Costello Real Estate & Investments Blog | Costello REI

6 Incredible Reasons to Call Charlotte Home

Living in Charlotte brings plenty of joy with so many things to do and natural beauty throughout. The Queen City is a very popular spot to call home and there are several great reasons to relocate to Charlotte. If you're considering putting down roots in Charlotte, here are six of the top reasons to make the leap.

The People

While having plenty of things to do, a booming economy and a great dining scene are all good, the people make the city. Charlotte has often been called one of the friendliest cities by tourists because of the etiquette and manners found throughout.

Common courtesy isn't dead here and plenty of comments have been made about the everyday displays of friendliness throughout the city. If you love the idea of being a part of a friendly community, Charlotte may be the right place for you to call home.

Wonderful Weather

You won't deal with brutal winters in Charlotte and the summer months don't see boiling hot temperatures. However, even with the mild winters and summers, you still get four wonderful seasons with the fall season offering some of the most amazing natural beauty throughout the city.

Spring and fall are two of the best seasons in the city. However, summer and winter can be quite enjoyable too. Enjoy the mild climate with trips to Lake Norman year-round. If you enjoy all four seasons without huge temperature drops and spikes, Charlotte may be the place for you.

The Great Schools

Charlotte offers one of the top 10 cities in the United States for families, according to the ...

Top 7 Playdate Ideas for Charlotte Parents with Toddlers

When you need something unique and fun to do with your toddler, you need to know where to go. Playdates may not be something you get very often and you want to make it special. Here are seven great playdate ideas to enjoy if you're a Charlotte parent with a toddler.

Head to the Sand

Jetton Park offers one of the best parks in Lake Norman with shaded walking trails, a playground and plenty more. The beach found at this park is a great place for a playdate with your toddler. Pack some sand castle building supplies and you can come out to have plenty of fun at the beach.

When your toddler gets tired, they can nap in the stroller as you take a walk on the paved walking trail. During the week, it's free to enter the park and on weekends it's just $3 per car. The park will be open through October 31st and it's located at 19000 Jetton Road in Cornelius.

Hit the Spraygrounds

If your toddler loves to get wet, the Charlotte spraygrounds are perfect for some free fun. You can let your toddler run through the water at Romare Bearden Park, The Green or one of the many other sprayground options in Charlotte. Of course, if you're a kid at heart, you can join in and have plenty of fun on your playdate.

ImaginOn Storytime

ImaginOn offers more than just a library. It's a free children's activity center located in Uptown Charlotte with storytime every day at 10:30am. The storytime...

Should You Consider Moving to the NoDa Neighborhood?

Have you considered moving to the NoDa neighborhood? If you love hanging out in this area of Charlotte because of the great places to eat, drink and enjoy time with friends, you're not alone. The NoDa neighborhood is quickly becoming one of the hottest places in the city with an upbeat atmosphere and plenty of things to love.

Known as The Art's District, this diverse community welcomes all types of home buyers from families to young professionals to empty nesters. It's the place to live in Charlotte and one of the top choices. Here are a few of the reasons you should consider moving to the NoDa neighborhood.

Pet-Friendly & Adult Beverages

Living in the NoDa neighborhood will give you full access to plenty of nightlife. It's also a very pet-friendly community with new restaurants, breweries and plenty of spots you can take your dog. If you want to have a drink while you're out enjoying time with your pup, you can do it here.

A Foodie Paradise

No matter the cuisine you're after, you'll find something to enjoy in the NoDa neighborhood. It's filled with great spots, such as Sabor, Smelly Cat Cafe, Haberdish and so many others. When you visit this neighborhood, you'll likely wonder why you haven't just moved here already.

Steel Gardens

Those seeking a great condo to call home will love what Steel Gardens in the NoDa neighborhood offers. Enjoy hardwood floors, white kitchen cabinets, white subway backsplashes, granite countertops stainless steel appliances and more. In addition, this...

Best 10 Free & Cheap Things to do with Kids in Charlotte This Summer

The summer is in full swing and your budget may be feeling it. Getting the kids involved in sports, summer camps and other activities can add up fast. You don't have to pull them out of activities or tell them no simply because your wallet has taken a hit.

There are several very cheap or free things you can do with kids in Charlotte this summer. If your wallet is feeling a bit light these days, check out these 10 options for your kids this summer in Charlotte.

Free Swim Lessons & Cheap Swimming

A skill everybody should learn when they are a kid, you can enroll your child in free swim lessons. The Cordelia Pool (2100 North Davidson Street) and the Double Oaks Pool (1200 Newland Road) are both offering free swim lessons throughout the summer. These swim lessons are open to children ages 3 to 12. You must register on Saturday for the following week's lessons starting at 11am. These lessons are first-come, first-serve, as well.

