The Home Of The Future Has Arrived And It’s Perfect For Charlotte, NC

This quarter, Amazon revealed its “Experience Centers”—smart homes connected to the internet through a variety of devices. The tech giant installed the devices in 15 Lennar-owned model homes across the United States. Experience Centers don’t exist in Charlotte yet, but many features make it perfect for residents of Charlotte.

Since the internet boom of the late 1990s, the world has become increasingly more connected. In the last decade, the growth and development of the smartphone industry has paved the way for nonstop connectedness. The increased number of personal health devices, such as Apple Watches and Fitbits, have connected the human physical state to the online world. However, our homes seem to fall short in this area of technological expansion.

Here are 4 features found in the Experience Centers

  1. Lights controlled by Amazon Alexa
  2. Adjustable thermostats with Amazon
  3. WiFi in every corner of the house, so there are no dead spots
  4. iOS and Android compatibility

These homes are literally built from the ground up for WiFi technology. During construction, builders are cautious of things like plumbing and ventilation to ensure that no place in the house is a dead zone.

With an Amazon distribution center located just north of Charlotte in the city of Concord, many common household products, especially if you’re an Amazon Prime member, can be on your doorstep by sundown. Having a connected home would allow you to order products with the touch of a button, or even your voice! This isn’t, however, the only benefit to having a smart home.

With a central location in the region, both the beach and the mountains are never more than a three hour drive from the queen city. Many residents escape the city for a getaway by going on long weekends to nearby cities like Boone, Asheville, and Charleston. With a smart home, you can control the lights, the alarm, and even the door locks without having to be physically present at your home. Undoubtedly, smart homes are efficient, fit into the lifestyle of many Charlotteans, and have made the future a reality.


Thinking of building a smart home in the Charlotte area?Make sure to contact Catharine Pappas our Director of Relocation at (704) 661-2402.

Thinking Of Building A Home? Get A Realtor® To Help You.

Charlotte’s status as one of the best cities in the country for real estate investment, might have you thinking of building a home in Queen City. It’s best to have a Realtor® represent you throughout the entire home building process—whether you’re tearing down a pre-existing structure or you’re building from the ground up. Of course, Realtors® can help you find and purchase a plot of land, but did you know that they can stay by your side during the process?

Here are 4 ways a Realtor® can help you build your dream home

1. Negotiating contracts

Contracts are often like the Terms & Conditions section of a website—lengthy and worded in a confusing manner. By having a Realtor® represent you throughout the home building process, they can us their knowledge and experience to explain what everything means.

2. Making sure the builder does what they say they’re going to do

This allows for someone who has supervised a home build before to oversee the process. Many Realtors®, even if they’re not licensed contractors, have a strong knowledge of how houses should be built. After all, a second (or third) set of eyes never hurts.

3. Checking estimates and making sure allowances are in the proper range based on experience with other new constructions

Having a Realtor® to represent you throughout the process can prevent unnecessary spending. Ultimately, this can save you money by ensuring that the builders stay within the original budget.

4. Having an advocate

It’s important to have someone that you really trust helping you with the process. When issues arise on the construction site, a Realtor® can walk you through steps to take to get back on track.

Thinking of building a home in the Charlotte area?Make sure to contact Catharine Pappas our Director of Relocation at (704) 661-2402.

How to Get Pre-Approved for a Loan

Millennials could spend about $97,000 in rent by the time they turn 30 according to this CNBC article. That’s more than enough for a healthy down payment on a home or condo.

Last week’s blog post covered steps to take before you start the process of buying your first home. Every agent we asked had one common answer – Get pre-approved for a loan before you dig into your search.

So, what does it take for a first- time homebuyer to get pre-approved for a loan in the Charlotte, NC area?

We asked our Realtors® who they would recommend if they were a millennial looking to get pre-approved for a loan. They immediately referred Christina Mauney with Team Lending by Design out of American Securities Mortgage.

Christina does most of her business over the phone, so people don’t have to take time out of their day to go to her office, but she is always available for an in-office consultation as needed.

