Fall Garden Tips

This week’s blog is brought to you by Philip Carter of Allium Gardens in Charlotte, NC.

Fall is slowly returning to Charlotte and like the rest of us, the plants will welcome the cooler temperatures. Here are a few fall garden tips to make your properties look stunning from now to early spring.

garden tipsFertilize The Lawn

Those with fescue lawns should be preparing to aerate, fertilize, and overseed. Make several passes with the aerator and use high quality seed. It costs a little more but is well worth the return! Use a fertilizer that has a pre-emergent in it as well. This will prevent weeds such as crabgrass and other cool season weeds that will emerge with the spring rains.

Those with seasonal lawns such as bermuda or zoysia will have already done their fertilization in mid-summer. If you must have a green lawn, overseed with rye grass. It will burn off as temps increase in the spring as the bermuda is coming out of dormancy.

Fertilize Trees & Shrubs

Fall is also a great time to fertilize shrubs and trees. All trees and shrubs need fertilizer because most of them are located in mulch beds that use up nitrogen as they decompose. In addition, every fall homeowners rake leaves off the beds, depriving plants of the nutrients that decomposing leaves would traditionally release. To compensate, I recommend applying one to three pounds of slow-release nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of bed and cultivate lightly. (To figure out the exact amount of fertilizer you’ll need, calculate the square footage of your beds and consult with your local garden center.) I prefer fertilizing trees in late September and early October to promote root growth. These nutrients will still be in the soil in spring when plants start to grow. If you have a tree or shrub that does not flower well, a dose of super phosphate will help promote flower growth. However, if the plant is not located in the right spot, all the super phosphate in the world won’t make it flower.

Plant Fall Annuals

Get ready for company coming in the next few months by planting fall annuals. Some common annuals that work well in this zone and have a long bloom time are listed below. Add a little  soil into the beds you are working to give your flowers a good home.

  • Violas (bloom better than pansies in my opinion)
  • Pansies
  • Snap Dragons
  • Ornamental Cabbages
  • Mums (mainly early Fall)
  • Dianthus
Plant Spring Bulbs

Fall is also the time to plant your spring bulbs. Who can resist beautiful tulips and hyacinth peeking through the ground as winter comes to a close. The smell alone is intoxicating. Remember to factor in things like dud bulbs, a few super cold days, and SQUIRRELS! Plant about 20% more bulbs than you think you need to ensure a bountiful bloom in spring.  A list of a few bulbs to consider are below.

  • Allium
  • Tulips
  • Hyacinth
  • Daffodil
  • Crocus
  • Snow Drops
  • Iris (won’t bloom till late Spring)


Charlotte Ranks 5th Best “Location-First” For People Moving

Charlotte, NC skyline (Photo by Ricky W/Wikimedia)In a new report, Apartment List surveyed over 20,000 Apartment List users to better understand the motivation behind long-distance moves. Charlotte was found to be the 5th best location-first city for movers, behind San Diego, Portland, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

They also found that:

  • 9% of Charlotte metro renters are location-first movers, choosing to move to Charlotte prior to searching for a job.
  • 6% of Charlotte renters are planning to settle down in the area long-term. Compared to the national average, more Charlotte renters plan on settling down in their current metro.
  • Renters in more affordable metros are more likely to plan on settling down in their current metros. Of renters surveyed living in lower rent metros, 42.4% plan on settling down in their current metro, compared to 34.3% of renters in more expensive metros.

Learn more why some renters chase jobs & others chase locations here.

Thinking of moving to the Charlotte area? Dickens Mitchener is here to help! Give us a call at 704-661-2402.

Relocating? Make It Easy With Our Relocation Team

relocatingAs relocation service experts, our experienced team is committed to making your life-changing move as stress-free and seamless as possible. Catharine Pappas is the mastermind leader of Dickens Mitchener’s award-winning relocation department. As a native Charlottean, Pappas brings a wealth of intimate knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and attention to her job of transitioning families to and from the Queen City.

When Catharine called her colleague Kim Barkoff at Halstead Global Services Division, she knew she had a big task on hand. The daughter of one of Catharine‘s clients found out that she needed to move to New York city with less than a month’s notice. Catharine reached out to Kim on behalf of her client to ask for all the help she could get for her big move to New York City. In less than 30 minutes, Kimberly’s agent Shannon Kausch lined up showings every 30 minutes for the entire day for Catharine‘s client! After a full day of showings, the client found an apartment. If you have a referral near or far, think of us and our amazing network of top agents around the world.

