Costello Real Estate & Investments Blog | Costello REI

Top 5 Reasons People Love Living in SouthPark

Most know SouthPark as a great place for shopping. However, it's also a great place to live with so much to offer. It's more than just an amazing place to go when you want a little retail therapy.

SouthPark offers an escape from the city with mature trees, quiet streets and plenty of space. It's an easy commute to Uptown and offers much more than meets the eye. Here are five of the top reasons many people love calling SouthPark home.

It's a Foodie Haven

Foodies flock to SouthPark for the newest restaurants and some that have been around for a while. It's home to several great options, such as Yafo Kitchen, Oak Steakhouse, The Palm and Legion Brewing. If you're a self-proclaimed foodie, SouthPark may be the perfect place for you to call home.

Several Great Subdivisions

While SouthPark offers a unique neighborhood in Charlotte, it also offers several unique subdivisions within it. Fairmeadows is one of those options with half-acre lots and homes ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 square feet. In addition, SouthPark is home to the following subdivisions:

  • Barclay Downs
  • Foxcroft
  • Sharon Woods
  • Beverly Woods
  • Mountainbrook

All of these subdivisions are a bit different, offering the perfect place to call home for so many buyers.

Plenty of Patios

SouthPark is filled with great outdoor spaces for dining with options, such as brunch at Reid's Fine Foods or lunch at Toscana. In addition,...

Check out What's New in Charlotte This Summer

Are you sick of the old and ready for something new? Charlotte has several new things you can enjoy this summer. Whether it's dining you like, an adult beverage you prefer or shopping, there are plenty of new places to go, things to do and people to meet in Charlotte.

New Dining Options

The food scene in Charlotte is always evolving. Restaurants open, restaurants close and there's always something new to enjoy. The Stanley is one of the best new choices. This upscale restaurant comes from a James Beard semifinalist and a top mixologist.

Another new find found very close to The Stanley is The Crunkleton. It comes from another great mixologist from Chapel Hill. Caswell also opened in the same area and all three of these new hot spots took over former locations of restaurants no longer open.

Other new restaurants to enjoy throughout Charlotte include:

  • Famous Toastery in Uptown
  • Holler & Dash in South End
  • First Watch in Matthews
  • Maple Street Biscuit Company in Concord
  • Tacos 4 Life in Concord
  • House of Pizza in Plaza Midwood
  • Bardo in South End
  • 131 Main in South Park
  • Superica in South End
  • Deli St in Plaza Midwood
  • Davidson Ice House in Davidson
  • Bang Bang Burgers in South End

Along with these new restaurants that have already opened, several others will be open before the end of the summer. Some of the top restaurants scheduled to open in Charlotte this summer include:

  • Bulla Gastrobar in South Park, opening in June
  • Barcelona Wine Bar in ...

20 Fun Summer Things to Do in Charlotte

When summer rolls around in Charlotte, there are several incredible things to do. The Queen City is filled with amazing nature, places to explore, excellent dining options and so much more. If you're looking for fun summer things to do in Charlotte, here are 20 you'll want to add to your list.

Attend Taste of Charlotte

A huge food festival offering three days of fun, every foodie will want to check out the Taste of Charlotte. You'll get to sample dishes from some of the best restaurants in the city. In addition, the event includes live music, entertainment, family-friendly activities, street performances and plenty of shopping.

Enjoy a Dinner Cruise

The summer is the perfect season to be out on the water and there's no better way to spark romance than with a dinner cruise. Queen's Landing Sightseeing & Dinner Cruises offers the perfect choice on Lake Norman. You'll board the Catawba Queen Mississippi riverboat or, if you choose, the Lady of the Lake luxury yacht for an incredible cruise filled with fun, food, and romance.

Ride the Trails

The Charlotte B-cycle offers a great opportunity to hit the many bike trails throughout Charlotte. Choose the Rail Trail and enjoy Uptown all the way to South End or choose one of the other trails throughout Charlotte. No matter the trail, you can enjoy the sun on a bike even if you don't own one.

Uncover Charlotte's Secret Gardens

While they may be called...

Top Quick Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in Charlotte

As a first-time home buyer, you may not be sure what you're getting into. It's a new process and a huge financial transaction. When you've never bought a home before, you need the right real estate agent on your side, but you also need an idea of what you're getting into. Here are a few quick tips to help the first-time home buyer.

Get Preapproved before you Shop

There's no sense to start looking at homes you think you can afford only to fall in love and have your heart broken. A preapproval letter from the mortgage company will tell you exactly what you can afford. Once you're preapproved, you can shop in your price range and you won't fall in love with a home you simply cannot afford.