After a 15 minute phone call and 14 simple questions later, Christina said that she would call us back the next business day with a pre-qualification for a loan. A loan pre-qualification tells you the amount of money they will loan, assuming the information you give them in the initial phone call is correct.

We hung up feeling like it was too easy.

Sure enough, the next day, she called back to say she “comfortably preapproved” us for a healthy conventional loan.

She even broke down the numbers for us laying out how much cash we would need to close and how much to expect for a monthly payment.

These are the 14 questions she asked

  1. Full Name
  2. Date of Birth
  3. Social Security Number
  4. Married or single
  5. Do you have any dependents?
  6. Address
  7. Work history and compensation
  8. Down payment ability
  9. Email address
  10. Cell Phone Number
  11. Did you file taxes the last two years?
  12. Do you owe any money to the IRS?
  13. Have you ever filed for Bankruptcy?
  14. Pick a security question

Playing the Numbers Game

After we received the pre-approval, we sat down with Christina to play some numbers games. She helped us see what it would look like if we put more money down, had a bump in income, or what a 15 year versus a 30 year loan would look like to a consumer.

The entire process was simple and easy. Christina made us feel comfortable and relaxed, like someone we would consult with again and again on home loans in the future.

Are you ready to turn your rent money into a down payment for a home? Contact our director or relocation, Catharine Pappas at (704) 661-2402 to get connected with an experienced agent.

4 Tips for First Time Home Buyers 

We surveyed top agents at Dickens Mitchener who work with first time home buyers and came up with 4 tips for people looking to buy their first home.

# 1 Talk to a lender to have a preapproval letter in hand before you start the search 

Every agent we surveyed said that this is the first step when considering purchasing your first home. A lender can tell you the price range that you can afford and what type of payment to expect. One agent mentioned selecting the right mortgage lender is paramount. Ask people you trust for lender recommendations to be sure that you can count on them for proper guidance.

#2 Work with an agent who has experience with first time home buyers  

AND that you like and trust.  Your agent will be there with you every step of the way, so make sure that you like their style and feel comfortable working with them. Ask them a ton of questions, after all they are the expert!

#3 You will most likely lose an offer. Stay Calm! 

In this competitive market, if you like a house, chances are that someone else does as well. Unless you are willing to get as aggressive as the other desperate buyers, you will need to move on. Your dream home could be the next one you see!

#4 Take a look at additional expenses when deciding on price range.  

You bought a house! That’s awesome. But then you see the bills… Make sure to go over costs of the utilities, insurance, furniture, window treatments, landscaping, transportation, and more before you purchase a home.

Looking to purchase a home in Charlotte, NC? Contact Catharine Pappas our Director of Relocation at (704) 661-2402.

Charlotte Named Among the Best Cities in the U.S. for Real Estate Investment in 2018


Renoviso compared Capitalization rate (CAP), job growth ranking, population growth percent and single-family home price to determine the best possible markets for investors in 2018. Charlotte ranked fourth on this list.

The study sites recent growth in the city for making it an attractive place to investment in real estate. The CAP rate in Charlotte currently sits at 6.8 average. Rapid population growth and plentiful job opportunities contribute to this high CAP rate.

The study also sites that the average single family home rate comes in at an affordable $234,400, making the Queen City a profitable place to invest.

Raleigh, NC joins Charlotte, NC on this list in the number two spot, making North Carolina one of only three states with two top ten cities for investing.

Looking to invest in real estate in Charlotte? Contact the Dickens Mitchener relocation department.

Read the full Renoviso article here.

Charlotte, NC Golf Course Homes | Wells Fargo Championship Week

It’s golf season in Charlotte, North Carolina! With the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Country Club under way, it’s no wonder that golf fans across the nation are thinking about moving to Charlotte.

The numerous golf courses in the Charlotte Metro area plus the quick drives to famous golf destinations like Pinehurst, Cashiers, and Ocean Isle, make the Queen City the perfect place for any golf lover to land.

Check out 6 listings at 6 top Golf Communities in the Charlotte area.

Quail Hollow

Set on a gorgeous landscaped lot of 1.3 acres on Quail Hollow, this 2006 home has an open floor plan perfect for entertaining.