If you’re move is taking you to or away from Charlotte, our award-winning relocation department specializes in the transfer of individuals, families, and corporate employees to and from the Charlotte area. Dickens Mitchener is honored to make the prestigious, highly selective list of real estate firms recognized by Leading Real Estate Companies of the world. Our connection with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® allows us to put you in touch with a top broker in your destination area. As a proud affiliate member of the industry’s largest broker-to-broker network, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, we can help you find, list and sell, or manage properties in virtually any community, worldwide. Through these powerful partnerships, we work in cooperation with more than 500 top brokerage firms to identify buyers and sellers for properties all over the world.

The RELO® Quality Certification Program  developed by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®  identifies the top relocation departments in the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® network, this program recognizes outstanding efforts by those who go beyond expected quality service and instead choose to excel in their field. The standards for the certification are built upon a foundation of core values: company commitment, leadership, customer and results focus, education and resource allocation. Using a rigorous set of criteria, all aspects of a relocation department are carefully considered. From business plans and web site design to service evaluations and workplace environment, the thoroughness of the screening process guarantees that those approved have truly earned the designation “best-of-the-best.” Reviews ensure that these high standards are maintained, making the certification a legitimate industry benchmark.


Contact Catharine Pappas to make your next move the best ever.

For $200K, Would You Rather Buy a Box in Manhattan or a Mansion in San Antonio?

The perfect home combines great location, good price, and plenty of space. In today’s market this is hard to find especially in rapidly growing cities such as Charlotte. Location is often thought of as the number one factor when deciding on buying a house…but in reality it’s actually price.  $200,000 will only get you 126 square feet of living space in Manhattan; in Cleveland you can get over 3,700 square feet. Where does Charlotte fit in?  According to Property Shark, $200,000 will get 1,696 square feet of living space in Charlotte, NC. Are you willing to sacrifice space or location to stay within your budget?

how much home can you buy

Learn more about how much square feet you can get for $200k at Property Shark here. Thinking of moving to the Charlotte area? Dickens Mitchener is here to help! Give us a call at 704-661-2402.


Introducing Our Inaugural Issue of Dickens Mitchener Style Magazine!

Dickens Mitchener Style We’re so excited to be introducing our inaugural issue of Dickens Mitchener Style Magazine! Charlotte’s housing market is one of the hottest markets in the country and there’s a good reason why.

Our quarterly magazine will not only showcase Charlotte’s most beautiful homes and neighborhoods but will also give you insight on what Charlotte has to offer and tips from our team of real estate experts to make living here more enjoyable!

Want a copy? Contact your preferred Dickens Mitchener agent.

5 End of Summer Activities for the Entire Family

  1. Popbar

Open Monday – Sunday (hours vary) | $4+

If you haven’t been, make your way to NoDa to indulge in authentic artisanal Italian gelato and sorbetto ASAP. There’s no preservatives, no artificial flavors and endless combinations of dippings and poppings. These unique popsicle treats are totally Instagram-worthy and offer something for everyone!

  1. Sounds in the Square

Friday August 24 & 31 | Free to the public

Bring your picnic blankets & lawn chairs to enjoy this free outdoor event with performances every Friday night in August at Spirit Square! Local musicians will perform from 7:00-8:30 PM in the Square at Spirit Square. Presented by Blumenthal Arts. For more information visit their website.

  1. Charlotte Knights Home Games

August 25-30 | Visit Website for ticket pricing

Hold onto the end of summer by celebrating with Charlotte’s favorite baseball team. The Charlotte Knights are in town the whole last week of August and are offering all the fan favorites from kids running the bases to postgame fireworks. Click here for more details.

  1. USNWC Labor Day Celebration

September 2 | Parking is $5/Free with season pass

The USNWC is the place to enjoy the long holiday weekend at the Labor Day Celebration, and there is no shortage of ways to get up and get outside. Sunday will begin with the Labor Day 5k and 15k Trail Race, followed by a day of outdoor adventure, yoga, live music, and a Labor Day firework show after the sun goes down.

  1. Belk College KickOff Game Tailgate Concert

August 31 | American Legion Memorial Stadium | 6-11 p.m. | $12-$199

Brad Paisley and Kane Brown with special guests; Davisson Bros Band and Dee Jay Silver are all coming to the American Legion Memorial Stadium located at 1218 Armory Drive, Charlotte, N.C. 28204.

Charlotte Ranked One Of Best Cities To Start A Business

charlotte ncGood news for entrepreneurs and business owners in the Charlotte, NC area! WalletHub recently ranked Charlotte as one of the best large cities to start a business. They surveyed 180 US cities in the country and based their rankings on 19 key metrics including 5 year survival rate to office space affordability.

Charlotte ranked pretty high on the list and even beat out Raleigh (number 10), Atlanta (number 19) and Phoenix (number 46). Charlotte was tied for highest average growth in number of small businesses. To see more visit the Wallet Hub report.

