Dickens Mitchener Donates To COVID-19 Relief Efforts in Charlotte, NC

Dickens Mitchener agents have always had the opportunity to make a donation to the charitable fund at each closing that the company matches. In the past, we have given the donated funds to help the homeless in our community. With the current COVID-19 crisis going on in our country, we have decided to make donations to two relief funds in our area for the first quarter of 2020.

COVID-19 relief fund foundation for carolinas

The newly founded COVID-19 Response Fund was set up by the Foundation for the Carolinas. “This fund will support a range of nonprofits assisting the people most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Importantly, this fund will help not just those who get sick but also those who are economically impacted.

This fund was launched March 16 thanks to a $1 million lead gift from LendingTree and a $1 million matching gift from the City of Charlotte. These gifts have inspired additional donations, totaling more than $15 million to date.” If you would like to donate to this fund click here.

Atrium Health Caregiver Heroes

The firm has also donated to the Atrium Health Caregivers Heroes Fund. This fund will be used “to support Atrium Health teammates during the COVID-19 pandemic and other crisis events, as identified by Atrium Health. This fund will support reasonable and necessary personal, family, living, or funeral expenses that teammates incur as a result of COVID-19.” If you would also like to donate to this fund click here.

Designing Your Ideal Home Office

home office design charlotte

How to Create a Welcoming, Efficient, & Productive Home Office

We are all experiencing the adjustment of learning how to work from home. For some, it can be exciting because it offers an opportunity for real comfort and efficiency, but if your office space is too casual, or isn’t effectively separated from the home environment, peak productivity may be lost. Pro-tip: Your California King bed may not be the best idea for your new home office if you plan on getting any actual work done.

While comfort is essential in any office, one that is too casual may seriously impede the ability to get things done. It is important to find a way to separate yourself from the rest of the things going on in your home and convey a sense of “off-limits” to all other normal and natural home sounds, interruptions, and activity.

Whether your home office is a designated space for running your own business, or simply a nook for paying bills and organizing schedules, you deserve more than a metal desk, fluorescent lighting, and a folding chair stuffed into the one spare corner of your house. Why? An office that reflects the design and comfort of the rest of your home and reflects your passion and interests will become a place that you will want to burn the midnight oil.

Our top five tips for creating a welcoming, efficient, & productive place to work:

  1. Location, location, location.

The majority of your day is spent in your place of work. This space does not need to be large or expansive, but separation from other areas in the house is critical. Evaluate and find a space in your home that can be “your space”. For example, maybe this space is a guest room that is only used a few times out of the year. Keep all your work in this designated area and keep the non-office space in your home free of work items. This promotes a healthy balance and allows you to relax at home when you are not “at work”.

  1. Let there be light.

Numerous studies have shown that natural light in office spaces improves worker satisfaction and productivity. The connection between natural light and Vitamin D is well studied. Vitamin D can promote better health in many ways, such as fighting depression, diabetes, and chronic pain.  Natural light has also been shown to boost both productivity and revenue by allowing workers to feel more engaged and focused.

  1. Don’t sacrifice form for function.

Consider your workflow and what equipment you need at your fingertips before investing in shelving and furniture for your home office. Your desk, shelves, and storage should serve you, not the other way around. Although functionality is a top priority in designing your home office, the furniture you choose should complement the design of your home as a whole, instead of feeling like the lifeless cubicle we all dread entering. Create a space that you enjoy and look forward to stepping into and this will create a positive work environment and promote your creativity throughout the workday.

  1. Organize both vertically and horizontally.

Most often, your home office doesn’t allow for a lot of square footage, so it is important that you use the space you are given efficiently. Floating shelves on the walls to get papers off your desk is both a great option for practicality, but can also be pleasing to the eye. Invest in file folders, storage bins, baskets, or shelving that align with your work tactics. Are you a stacker or a filer? If you tend to make piles, find a basket that will allow you to organize your documents, notes, and papers. If you are one that prefers a spotless desktop, invest in furniture with drawers to both file and hide the unwanted mess that would otherwise clutter your workspace. Do you find yourself working from left to right? Does your paper trail have a distinct flow? These are other questions you may ask yourself when planning how to organize your office materials.

  1. Ergonomics: prioritizing your health and wellness.

Your health, safety, and welfare are critical, therefore, the items you choose for your office should be ergonomically designed to promote your health and wellness while using them. Think about the angle of your computer monitor or the height of your desk. Think about whether your eyes are strained by the end of the day or if your wrists hurt from typing. Understanding ergonomics can prevent most workplace injuries by adjusting tools to the user, putting emphasis on proper posture to reduce the impact of repetitive movements. Having the option of working at your computer from both standing and sitting heights can enhance your creative problem-solving and thinking ability. Research shows that using a standing desk can boost brain power, improve your focus, reduce pain and discomfort, and increase your energy.

Looking for more home office inspiration? Visit our Home Office Design Pinterest board.