3236 Shillington Place
Charlotte, NC 28210


Listing Agent: Jeff Murdock

Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation

Enjoy the park like backyard with custom patio and fire pit overlooking the 18th tee.

11107 Persimmon Creek Drive
Mint Hill, NC 28227


Listing Agent: Meghan Connor Shelton

Ballantyne Country Club

A stunning luxury estate home on the 12th hole of Ballantyne Country Club.

14607 Rudolph Dadey Drive
Charlotte, NC 28277


Listing Agent: Lisa Whetstone

Piper Glen

Features a wet bar opening to outside living areas, backyard, pool with cabana and fire pit. Lake views and access!

6304 Glynmoor Lakes Drive
Charlotte, NC 28277


Listing Agents: Ducie Stark and Ruth Moniz

Carmel Country Club

Located on the 14th hole of Carmel Country Club golf course, this gorgeous 1965 home has been beautifully maintained and updated.

5137 Parview Drive #12
Charlotte, NC 28226


Listing Agents: Ashlee Durrance and Jeff Murdock

Club at Longview

Stunning home Offering more than 4,000 square feet of living space on the 13th hole in the Golf Cottages of Longview Golf Club.

8720 Thornbury Place #50
Waxhaw, NC 28173


Listing Agent: Kate Bruce Terrigno

Longview Lots

Build your own luxury home on the 3rd, 4th & 5th fairways of the gated & beautifully designed neighborhood.

Listing Agents: Sarah Szczodrowski and Sallie Prouty


For assistance navigating the many golf communities around Charlotte, NC, reach out to one of our experienced agents today!

Agents Serve Neighbors at Realtors® Care Day


Dickens Mitchener and Associates agents spent the day building, painting, and planting at the home of a woman in a wheel chair with COPD as a part of Realtors® Care Day.

Friday, April 20 marked the 10th anniversary of Realtors® Care Day, an initiative of the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association through the Housing Opportunity Foundation. Each year, real estate agents from around the region spend the day assisting homeowners identified by local Habitat for Humanity Chapters who need exterior home repairs and adaptive and safety modifications for their homes.

“Dickens Mitchener had enough volunteers to do a house on their own this year,” said Jeff Murdock a Dickens Mitchener agent who helped coordinate the day. “We’re very fortunate that about one third of our staff was at Realtors® Care Day.”

Over 750 local Realtors® participate in this day, working on over 20 homes. Area builders, developers, painters, roofers, and home inspectors also volunteer their time to help with certain projects.

In preparation for Realtors® Care Day, agents passed out grocery bags in their neighborhoods asking for food collections for the Harvest Center of Charlotte. The Harvest Center works to create a community where individuals affected by homelessness, poverty and unemployment are empowered through transitional programs. Joan Goode, a Dickens Mitchener agent, coordinated the pick-up of the donated food and filled the truck on Realtors® Care day. Dickens Mitchener agents collected over 200 bags!

“It’s a very fulfilling experience for everyone at Dickens Mitchener”, said Murdock. “We really enjoy it!”

The next event scheduled for the Housing Opportunity Foundation is Strides for Shelter 5K Fun Run & Walk on June 23, 2018. New this year is a Couch to 5K training program that starts on April 28, 2018. Registration has started for the C25K training and the race. Join the Dickens Mitchener team here.

Dickens Mitchener’s Joan Goode Gives Back

Joan GoodeWe are so proud of our very own Realtor®/Broker Joan Goode, for being featured on the cover of the February 2018 issue of Charlotte Real Producers and with a two-page spread all about her involvement with a nonprofit organization that is near and dear to our hearts, the Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association’s Housing Opportunity Foundation.

Because the availability of affordable and sustainable housing has a direct impact on a community, Joan has worked tirelessly to help create housing opportunities for our neighbors through the time and energy she has devoted to the cause for the past 11 years.

Click here to read the full article and to learn about Joan’s involvement.

