many of the homes are Bungalow style. However, you will find some Colonial Revival homes, along with a few Queen Anne homes throughout the neighborhood.

Today, Dilworth is one of the most popular places to call home for those working in Charlotte. It's a great place to start a family and provides a variety of homes to fit just about any type of buyer.

Eastover

Another neighborhood that may have never been developed without the streetcar revolution, Eastover was home to some of the wealthiest families when it was first developed. Many migrated from the business district when the streetcar was created to provide transportation from Eastover into the city.

Most of the homes found throughout Eastover...

What to Expect When You Live Near Lake Wylie

An excellent area to call home, the Lake Wylie area provides plenty of things to do, amazing views, and so much more. If you're considering moving to this wonderful area, you should know what to expect. Here are some of the things you should know about Lake Wylie.

History

The Catawba Dam is responsible for creating the man-made lake known as Lake Wylie. It came from the Catawba Power Company when they decided to build a power plant in India Hook, SC in 1904.

The dam created Lake Catawba, which was used for hydro-electric power. However, in 1905, the Catawba Power Company was swallowed up by the Southern Power Company and the level of the dam was raised. They also build a new Catawba Hydroelectric Station, which opened in 1925. This caused Lake Catawba to go from 668 acres to 13,400 acres in size.

The Southern Power Company merged with Duke Power Company in 1927, which led to some changes. In 1960, the power station received a new name; Wylie Hydroelectric Station. This was in honor of W. Gil Wylie and the lake was renamed Lake Wylie at the same time.

Lake Wylie Location

Found in both North Carolina and South Carolina, Lake Wylie is located right on by the border. It's found near Rock Hill, Charlotte, and Fort Mill. The location isn't far from the intersection of I-77 and I-485.

Plenty of Recreation

One of the main reasons people decide to relocate to Lake Wylie is the recreation. There are plenty of options for recreation here with so many things to do. Of course, boating and fishing are two of the main options, but the lake also offers plenty of camping, swimming, kayaking, events, and so much more.

Plenty of rentals...

Keeping Your Home Safe When Selling

It's time to sell your home in Charlotte, but you're worried about keeping it safe while it's listed. With nobody in the home, it may become vulnerable. Even if you stay in your home, a home for sale can become a target at an open house or showing.

There are several things you can do to ensure your home remains safe and your family is protected. Here are a few tips to keep your Charlotte home safe when selling it.

1. Track Everyone Entering Your Home

When your home is up for sale, you should never let someone into it without getting their name, address, and telephone number. You want to make sure everybody that enters your home has registered with you or your real estate agent. This is a very good first step to keep your home safe when selling it.

2. Hire a Good Realtor

When you hire a good local realtor, you'll have someone on your side to help keep your home safe. They will be able to set conditions on the MLS listing, such as buyers can only see the home with another registered realtor.

Since real estate agents screen most of their buyers, you will also gain the benefit of this screening. Only those with a pre-approval letter from a lender or enough cash in the bank will be able to see your home.

3. Use Security Cameras

Even just a front door camera can be enough to prevent criminal activity when your home is up for sale. However, you can also add cameras to watch every single area of your home, if you prefer. Some of the advancements in home security cameras have made these rather inexpensive, as well.

However, you do need to make sure you're not spying on people and let Realtors know about the cameras. Make sure potential buyers also know you have cameras in...

A Closer Look at the History of Ballantyne

A very affluent neighborhood found in Charlotte, Ballantyne is filled with history. It covers about 2,000 acres of space found very close to the North Carolina/South Carolina border. This popular area was developed by Bissell Companies Inc. and has become one of the largest mixed-use communities in the southeast.

A Hunting Tract, Originally

Ballantyne wasn't always a residential community. It was originally a place for hunting owned by the Harris family. The Ballantyne Corporate Park was the beginning of the change and was started in 1992. This corporate park was started by Johnny Harris and Smoky Bissell.

The Ballantyne Corporate Park becomes one of the most successful master-planned communities in the country. In order for it to be developed 2,000 acres had to be rezoned, which was the largest rezoning in the history of Mecklenburg County.

Crescent Resources had also purchased about 610 acres, at about the same time. This parcel of land would later be turned into the Ballantyne Country Club, along with a residential development.

Ballantyne was established in 1995 when Smoky Bissell payed $20 million for Johnny Harris' shares in the project. Bissell named the community in honor of his great aunt. He later developed The Ballantyne Hotel, which was opened in 2001.