Words by: Emily Irish

Ballantyne Real Estate Market Update

Ballantyne Real Estate Market Update – First Quarter 2020

The number of homes for sale in 28277 is down 25% in response to the stay at home order, but the demand is high. Currently, there is less than a 2 month supply of homes in Ballantyne. Residential real estate in the area has appreciated on average 4-5.5% from the prior 12 months. However, despite the low inventory, in the past 12 months closed home sales are up 8%. The number of days on market has remained consistent with previous years, averaging around 38 days. Due to restrictions placed on Mecklenburg County for COVID-19, April and May are anticipated to have a slight decline in activity. But, once the restrictions are lifted we are anticipating higher than usual demand as interest rates are averaging below 3.65% and many buyers and sellers were simply forced to postpone their real estate activity. To learn more about the market and see the latest market stats see the charts below or contact us for more information.

 

ballantyne real estate market 2020

Spring Clean Now To Be Ready For Spring Showings

spring clean tips

Who could have ever guessed it would be April and we would all be stuck at home? Use your time wisely now to get your home ready to sell in the Spring market this year or follow these tips to spruce up your home before summer.

Inspect the Gutters

Everyone’s least favorite task, but it has to be done. Check for loose and damaged gutters. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear of debris as poor drainage can lead to water build-up in the basement or crawl spaces. These are an easy fix now that could save you from a major issue down the road.

Check the Windows

How old are your windows? Experts suggest replacing residential windows every 15-20 years. Well maintained windows can sometimes last a little longer. Check the caulking and weather stripping around your windows each spring and winter. If there is damage, warm summer air and cold winter air will come into your home. TIP: If you have condensation inside the glass on windows during the winter months, the weather seal has been compromised, and either the glass or the window will need to be replaced.

General Cleaning Inside the Home

Spring is a good time to clean areas of the house that often go neglected. Dust or vacuum chair rails, window casings, and ceiling fans. Dry clean fabric draperies, vacuum upholstered furniture and schedule a carpet cleaning. Removing settled dust, mites, and allergens will make for a cleaner, and healthier, home.

Test the Air Conditioning Units

Now is the time to make sure the air conditioning units are in good shape for the upcoming warmer months. Change the air filters inside the home, check hose connections for leaks, make sure the drain pans are draining freely, and vacuum any dust that has settled on the unit during the winter months.

Fertilize and Seed the lawn

Outdoor entertaining season is upon us and now is the time to get your lawn in perfect shape for everyone to enjoy! Rake the lawn to remove any branches, debris, and leaves that may be leftover from the winter. These items can prohibit the grass from growing. Check the outdoor water sources (pipes, faucets, and in-ground sprinkler systems) to be sure they are in working order. Take stock of your garden tools and lawn maintenance equipment, including lawnmowers, trimmers, and hoses and replace them as necessary.

Being a homeowner can be a lot of work, but starting each season with a list of items to maintain will make the work easier in the long run. If you are getting your home ready to sell, contact your preferred Dickens Mitchener agent to help you get started. We wish you happiness in your home.

 

We Are Here For You

Dickens Mitchener Receives High Honors at Agent Summit

catharine pappas dickens mitchener relocationEveryone at Dickens Mitchener is thrilled to share with you that our company has won the coveted Diamond and Crown of Excellence awards for unparalleled service and performance within our relocation department for 2019. These awards were presented to our Relocation Director, Catharine Pappas, on stage this past week at the annual global conference for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, the premier referral network of independent real estate brokers. We were also recognized for our company marketing, our partnership with Relo Direct and for holding the MBA of Relocation, the RQC.  We are one of only 26 companies worldwide out of our network of 565 companies that holds the RQC-The Relocation Quality Certification designation.

Our relocation department is determined to offer the best experience to employees that are transferring in and out of Charlotte.  We also excel at finding top agents that have time to devote to you in any market, whether you are relocating for work, retirement or searching for a second home.  Please reach out to your Dickens Mitchener agent or the relocation department if we can help.

We could not have achieved this pinnacle of success without the trust of our valued friends, clients, and industry partners.  Thank you for relying on us to help you with your real estate needs across the country and around the world.

Where Are The Booming Luxury Home Markets?

luxury real estate markets

What comes to mind when you hear “luxury real estate”? Visions of coastline properties with newer homes that feature outdoor living areas overlooking a beautiful water view? Or maybe a mountain retreat with beautiful sunsets each evening? In recent years, the luxury home market boom has been found in coastal towns. You may be surprised by a new report that has come out looking at cities from middle America that are booming in luxury home markets.

Booming Luxury Home Markets

Recently a report was released with the top 5 luxury markets to watch including:

  • Boise, Idaho
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Fort Worth, Texas

The report used these factors to determine the rankings: sales price to list price ratios, days on the market, median list price, and inventory. Other factors included the range of lifestyle amenities offered, education experiences, airport accessibility, ease of doing business, and more.

Charlotte, NC has been in the news for the past 5 years for many of the factors listed above, so it is no surprise it is on this list as well. Growth in the Queen City was previously attributed to the banking industry, but most recently technology, health-related jobs, and advanced manufacturing have all brought big business to the area.