Along with the free lessons, you can enjoy two neighborhood pools in Charlotte for just $1 per visit. Both Cordelia Pool and Double Oaks Pool will let you come and swim for just $1 per person per visit. They will be open through September 2nd with weekday hours through August 24th.

Free Outdoor Movies

Enjoying a movie as a family is a great way to get out and enjoy the summer weather in Charlotte. You can bring your chairs, blanket, snacks and more to enjoy a relaxing night with plenty of fun. Several locations are offering free summer movies throughout Charlotte including:

  • Harrisburg's Movies in the Park - Harrisburg Park
  • City of Belmont Movies in the Park - Stowe Park
  • Music and Movies on the Green - Promenade on Providence
  • And More!

Enjoy even more movies with Weekday Morning Movies for $4 or less at many of the Charlotte area...

Finding the Perfect Home for Your Lifestyle in Charlotte

Finding the right home for your lifestyle and your family isn't always easy. It can take some time to narrow down what you really want, and then find the home that matches.

Most homeowners will live in their current home for about 9 years or longer before moving. This means, you have become very used to your surroundings and what you like and don't like about where you live. One of the keys to finding the perfect home to match your lifestyle in Charlotte is translating what you do and don't like about your current home and neighborhood into a needs and wants list.

What's Your Family Dynamic?

The needs and wants list starts with a closer look at your family dynamic. Before you start shopping for a Charlotte home for sale, you need to understand your family. If you're single, it's much different compared to a family of six or even a retired couple. Everybody is in a bit of a different situation and you need to know your situation before creating a needs and wants list.

Maybe you're single, but you own three dogs and you really want a big backyard for the dogs. Maybe you have three children under the age of five and you really prefer a place with great schools. The dynamic of your family will become a major driver in finding the right home in Charlotte for your lifestyle.

Location Matters

We all know when it comes to real estate, location matters. However, it's not just about buying a home somewhere that will be easier to sell later on. It's also about matching the neighborhood and location to your specific lifestyle.

Maybe you're sick of commuting an hour to work each day or you want to make sure you're in a great school district. Figure out...

Discovering Charlotte's 4 Top Parks

Charlotte is a beautiful city filled with wonderful parks. When you relocate to the city, you'll probably have a great park near you to enjoy regularly. However, when you're looking to get out to a new park or discover something different, there are some specific parks that are better than others.

McDowell Nature Center and Preserve

A park many love, McDowell Park offers plenty to enjoy. It was opened in the mid-1970s and has grown from a 136-acre lakeside park into a 1,108-acre nature center and preserve. This park includes hardwood forests, the Piedmont prairie and plenty of beautiful landscapes.

It's a favorite for hikers, bird-watchers and others who love nature. The park includes butterfly gardens, animal exhibits, a gift shop and bird-feeding stations. It's also filled with plenty of other great things to do and enjoy all throughout the park. Entry is $3 to $5 per vehicle and the hours of operation depend on the time of year.

Jetton Park

Another great park with plenty to offer, Jetton Park covers 105 total acres. IT's a waterfront park on Lake Norman with the option to enjoy the sand, the water, the trails and so much more. You can enjoy sitting on the beach or get out on the water. The park also includes trails with plenty of great lake views along the way. Admission to this park is free.

RibbonWalk Nature Preserve

Covering nearly 140 acres, this park offers plenty to get excited about. It's filled with natural areas to enjoy and offers jogging and hiking trails, as well. If you're looking to have a picnic, this is one of the best parks for a picnic in the city.

You can enjoy the new environmental education center and learn all about the forest and...

Why it's Important to Have Professional Pictures Taken When Selling Your Home

When it's time to sell your Charlotte home, you need more than just the right real estate agent. The right agent is a huge step in the right direction, but you also need professional pictures for your listing.

Before you have those pictures taken, you should have the home staged to ensure it looks the best it possibly can. Once staged, a professional photographer should come out and take dozens of great pictures of your home. The more pictures, the better and even better, if you can get a video walkthrough done, you'll be in even better shape to sell.

You may be thinking this sounds like too much to do just to sell your home. However, great pictures make a big difference and you have to remember, the buyer will likely be making the largest purchase of their lives. Here are several reasons why you should have professional pictures taken when selling your Charlotte home.

Everybody Searches Online

More than 95% of home buyers find their home online first. In addition, the Wall Street Journal showed that 60% of buyers look at photos and don't even read the description of the home. It has also been shown that homes with high-quality pictures sell for 47% more than those with lower quality pictures.