An Art Installation & Recognition

The intersection of Ballantyne Commons and Johnston Road provides a unique art installation commissioned by Boris Tomic, a Yugoslavian artist. It took three years to craft the 30-foot monuments found here, which represents finance, transportation, technology, and the human spirit of Charlotte.

The Ballantyne Corporate Park was named as the International Office Park of the Year in 2010 by the Building Owners and Managers Association...

A Closer Look At Downtown Davidson

A pedestrian-friendly spot to enjoy all kinds of fun, Downtown Davidson is the favorite destination of many. In fact, several homebuyers moving to the Charlotte area choose to live in Davidson because of the charm of the downtown area.

The northern section of Downtown Davidson is known as "restaurant row" due to the many dining options, many of which are nationally acclaimed with Kindred leading the way. In addition to dining, downtown offers plenty of shopping, art, and so much more.

Downtown Davidson Dining

Some of the best restaurants in the area are found in Downtown Davidson. If you're considering relocating to Davidson, here are a few of the dining options you'll get to enjoy.

Kindred

The very best restaurant in all of Davidson, Kindred offers the #7 rated restaurant from Bon Appetit's list in 2015. This is a family-owned restaurant with seasonal menus and a fine dining atmosphere. They use local farmers for ingredients and offer some of the finest dishes you will find in the area.

Pickled Peach

Another great dining option, the Pickled Peach is a bit more casual. They offer salads, soups, and sandwiches with plenty of options for gluten-free diners and vegetarians. The patio seating is a great choice and they also offer several excellent desserts.

Summit Coffee Company

The right choice for a cup of coffee and breakfast, the Summit Coffee Company offers plenty of great options. They provide the best coffee in Davidson and have been open since 1998. You will also find live music here a few nights a week.

Famous Toastery

This is a brunch hot spot and a great spot to...

A Quick Home Buyer's Guide for 2019

Buying a home doesn't change dramatically from one year to the next. However, it does change a little bit. Interest rates change, the way homes are marketed evolves, and the market can certainly shift in favor of buyers or sellers from year-to-year.

With prime buying season for 2019 right around the corner, it's time to prepare yourself for the journey. Here's a quick home buyer's guide for 2019 to help get you up to speed.

You Don't Have to Put 20% Down

While homes are still expensive, you can get into a new home without as large of a down payment. If you're currently renting, you probably understand the challenge of coming up with a down payment. In fact, the down payment is the biggest challenge for more than half of renters according to the 2019 Housing Market Outlook Research Report

With supply pushing prices up, that 20% down payment keeps getting higher and higher. However, you don't have to put 20% down. In fact, you can get into a new house with just 5% to 10% down and some buyers are even getting into a home with 0% to 3% down.

Speak with your real estate agent and they will be able to recommend a lender with alternative options outside of the traditional mortgage choices. You may qualify for an FHA or VA program, which may come with a much lower down payment. There are also down payment assistance programs you may qualify for, which can make it much easier to get into a new house.

Be Financially Prepared

While the down payment is one of the top obstacles for renters looking to become buyers, if you plan to buy a house in Charlotte, you should also consider boosting your credit score...

A Guide to Home Inspections For Buyers & Sellers

Any transaction as large as a home sale needs to be dealt with cautiously. A home inspection is vital to the process and every buyer needs to get at least a general inspection. Other specialized inspections may also be necessary, depending on the property.

Whether you're the seller or the buyer, you should understand what will happen during a home inspection. Here's a look at what both sides of the deal should know about getting a home inspection done.

Home Inspection Guide for Buyers

The home buyer will be the one ordering the inspection as one of the contingencies in their offer. Rarely will a buyer purchase a home without a home inspection and it's certainly not recommended.

Choosing a home inspector may depend on your lender. They may have a list of approved inspectors you must choose from. If not, getting a reference from your real estate agent is a good idea.

You want to make sure you can go through the house with the inspector as it will give you a much better idea of what's going on. It's also a good idea to get a sample report before hiring the right inspector for you.

When the inspection is finished, you and your real estate agent will have a unique opportunity to negotiate. Depending on the repairs needed or what shows up on the inspection, you may be able to negotiate a lower price or having the issues repaired before you move in.

For the buyer, it's better to get a credit than having the repair handled by the seller. Getting a repair done takes time and it can be a hassle. Credits are easier to deal with and often benefit both parties.

Let Your Real Estate Agent Handle Negotiations

When you get a home inspection report back, let your agent handle the rest. They negotiate as a part of their job and...