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


A Day In The Life – Lake Norman

Lake Norman is the largest man-made body of fresh water in North Carolina built between 1959-1964 as part of the Cowans Ford Dam by Duke Energy. The lake spans 34 miles and offers 520 miles of beautiful shoreline. The lake offers a laid-back lifestyle, endless outdoor activities and is close to Charlotte, NC, one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Enjoy boating, fishing, bird-watching, sunbathing and swimming almost year round.

For the foodies, the area surrounding the lake has many new dining experiences to try.  Kindred in Davidson is a chef-driven restaurant that has already earned many accolades locally and nationally. The owners opened Hello Sailor in 2018 which was recognized as one of the top 50 best new restaurants in 2018 by Bon Apetit magazine. You can get there by land, but we prefer to get there by water. Enjoy the beautiful outdoor seating areas overlooking the beautiful lake or sit inside in the causal dining room. Don’t forget to enjoy one of the speciality drinks in the fun glassware.

Take a ride by water to see Governor’s Island, a gated community located in the Denver, NC area of the lake. The gated community is home to about 40 homeowners. There is no one style of living in the Lake Norman community. From multi-million dollar estates to small lake homes, you will find something to suit every budget or taste. Looking for a tiny two-bedroom cottage with a boat ramp? You will find it here. Maybe you prefer a sprawling million-dollar home with gorgeous views. You will find that here, too. Look for plenty of new construction as builders attempt to keep up with the influx of residents from the Midwest and the Northeast, as well as those who work in Charlotte and want a getaway from the city. You will also find a mix of homes in community-oriented subdivisions as well as private homes in quiet locations. Most residences fall between $400,000 and $4 million.

Are you ready to find a lake retreat at Lake Norman? Contact our Relocation Director, Catharine Pappas at (704) 661-2402 to get connected with an experienced agent.


5 Best Tips For Downsizing

downsizing tipsDownsizing a home can seem like a daunting task. Don’t let the stress of decluttering overwhelm you! Whether you are an empty nester, moving from a suburban home to a chic city apartment or a senior who is moving into a retirement community, we have 5 best tips for downsizing to help you get started.

  1. Start Now

Start your downsizing ahead of your move and set goals of what you would like to take with you to your next space. Couples & families, be sure to communicate before you get rid of things that may be sentimental to someone else in the family to avoid hurt feelings.

  1. How Much Space Will You Have?

Will your new space be able to handle your oversized furniture? Will your current décor match the interior of your new space? How much smaller is your new home? Decide before you move whether the expensive vase you bought in Paris will fit in with your new home style.

  1. No More Clutter

With all of the new smart home technologies, you can eliminate excess cords and wires by upgrading your technology. Use smarter storage solutions in your new space as well. If you don’t have a way to display all of your china, use a piece as a pencil holder or decorative accents throughout your home.

  1. Look For Items With Purpose

Go for quality over quantity in your new space. Look for furniture pieces that can be used in multiple ways. Look for ottomans with storage to keep extra blankets or toys hidden in them. Look for nightstands or tables with open and closed storage to keep unsightly items out of sight. Look for durable fabrics since you will be using all of your spaces for multiple uses in a smaller home. For example: a dining room may be used as a home office space during the week.

  1. Ask For Help

When in doubt, ask a friend, professional organizer or your trusted real estate agent to help you decide what you should keep. It’s always great to get an objective opinion when in doubt.

Downsizing can be a great way to sort through the clutter and keep only purposeful things in your life. If it is hard for you or a family member to let go of things, take pictures of your old space and any items you may be leaving behind that have sentimental value. After you move on, it will be a relief to have a new, uncluttered space to enjoy.

When you’re ready to begin downsizing, Dickens Mitchener is here to help! Give us a call at 704-661-2402.

Take A New Look At Uptown Charlotte

uptown charlotte

It’s an exciting time in Charlotte, NC! It is estimated 60 people move to Charlotte each day. Uptown Charlotte has seen it’s growth triple in the last 15 years with 18,000 people now calling the center city home. Charlotte Center City Partners was formed to focus on the successful growth of Charlotte’s urban center. The vision is to continue to grow the city as pedestrian friendly and walkable, with comfortable and interesting neighborhoods.

Have you visited uptown lately? On any given day you can cheer on a local sports team, including the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Knights and Charlotte Hornets. Whole Foods has now opened  and there are so many new restaurants, coffee bars, gyms, and parks you can visit. The arts district brings Broadway plays to town all year long or you can pass the time away in the Mint Museum. Romare Bearden park is also a great place to meet friends for a picnic or to take in the Charlotte Symphony summer music series. The Queen City really has a lot to offer for people of all ages and tastes.

Learn more about our great uptown from StyleBlueprint here. When you’re ready to begin your house hunt in uptown Charlotte, NC, Dickens Mitchener is here to help! Give us a call at 704-661-2402.