You have about 20 seconds to grab the attention of a potential homebuyer. If you have great photos, you can do this in just a few sections, while written words take much longer. The majority of homebuyers have admitted that pictures are very important.

Your Agent May not Use Professional Photographers

Not all real estate agents will use a professional photographer. You may have to ask them to...

Charlotte's Best Water Activities for the Summer

The summer gets hot in Charlotte and cooling down is as easy as hitting the closest place with water. Whether you want to take a trip to the lake or enjoy a water park, there are plenty of choices near Charlotte. Here's a look at some of the very best water activities to enjoy this summer in Charlotte.

Queen's Landing

Great sightseeing and dinner cruises are offered on Lake Norman from Queen's Landing. this company offers the Catawba Queen, which is a Mississippi riverboat or the Lady of the Lake, which is a luxury yacht. You can choose a meal including a four-course plated option or a buffet-style option. They even hold special events for holidays throughout the year.

Carolina Harbor at Carowinds

The Carowinds amusement park is a great spot to enjoy and after a few coasters, you can beat the heat at Carolina Harbor. Enjoy the Myrtle Turtle Beach and Kitty Hawk Cove, which are both kid-friendly and perfect for the family. They also have a six-story slide called Blackbeard's Revenge and plenty of other fun options for all ages. If you want to really enjoy the water park, get a season pass and go multiple times.

U.S. National Whitewater Center

Those looking for some serious action on the water will want to head to the U.S. National Whitewater Center. this spot offers a variety of watersports including Family Rafting, Adventure Rafting, Rodeo Rafting and so much more. Enjoy stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and plenty of other flat-water activities here, too.

Several events are held here throughout the year including camps, live music, and festivals. You can enjoy an event or just come out...

12 Excellent Music Festivals within Driving Distance of Charlotte

Music festivals are a ton of fun and the summer is filled with great music festivals. While Charlotte holds plenty of great events, sometimes, you just need to get out of the city to find a great music festival. Here's a look at 12 of the very best music festivals coming up less than 100 miles from Charlotte.


Held in Salisbury about 42 miles from Charlotte, Chickweed will be on July 21st. It will be held in The F&M Trolley Barn with a cost of $15 in advance or $20 at the gate.

It's an annual indoor-outdoor music festival with plenty of art involved. All musicians are women and the proceeds benefit women and children victims of violence. Performers include Daisy clover, Laura Vella, Rebecca Stinson, The Shana Blake Band and more.

Barnstock BYOB Music Fest

On July 21st, you can enjoy Barnstock in Huntersville, NC. This will be the 10th year for this festival, which is a BYOB festival. The cost of admission is $20 and parking is also $20. This is a 21 and older event only with performances from FamJam, White Collar Funk, Atlas Road Crew, Glen Shepherd and many others.


Held at the Reeves Theater in Elkin on Friday and at Elkin's Hidden Amphitheater in Elkin on Saturday, this music festival is about 76 miles from Charlotte. Tickets range from $23 to $40, depending on how many days you will attend and whether you buy in advance or at the door.

Reevestock will include plenty of fun with Time Sawyer taking the stage and Todd Snider, as well. Friday night will also include a performance from BraveWorldTrio at Angry Troll Brewing as a part of the free aftershow.

Saturday is the main event and a family-friendly choice with the...

5 Top Tips for Preparing Your Home to Sell

When it's time to sell your Charlotte home, you need to make sure it's prepared for listing. This isn't necessarily an exciting time as it can be rather hectic and stressful. The way the space looks is vital to getting it sold fast and for the right price.

While the first thing you should always do when selling a home is to hire a real estate agent, you should also start sprucing the home up for the sale. There are some simple ways you can go about getting your home ready. Here are five of the top tips for preparing your home to sell.


One of the best things you can do when selling your Charlotte home is adding light to the home. Getting a new light for a room that isn't so bright can make such a difference. When you lighten and brighten your home, it will look and feel larger and more inviting.

Store the Extra Furniture

Furniture is important, but having too much of it can make your home feel and look smaller. You want to leave only the most important pieces in each room. The rest, you can put into storage.

It's also a good idea to hide any large or dark furniture to help your home feel more open. Clean out any closets that are filled with things and only leave a small number of things in each closet. You should do this with the attic and basement, as well.

This is a good time to make a decision about the things you want to keep and those you can sell, donate or trash. The things you want to keep can all go to storage and you can get them later on once you've moved into your new home.

Neutral/Fresh Paint

One of the easiest ways to prepare your home for sale is to repaint the interior. A fresh coat of neutral colored paint can go a very long way to...

