Eastover

Eastover was the first true “suburb” in Charlotte—where sedate homes were built with a mind towards bankers and business owners with room for their china cabinet and their cars. This historic neighborhood has only increased its value and it’s retained its Original Gangster feel. Just look at who used to live here: John Belk, yeah that Belk.

Name: Eastover
In a Word: O.G.
Location: Southeast of Uptown
School district:

  • Elementary: Eastover, Billingsville
  • Middle: Alexander Graham
  • High: Myers Park
  • Private: New Performance Learning Center, Metro School, Presbyterian Academy, Bethune Mays Classical Academy

Average home price: Condos can be found starting at $100k.
Single Family Homes begin at $500k and only go up from there.

Types of homes: Some luxury condos, stately single-family homes and treasured historic homes.

Pros:

  • Close to Uptown
  • Easy access to restaurants and entertainment
  • Parks and Arts & Culture within walking distance

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Limited condos

Representative Sample:

Best for: The individual who wants everything.

This is just a general glimpse into Eastover, for more information or specifics please contact

Renting or Buying?

The value of home ownership has been on a roller coaster ride the last few years, and in many ways it’s like looking at the seven stories Tower of Doom TM and wondering whether it will leave you smiling or woozy for the rest of the day. Should you get on the roller coast? Or stay on the teacups? Here are three questions to ask yourself when deciding between buying a home or renting one.

Q: How long do you plan to stay?

Most questions of renting and buying come down to the question of timing. If you plan to stay in an area or a home for a long period of time, you can buy a home knowing you have plenty of time to absorb any market drops. But bringing this to concrete numbers helps most of all—compare the average home price in your area to the average rental price, calculate in a down payment for your home purchase and a 5% increase in rental prices and the numbers should tell you how long you’d need to own a home before making it the more affordable option.

Q. What are your costs?

Both renting and owning carry hidden costs that we tend to overlook when comparing. For renters you need to think of the loss of home equity and home owner tax breaks. The offset is not being responsible for home repairs. For homeowners, you’ll deal with things like homeowner’s insurances, private mortgage insurance, property taxes and maintenance.

Q. Are you “throwing money away”?

We’ve all heard it when discussing the pros and cons of renting—renting is throwing money away. But building home equity isn’t the only way to make money. If you have any doubt about your ability to keep up with the cost of home ownership, or keep up with savings, it’s better to consider renting for the near future.

When having these discussions, remember you can always talk with your agent and walk through the decision together.

 

Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21

Weathering Winter Indoors

The long days of winter hibernation can drag on anyone. We spend so much time indoors, from illnesses to snow days, the house you love during the summer is suddenly the thing you stalk around like an insomniac bear. Here are eight ways to make your home feel better and brighter, so you can make it to summer without going full on angry grizzly.

Add plants- even for all you black thumbs, there is a plant for you. Try succulents or cactuses. Buy grocery store flowers, even. In the cool, dry air they can last up to two weeks.

Rearrange your furniture- Try changing up the configuration of your furniture. Look at how far apart each item is. Pleasing proportions is a twenty-four inch separation for people to walk easily through and the room not to feel overcrowded.

Deep clean- get a head start on spring cleaning now. Deep cleaning can improve your mood and satisfaction with a space. Take the chance to rethink the things you own and see if you can get rid of things that might be bothering you.

Ask what you want- it can be helpful to sit about what you want from the space and what you can do to bring it into alignment with your desires.

Light- change out dark curtains, add mirrors to bounce light or rearrange to dark furniture to open up rooms.

Change colors change the hue of your home to something that gives you pleasure, or if you don’t want to repaint, try changing the accent colors with something as subtle as pillows and throws.

Eliminate noise—address all the little irritants it’s easy to ignore—the rug that creeps, the door that doesn’t open all the way, etc.—all the little things add up!

With a few tweaks any grumpy bear can make it through a long winter.

 

Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21

The Must-Need Tool Kit

You. Yes you. You need a home tool kit. Even if you’ve never touched a hammer. Especially if you’ve ever used a shoe as a hammer. Here are eleven items (and their uses) to get you started.