In addition, the preapproval letter gives you power as a buyer. When sellers receive offers without a preapproval (unless it's a cash offer), they may not be very keen on accepting the offer. They will likely have multiple offers on the property and you need to be preapproved to have a chance.

You May Not Win the First Offer

Often, buyers get discouraged because they make an offer and it gets rejected by the seller. This happens often in a competitive market because sellers are receiving multiple offers. Don't get discouraged and always have a backup home in your mind as your second choice.

Some buyers are rather desperate and may end up offering too much. This could lead to you losing out on the property. Just know, the right home will come along and you won't have to overpay to get it.

Consider Your Entire Budget

First-time home buyers sometimes think they can afford a mortgage payment equal to what they pay in rent. This is a good starting point, but you do need to consider other expenses, such as home insurance,...

Top 5 Picks for Foodies in Charlotte

Foodies fall in love with Charlotte fast. It's a great place for those looking for new food to try, a bevy of cuisines to enjoy and plenty of surprises. With so many great restaurants, food trucks and other spots for food, it's not difficult to find something unique.

As a foodie, if you want to dine like royalty, the Queen City is the place for you. Here's a look at five of the top choices in Charlotte for foodies to enjoy.


A hotspot featuring Jamie Lynch as the Chef, 5Church offers upscale American cuisine with an innovative twist. Enjoy amazing decor inside the restaurant and try the 60-second NY Strip. This steak is flash seared only on one side, seasoned and comes out crusty on the bottom. It's rare on top and something every foodie should try at least once. In addition, the Pan Roasted Deckle Steak and Lamb Burger are great choices for foodies.

5Church also offers private dining, if you have a group. The restaurant is found at 127 North Tryon Street, Suite 8, at the corner of Church Street and 5th Street. They are open from 5pm to close every day of the week for dinner, from 11am to 3pm, Monday through Friday for lunch, from 11am to 4pm on Saturday for Brunch and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday for Brunch.


While this is an Italian restaurant, it's a bit more upscale than you might be used to. You will enjoy a true family feast here with plenty of incredible choices on the menu. Enjoy the branzino, which can be served as an appetizer or entree, or try the oxtail pasta.

Known as a great gathering place in Charlotte, Angeline's offers even more for foodies to enjoy. The pasta is handmade, the pizzas are wood-fired and the menu...

How to Celebrate July 4th in Charlotte

July 4th is one of the most important holidays of the year and one of the most enjoyable. With parades, fireworks, cookouts and all types of fun summer events, families will be out having plenty of fun in Charlotte.

If you're new to Charlotte or you're just not sure what's going on, you're in luck. We have all the top July 4th events in Charlotte listed below to give you a better idea of what's available and where your family should go to celebrate the holiday.

Charlotte Symphony Summer Pops: Celebrate America

Since July 4th falls on a Wednesday this year, you may want to start the celebration early. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will hold a concert on July 1st as a part of their Summer Pops series. It will include Fireworks and plenty of patriotic songs.

This fun event will start at 8:15pm and will be held at Symphony Park The cost is $5 to $15 and children 12 and under get in free.

Family Fun Night: Queen City Brass Band

Those over in the Mint Hill area will have the chance to enjoy the annual Family Fun Night. This year it will feature Queen City Brass Band on stage, face painting, a bounce house, plenty of food and family games. However, it's important to note, this event does not include fireworks.

The Family Fun Night will start at 6:30pm and will be held on July 3rd at Mint Hill Town Hall. It's a free event for all to enjoy.

Red, White and BOOM

A very popular event held in Rock Hill every year, Red, White, and BOOM will be held on July 3rd this year. It will include food trucks, plenty of inflatables, rides, live music, an ice-cream eating contest, and fireworks.

The event will run from 5pm to 11pm in Downtown Rock Hill. It's free...

Top 7 Real Estate Myths Debunked

When it's time to buy or sell a home, you'll likely hear plenty of myths about the process. Friends and family almost always have an opinion and could even scare you as they decide to tell you things that simply aren't true. It's best to start by hiring the right real estate agent and listening to them, not those with very little experience in the industry.

Buying or selling a home is a big deal. It's likely going to be the largest financial transaction of your life. You need to be informed. Here are seven of the top real estate myths you should be aware of.

Selling your Home as For Sale By Owner Saves You Money

While some sellers may see some success when selling their home on their own, most won't. It's important to know your own skillset before you take on this massive task. You must be able to list your home online, market the home, negotiate the deal and handle any challenges that come along, such as financing and the home inspection.