Where to Find Excellent Spraygrounds in Charlotte

The summer is hot and there's no denying it. However, it's also a great time to get outside, get wet and enjoy the heat. In Charlotte, the city comes alive in the summer and there are plenty of ways to stay cool.

Spraygrounds are a great way to keep your children cool. They offer a playground with a spray fountain and plenty of fun for everybody to enjoy. Here are some of the best spraygrounds in Charlotte offering more than just a spray nozzle or two on a concrete slab.

First Ward Park

Found at 301 East 7th Street in the First Ward neighborhood, this park offers foundations and sprinklers you can enjoy. It's found just across the string from ImginOn and the 7th Street Public Market is nearby, too. Parking is very easy to find with plenty of paid street parking or parking at the nearby decks.

Cordelia Park

Located at 2100 North Davidson Street, this sprayground offers plenty of fun. You can park in the huge parking lot up the hill and enjoy the spraygrounds for free. There's an adjacent swimming pool, too, and admission is just $1.

Romare Bearden Park

One of the best places for spraygrounds in Charlotte, Romare Bearden Park is located at 300 South Church Street. Enjoy a misting cool zone, splash waterfalls and amazing city views all at the same time. You can park at the metered spots around the park or any of the parking decks in Uptown.

Little Sugar Creek Greenway

Another great choice you may not even know exists, Little Sugar Creek Greenway offers a location at 4th and Kings at Elizabeth Park. You can park at the free lots nearby and enjoy plenty of water fun. Just be warned, the water won't come on until you walk by.

Veteran's Park

Offering a large covered area with plenty of sprayers and fountains, Veteran's...

Enjoy a Glass of Wine at These Top Charlotte Wine Bars


Charlotte offers several great bars and a vibrant nightlife. If you prefer a wine bar, you're in luck. Here's a look at some of the finest wine bars in Charlotte.

Dilworth Tasting Room

Found in the center of Dilworth, this amazing wine bar offers a 1940s style building with a wonderful atmosphere. The Dilworth Tasting Room features an open-air courtyard and patio with an amazing secret garden. Enjoy the beautify bar made of copper, mahogany, and steel. They offer plenty of high-quality, low-production wines to choose from.

Location: 300 East Tremont Street

The Bottle Shop

An Uptown choice for your wine needs, The Bottle Shop is found within the Charlotte Marriott City Center. They offer retail wine along with wine by the glass with plenty of options to choose from.

Location: 100 West Trade Street


Found in the Historic Morrison House in Charlotte's Fourth Ward neighborhood, POPLAR offers wine, tapas, and spirits. They provide plenty of wine by the glass and bottle with Peruvian-inspired tapas on the menu. It's a casual atmosphere with plenty to offer.

Location: 224 West 10th Street

The Wooden Vine

Found in the heart of Charlotte, The Wooden Vine offers one of the finest wine bars in the city. You can enjoy plenty of great choices with more than 50 wines by the glass and over 300 by the bottle. The atmosphere is very romantic and relaxing with dimmed lights, candles, and wonderful music.

Location: 231 North...

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. Many markets have a rise in townhome, as well as, condo communities sprouting up all over. Some communities even offer maintanence free living.

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.


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.


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...

10 Top Small Towns to Visit Throughout North Carolina

Charlotte is an excellent city, but sometimes you want to explore the rest of North Carolina. When you have that itch to get out and explore, you don't want to overlook the small towns throughout North Carolina.

Many quaint, small towns offers natural beauty, history and a relaxing place to visit. You can escape the noise, traffic, and fast-pace of Charlotte by heading to any of the following top small towns in North Carolina.


Found just 45 miles from Charlotte, Salisbury offers several history museums, art and culture sites and a great downtown area. It's home to Cheerwine, which is a very popular cherry-flavored soda dating back to 1917. You will also find plenty of other things to do here with Dan Nicholas Park offering paddleboats, gem mining, mini golf, a carousel and so much more.

Eagle Point Preserve is another very popular area in Salisbury offering canoeing, fishing, hiking and more. Of course, you can enjoy the Cheerwine exhibit at the Rowan Museum or head to Dunn's Mountain Park.


If you're looking for more of a coastal town, Bath offers a great choice. This small town was incorporated in 1705 and provides a location on the Pamlico River. It's found near the Pamlico Sound and Bath is a National Historic Landmark.

This scenic town offers wonderful views of the natural area, along with plenty of history to enjoy. It was a very popular spot for Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard the pirate. You'll want to check out St. Thomas Episcopal Church, which was built in 1734 and the Teach's Point while you're here.


A very popular small town for families and those looking to get outside, the island of Ocracoke can be accessed by ferry or plane. It's one of the best small towns on the list as there are no traffic...