16-ounce hammer: A solid hammer choice that anyone can use. Shoes, in fact, are terrible substitutes.
Multi-bit screwdriver: A multi-bit ratcheting screwdriver that stores all the tips in the handle is the only screwdriver you’ll need.
Level: A two-foot level will do all the jobs you’ll ever need—from hanging pictures to shelves, this size will be the most versatile.
Utility knife: Used for breaking down boxes, cutting drywall or stripping wires. A utility knife is irreplaceable.
Tape measure: Handier than using a shoe (again) as a ruler.
LED Flashlight: If the lights go out, if you need to see under the bed, really this is a no-brainer.
Rubber Mallet: A cheap tool for banging stuff back into place without hurting it.
Wrenches: Used to tighten or loosen a bolt or nut. A compact Channellock can be the perfect solution to most home problems.
Cordless Drill: The most basic of power tools for most DIY needs.
Needle-Nose Pliers: Handy for everything from electrical work to crafts, as well as everything in between, including fishing toys out of the drain.
Safety equipment: Ear protection, eye protection and a good set of deer hide gloves never hurt anyone.

Psstt…this also makes a good birthday or Christmas gift.

 

Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21

Three Things We’re Doing More in Our Cars

The Model T came out in 1905, and just like that, the car has been a staple in American’s lives for over 100 years. These days, the way we use cars and technology is rapidly changing.

Ride-Sharing apps have completely changed the way we use our vehicles. From using our personal vehicles as a way to make a little extra money to using ride sharing apps to take care of those pesky trips to and from the airport and around cities, ride sharing apps have drastically changed the way we use our personal vehicles.

GPS based technology continues to expand. From directions to monitoring traffic in real time, GPS continues to change our driving habits. One example of the way these programs are influencing more than the daily commute is after the earthquake in Mexico City, users of the traffic app Waze were able to search “help” in order to find open shelters.

Driving further. A lot of things influence these shifts in driving patterns, but American’s are still driving more than they ever have. According to the Department of Transportation 2017, American’s drove 1.3% more—32 billion—more miles than in 2016. 1 Where are we going? In search of food. Trips to restaurant and grocery stores are still the number one transportation motion. Some things never change.

 

Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21

Organize Your Kitchen in One Afternoon

 

Remember spending Saturday afternoons cleaning your bedroom as a teenager? It began as a chore and ended with a great sense of satisfaction and a new intimacy with your forgotten playlists. And going into the following week with that clean and organized room? The best. Bring that vintage feel into your kitchen in one afternoon. Get your 00’s playlist ready and let’s organize.

1. Organize by zones. Move the coffee supplies—filters, grinders, French press, coffee, tablespoon, etc—to the drawer or cabinet near where you actually make coffee. Move the spatulas and spoons and spices next to the stove. Think about how you actually use your kitchen, not how the internet thinks it’s being used, and rearrange to fit your needs. The goal is to have everything for one chore on hand, without moving.

2. Clear counters. Nothing makes a kitchen look more organized and peaceful than a cleared countertop. Anything that stays on your counters needs to be used daily—think coffee machines if you make coffee or toasters if you make toast. The only exception is that fancy stand mixer you got for your birthday, because it’s a kitchen statement piece.

3. Purge All the Things. Getting rid of possessions you don’t use but must maintain (even if to shove them aside to fit the stuff you do use inside the cupboard) can be so freeing. Now is the time to go through those wedding or housewarming gifts and decide if you’re really going to use that pasta maker or dehydrator. Don’t forget to look at the smaller things. How many measuring cups do you really need? How many mugs do you actually use? Be brutal.

4. Get creative. To organize pantry’s and inside cupboards, don’t be afraid to think beyond the kitchen. Office supplies and drawer organizers can do double duty in the kitchen. Just remember to measure your drawers before going shopping—nothing is worse than getting more stuff you don’t use.

5. Don’t forget the fridge. Even if it’s just cleaning out old condiments and wiping down the shelves and drawers, the fridge shouldn’t be forgotten—it’s a big part of a clean and organized kitchen.

The best part of a clean and organized kitchen? The results are bound to last longer than your teenage bedroom.