Image result for housing opportunity foundation


5 Tips for a Smooth Relocation to Charlotte, NC

So you’re planning a relocation to Charlotte, NC — congratulations! Whether you’re moving for work, for family or just to seek out new adventures, we can’t think of a better place to move. But even as you embark on this exciting new chapter in your life, the relocation itself may come with a lot of extra stress as you hammer out the thousands of details involved with a major move. To help ease the strain, here are 5 important tips for to help you make a smooth transition to our lovely city.

1. Get to Know the Area

If you’re still figuring out where to live in Charlotte, take some time to familiarize yourself with the area before settling on a place. This city has a diversity of great neighborhoods for every family situation, budget and lifestyle. Consider factors like school districts, work commutes and overall budget to help you decide on a few prime neighborhoods to look at for your relocation.

2. Get Organized

It sounds simple, even trite, but the very act of planning ahead can cut your stress in half. Get a notebook together and start compiling a to-do list and schedule. Put everything on the list that you can think of, from notifying utilities to scheduling the movers to putting in a change of address, to scheduling time off work before and after moving day. If you haven’t found a new place to live yet, add that to the list! But you can set up this list even before your new lodgings are established. The sooner you get organized, the easier your move will be when it comes time to check things off your list.

3. Assemble a Necessity Box

When you’re in the midst of a major move, there are few things more frustrating than trying to figure out which box you packed the stapler in, or the tape, or something else you need. Before the big day, we recommend setting up a “necessity box” with all the items you’re likely to need during the move itself — from office items to paperwork to packing tape, etc — anything you might need for your day-to-day operations while the move is in progress. This box should either stay with you in the vehicle, or it can be the last box on and the first box off the truck. Just make sure you know where it is and what’s in it.

4. Decide what Goes and what Stays

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably collected a bunch of stuff you’re not going to use anymore — stuff that is just dead weight and doesn’t need to come with you on the move. Make your move simpler and less expensive by deciding ahead of time what should be left behind. Have a yard sale, sell items on Craigslist, etc.

5. Get Help from a Relocation Specialist

When making a major move to an unfamiliar place, one of the best things you can do to ensure a smooth relocation is to enlist help from someone who is intimately familiar with the area — someone who can help you learn the city, find a place to live and coordinate next steps with you. Dickens Mitchener offers a comprehensive relocation service for both corporate and individual moves — a service that helps you coordinate all the details from departure and destination, including personalized tours, transportation, home finding services, mortgage counseling, rental assistance and even help finding services like doctors, veterinarians and plumbers! If you’re relocating to Charlotte, NC, we’d love to be the first to welcome you home and give you all the assistance you need in getting here. To learn more about our relocation services, just give us a call at (704) 661-2402.

Joan Goode, Cover Girl for February 2018 Issue of Charlotte Real Producers

We’re so proud of our very own top producer, Joan Goode, for being featured on the cover of the February 2018 issue of Charlotte Real Producers for giving back to our local community. To read the full article, click here.

If you’re thinking of selling your current home or purchasing a new home, Joan’s market knowledge and experience will put you in a position for success. Her main objective as a REALTOR® is to transform the often overwhelming home buying or selling experience into a rewarding life event that brings satisfaction and positive results.

Joan Goode is proud to be a native of North Carolina and loves getting to introduce newcomers to the state and Queen City she loves to call home. She grew up in Asheville, N.C., graduated from North Carolina State University and has lived in Charlotte for nearly 20 years. As a proud member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Goode has a rich knowledge of the south which has helped her bring years of successful selling & buying expertise to her clients.

Joan is thrilled to act as an ambassador for the Queen City and takes pride in helping her clients find the perfect neighborhood and house to call home. She has a deep understanding of Charlotte’s real estate market as well as the city’s surrounding neighborhoods including Providence Country Club, Piper Glen Country Club, Ballantyne Country Club, Longview, Foxcroft, Myers Park and Eastover.

Charlotte Real Producers is a program designed to increase brand awareness, social interactions and relationships between Charlotte’s top producing real estate agents and top affiliates. The monthly magazine highlights the top realtor teams and individuals, focusing on the top 500 producers in the Charlotte/Lake Norman market.

For more information about Dickens Mitchener, call Relocation Director Catharine Pappas at 704-661-2402.