While it's very possible you could take on this job, it could also be so time-consuming you wish you would have hired an agent. For sale by owner, properties may save you from paying a commission to a real estate agent, but that agent will protect your interest throughout the process, help you price the home properly and likely get you more for the home than if you sell it on your own. In addition, you won't have to give up several hours every week trying to get your home sold.

You Have to Renovate the Bathroom and Kitchen Before Selling the Home

Many sellers think the kitchen and...

Top 5 Tips for Relocating to Charlotte, NC

Relocating to Charlotte offers a ton of possibility. However, moving isn't fun and most of us don't enjoy the process of packing, moving and unpacking. It's a hassle and we really just want to enjoy our new destination.

Roughly 60 people move to the Charlotte, NC area daily. With that being said, The need for housing is at the forefront and development is booming. If you are relocating to the Charlotte, NC Area or even to the Carolina's, We would love to help!

Whether you're moving because you landed a new job, you have family in the area or you just love the city, there are some ways you can make relocating to Charlotte much easier. Here are five excellent tips to help you get to the city and enjoy it right from the beginning.

Hire a Moving Company

If you want to relieve a ton of stress when relocating to Charlotte, start by hiring a moving company. When you hire a company to handle your packing, loading, transporting and unpacking, you have far less to worry about.

With professional movers helping you move, you can relax a bit and plan a few ways to enjoy the city. A big part of feeling like you’re at home when the home is new, is getting out and seeing the area. A professional moving company will help to ensure you have more time to get out and see Charlotte when you arrive.

Become Hyper Organized

When moving from one city to another, the more organized you are, the smoother the move will go. When you become hyper-organized, you will know what needs to be done and when. Start by purchasing a notebook specifically for the move. This will hold notes from talking to your moving company, utility companies, Charlotte real estate agents and more.

Along with your notebook, you want to have a checklist of everything you...

Upcoming Events: 4th Annual Firetruck Festival

If you or your children love firetrucks, the perfect event for you is coming up in just a few days. The 4th Annual Firetruck Festival will be held on June 23rd from 9am to 5pm. It will be the largest gathering of fire trucks in the entire state!

The event will be organized by the North Carolina Transportation Museum and will include plenty of fun for everybody to enjoy. It's expected to be a record-breaking year with more than 100 fire trucks on hand. You’ll have the opportunity to meet firefighters from all over the state, look at the trucks, see the equipment they use and enjoy an amazing family-friendly day at the museum.

Along with the display of incredible firetrucks, you'll get to enjoy a fire truck parade, the Norfolk Southern Safety Train, music and so much more. This is certainly an event you don't want to miss!

About the N.C. Transportation Museum

The organizer of the event and the venue, the N.C. Transportation Museum is found on a site that was once the Southern Railway Company's largest service facility for steam locomotives. It was opened in 1896 and called Spencer Shops in honor of the first Southern Railway president, Samuel Spencer.

Four acres of the site were donated to the state of North Carolina in September of 1977. Another donation was made in 1979 including many historic structures and more land. This site eventually became known as a historic site and a part of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

The museum put on its' first exhibit in 1983 with several improvements since. Today, the museum offers an authentic train depot, 25 locomotives, many rail cars, antique automobiles and so much more. On a regular day, you can enjoy train rides, guided tours and plenty of railway history.

What to Expect at the 4th Annual...

Where to go in Charlotte for Great Ice Cream

Summer is nearly here and the temperatures are starting to heat up. It's time to prepare for the heat and one great way to prepare is to try the very best spots for ice cream in Charlotte.

There are several great spots to get a cone or a bowl all throughout the Charlotte area. However, when you want the very best ice cream, you need to know where to go.

Whether you're taking that special someone out on a date or you want to surprise the kids, there's a great spot for ice cream not far away. Here are a few of the top places for ice cream in Charlotte.

Mr. K's Soft Ice Cream

Since 1967, Mr. K's has been known as the spot for soft serve in Charlotte. The soft serve cones are very popular, but they do offer some more adventurous options, as well. You can top your ice cream with Oreos, pecans, Butterfingers and many other options. They also offer a great banana milkshake and plenty of other options, as well.

Mr. K's is open from 11am to 9am, Monday through Friday. They are also open from 11am to 4pm on Saturday but closed on Sundays. You'll find Mr. K's Soft Ice Cream at 2107 South Boulevard in Charlotte.

Pike's Old Fashioned Soda Shop

Those living near the South End area of Charlotte will get to enjoy Pike's Soda Shop often. It's a bit like a diner or ice cream shop out of the 1950s and provides a unique vibe. You can try all types of options, such as the Black Cow or a root beer float here. The shop was also part of the movie Shallow Hal, which makes it a bit more iconic.