Luxury Home Trends To Follow

It will be exciting to follow the new trends that are emerging in luxury real estate in 2020. Recently, we have seen luxury home buyers interested in eco-friendly homes, smart tech homes, and energy-efficient homes in the past year. The expectation of green-certified building has also been on the rise.

Dickens Mitchener’s award-winning relocation department can help you find the luxury home you are looking for in Charlotte, NC and around the world. Contact Catharine Pappas at 704.661.2402 to get started today.

Dickens Mitchener Style: Digital Issue 1 Available Now

Dickens Mitchener Style: Digital Issue 1  | Inside the first digital issue we wrap up 2019 with information about the top neighborhoods in Charlotte. In our relocation spotlight, we share some amazing homes in New York City and South Africa that we have referred to other Leading Real Estate Companies of the World brokerages. We celebrate our Top Producers of 2019, our rookie of the year and our Spirit Award winner. Last but not least, we introduce our new program, the Homeowners Impact Fund to help local homeless initiatives, and much more.

The contents of Dickens Mitchener Style, our regionally focused lifestyle magazine, showcases some of Charlotte’s most beautiful homes and gives readers a look at some of the wonderful things that the greater Charlotte area has to offer. Inside we share exclusive insights from our Style team of full-time real estate experts.

 

Dickens Mitchener Nominated For 8 Relocation Awards

relocation awards dickens mitchenerWe are so proud of our Relocation Director, Catharine Pappas for bringing in EIGHT award nominations for the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World conference in Las Vegas, Nevada next week. At the conference, the top real estate companies in every major market across the globe gather to network and celebrate their accomplishments of the past year.

Pappas looks forward to this conference as she serves as the Chair of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Advisory Council. In this role, she advocates for the members of the network and ensures that projects that are identified by the board of directors are carried out to make the best real estate companies even better.

The companies in this network pride themselves in doing the best job possible for every client. Pappas thanks our talented Dickens Mitchener agents who make this success possible when we are always trusted to find the best new home for people relocating to Charlotte, NC.

To learn more about Leading Real Estate Companies of the World: click here.

Dickens Mitchener Nominations for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, 2020 Annual Conference:

(1) 2019 Diamond Award Nomination
(2) 2019 Agent Production Award Nomination
(3) 2019 RELO Direct® – Direct Connection Leads Award Nomination
(4) 2019 Pinnacle Award Nomination
(5) 2019 Award of Excellence, Equivalent Closings Sales Production Nomination
(6) 2019 Award of Excellence, Outgoing Sales Production Nomination
(7) 2019 Award of Excellence, Outgoing Referral Production Nomination
(8) RELO Direct® LeadingRE Partnership Award Nomination

 

Closing On A Home – The Final Walkthrough

Final Walkthrough Checklist Dickens Mitchener

You’ve found the home of your dreams and your offer was accepted. You made it through due diligence, had the items fixed on the inspection list and are now counting down the days until you move-in. But, there is one more thing you must do before closing, the final walkthrough.

Oftentimes, the final walkthrough takes place just hours before closing. We have some tips for you to look out for as you get ready to close on your new home.

The Home Isn’t Empty

Unless previously agreed upon, sometimes sellers wait until the last minute to completely empty the home. If the home isn’t in the condition you agreed upon, you may need to contact the seller to have them clean up before closing. In this case, you will need to do another walkthrough.

The Utilities Have Been Shut Off

Agents should always stipulate that utilities stay on through the final walkthrough. You will need to flush every toilet, turn on every faucet to check for leaks, turn on every light fixture, check garage door openers, oven, microwave and any other appliances that are being left behind. If any of these items are in need of repair, you can then ask for an allowance before closing.

There Is Damage To the Walls

Did a wall get damaged while the seller was moving out? Was a TV removed from the wall leaving holes? These can be big issues and you can ask for an allowance to have these repaired before you close on the home.

The HVAC Systems Are Not Working

Test the heating and cooling of the home during the final walkthrough. If the home is not heating or cooling properly, a negotiation would need to take place.

Final Walkthrough Checklist

The final walkthrough is the final time you have to be sure that the home is in the condition agreed upon and move-in ready. Take this handy checklist along with you to ensure you don’t miss any steps.

  • Turn all light switches on and off to ensure light fixtures and ceiling fans are working.
  • Bring something along to test all of the electrical outlets.
  • Run all sink and bath faucets, and check for any leaks under the sink.
  • Test all of the kitchen appliances and run the garbage disposal.
  • Ensure the garage door opens and closes, and the remote(s) works.
  • Run the heater and air conditioner.
  • Turn on and test the fireplace.
  • Open and close all windows and doors.
  • Flush toilets to check for leaks or problems.
  • Run the exhaust fans in the bathrooms and kitchen.
  • Inspect the walls, flooring, and ceilings.
  • Check exterior for damage or new cosmetic issues.
  • Make sure all garbage, personal belongings, and other items have been removed.

Buying a new home can be stressful, but with the right professional by your side, it will be one of the major milestones of your life. If you are interested in learning more about the real estate services offered by Dickens Mitchener, give us a call at 704.661.2402 or contact us here.