 

Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21

SouthEnd

If city living is your speed, but you want to feel like you’re living in a distinct city and not any city, SouthEnd is where you want to be. The Lynx light rail and preservation efforts really brought life back into this historic community. It’s got all the feel of where Charlotte has been, plus the vision of where Charlotte is going. The subdivisions of Atherton Mill and Camden Road offer easy commuting, bike paths, farmers markets, and new specialty stores and restaurants.

Name: SouthEnd
In a Word: Modern
Location: South West of Uptown
School district:

  • Elementary: Dillworth
  • Middle: Alexander Graham, Sedgefield
  • High:West Charlotte
  • Private: Metro School, New Performance Learning Center, Oasis Preforming Arts, St. Patrick
    Catholic

Average home price: Upper $100k to $2 million

Types of homes: Condos and lofts

Pros:

  • Up and coming modern living
  • Easy access to Uptown
  • No car needed

Cons:

  • High rise living

Representative Sample:

Best for: Modern professionals looking for the good life.

This is just a general glimpse into South End, for more information or specifics please contact

NoDa

When you haven’t seen someone since high school and all of a sudden, they turn up looking all hot? Yeah, that’s Charlotte’s neighborhood of NoDa. Just a few years ago, this wasn’t a sought-after neighborhood, but boy has that changed. Now, NoDa is one of the hippest, growing communities in Charlotte with arts community, boutiques and restaurants and a planned light rail extension currently under construction.

Name: NoDa
In a Word: Artsy
Location: Northeast of Uptown
School district:

  • Elementary: Highland Hill Montessori, Charlotte Choice Charter, Sugar Creek Charter,
  • Middle: Martin Luther King, Jr., Sugar Creek Charter
  • High: Garinger, Hawthorne
  • Private: One7 Academy, Trinity Episcopal

Average home price:

  • Condos begin at $200k
  • Fixers uppers at $100k
  • Homes at $225k

Types of homes: Everything from condos, to renovated mill homes, and everything in between.

Pros:

  • Arts community
  • Diverse
  • Great restaurants

Cons:

  • Hipster

Representative Sample:

Best for: If you work hard and play hard.

This is just a general glimpse into NoDa, for more information or specifics please contact

Midwood

The French girl of Charlotte, Midwood is both classic and cool, and whenever you see her you can’t help but want to be there. This neighborhood was originally designed around a trolley line, for the families in the early 1900’s, and this history permeates it’s walkable and friendly streets. Now, this neighborhood retains the classic feel, but with the addition of trendy restaurants and hip bars.

Name: Midwood
In a Word: Cool
Location: East Charlotte
School district:

  • Elementary: Shamrock Gardens
  • Middle: Eastway, Piedmont Open
  • High: Garinger, Hawthorne
  • Private: Chantilly Montessori, Charlotte United Christian Academy, Bethune Mays Classical
    Academy

Average home price: $150k and upwards

Types of homes: Craftsman bungalows and post-war cottages.

Pros:

  • Great restaurants, bars, and shops
  • Nice sized homes
  • Close to Uptown

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Limited

Representative Sample:

Best for:

This is just a general glimpse into Midwood, for more information or specifics please contact

Cotswold

Cotswold is the nice guy of Charlotte’s neighborhoods. It was developed around the shopping center after the same name, a hybrid mall that opened in 1963, and borders some of the best neighborhoods and schools. Cotswold will always help you move furniture or pick you up from the airport. It may be easy to overlook, but don’t sleep on the nice guy.

Name: Cotswold
In a Word: Friendly
Location: South East, near Uptown
School district:

  • Elementary: Billingsville, Cotswold, Eastover, Lansdowne, Rama Road
  • Middle: Alaxender Graham, McClintock
  • High: East Mecklenburg, Myers Park
  • Private: Adventist Christian Academy, Alexander Children’s Center, Phillips Academy, St. Gabriel Catholic School.

Average home price: $100-160/ square foot

Types of homes: Brick ranches and split-levels, built on big lots and often recently renovated and updated.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Houses can require renovation

Representative Sample:

Best for: Families who aren’t ready to give up downtown living.

This is just a general glimpse into Cotswold, for more information or specifics please contact