Along with Ice Cream, Pike's offers a full lunch and dinner menu, brunch and catering. They may be known for the banana splits and sundaes, but they also serve up good salads, burgers, and other sandwiches.

Pike's Soda Shop is open...

How to Prepare to Buy a Home as a First-Time Homebuyer

When you're looking to go from renter to owner, you need to know what to expect. The process of buying a home for the first time isn't always easy. First-time homebuyers should be prepared to buy and that goes beyond just hiring a great real estate agent in Charlotte.

While this is an exciting time, the stress can step all over your moment. However, if you go into the home buying process prepared, you won't need to worry so much about the stress. Here are some great tips to help get you started as a first-time home buyer.

Understand Interest Rates

Interest rates change often and they will impact your mortgage. When it comes to how much home you can afford, the interest rates become a determining factor. The higher the interest rate is, the less home you will be able to get due to the mortgage on your home.

It's important to know how your credit score and income will impact the rate you may get. When you have a good understanding of the mortgage you may get and the rate, you will have a better idea of what to look for when you buy.

Get your Credit in Order

Before you start shopping for a home, it's a good idea to pull your credit and see where it stands. You may be able to pay off a few small debts or catch some mistakes to boost your credit. In addition, paying down credit card balances to less than 25% of the balance can help and catching up anything you're behind on.

Whether you have perfect credit or just okay credit, you should know this before shopping for a home. There are things you can do to increase your credit score, which could lead to a better interest rate and overall mortgage.

Get your Finances in Order

Your credit score is only...

Top Dog-Friendly Bars in Charlotte

You love your pets, but you can't take them everywhere with you. Maybe you love heading out for a drink, but you feel guilty leaving your four-legged friend at home. Charlotte offers the perfect answer to this dilemma.

No longer do you have to put your beloved pet in a crate and make them sit at home while you go out for a bit of fun. Instead, you can take them with you and enjoy the amazing beer scene in Charlotte with your dog. Charlotte is home to many dog-friendly bars and here's a look at a few of the best.

Lucky Dog Bark and Brew

Everybody will know the name of your dog by the time you leave Lucky Dog Bark and Brew. This is the only indoor/outdoor dog park found in Charlotte with a sports bar for both you and your dog. As long as you're 21 years of age or older, you can take your dog here for play time, while enjoying one of the many brews they offer.

Lucky Dog Bark and Brew also offers Daycare, Overnight Boarding and Baths. Of course, you don't have to have a dog to come here, either. You can show up and enjoy the dogs and the atmosphere all on your own.

Lucky Dog Bark and Brew also has plans to open a third location in the Steele Creek area. They currently have two locations one in Charlotte and one in Cornelius. For more information about the Lucky Dog Bark and Brew, visit their website here.

The Dog Bar

Another great dog-friendly bar in Charlotte, The Dog Bar offers a great place for dogs and their owners. It's an off-leash dog park with a bar and climate controlled indoor areas. The outdoor area offers an AstroTurf surface with a shaded patio. The patio also has a misting system to help keep you cool in the summer and heat for the...

Top Charlotte Neighborhoods for Historic Homes

Charlotte offers several excellent historic neighborhoods with great homes. It's a southern city with plenty of charm and it has been around for a very long time. The story of Charlotte is rooted deep in history and offers plenty of architecture to reflect times of old.

Whether you already live in Charlotte or you're considering moving here, understanding the history offer something interesting. The many beautiful homes from decades ago are something to be treasured. Here's a look at some of the top Charlotte neighborhoods with historic homes.

Fourth Ward

Charlotte is home to four uptown wards and the Fourth Ward is the northernmost of the four. It may also be the most well-known due to the amazing Victorian homes located in this area of the city.

Fourth Ward was a neighborhood in Charlotte before the streetcar suburbs were a thing. It was home to the wealthiest residents of the city. When Charlotte was originally designed to be a walking city, living in the Fourth Ward allowed residents to walk to many of the businesses.

Today, residents living in Fourth Ward can still walk to some of the best attractions in the city. Discovery Place is a great place for all ages and within walking distance, along with many other attractions.

Fourth Ward is best-known for the stunning Victorian homes, but it's also home to a few modern condominium developments. It's also known for the wonderful Holiday Home Tour held every year. This tour puts the best historic homes in the spotlight, along with some modern high-rise condo buildings. SkyHouse I and SkyHouse II (under construction) are two of the newest condo buildings found within the neighborhood.


The streetcar revolution prompted the creation of the now historic neighborhood of Eastover. It used to be home to some of the wealthiest people living in Charlotte. Many came from the...