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.


Top 5 Winter Home Projects You Can Do Now

top 5 winter home projects charlotte nc

There is nothing better than curling up on the sofa in your warm home when the weather turns cold. And, after the holidays the last thing on your mind is getting out the tools to check off your honey-do list.

However, the winter months are the ideal time to complete home improvement and maintenance projects, especially if you’re planning to list your home in the spring or summer. NOW is the time to get started with your home prep. We asked our top agents and these are the top 5 winter home projects to get started on to improve your home’s value when you are ready to sell.

Fresh Paint 

Give rooms, paneling, or cabinetry a fresh coat of paint. Paint is an inexpensive way to update your home to get ahead of the spring market. Many things can be painted to give your home a fresh look, tile, paneling, cabinets. Sprucing up these items can make a big difference. Pro tip: Manufacturers offer the best deals on paint during the late fall and winter.

Get Your Lawn Ready For Spring

Do you want to have the best lawn on the block? Preparing your yard in the fall and early winter guarantees a lush and beautiful lawn in the spring. Bermuda and bluegrass are two “cool season” types of grass that should be fertilized before the first freeze. To ensure that the grass won’t grow too tall in winter, and offer mice and other burrowing animals a warm hideout, be sure to mow the lawn before the first freeze. Be sure to pick up any items in the yard (logs, toys, furniture) before it begins to snow, as these can create dead spots in the grass in the spring.

Add Insulation

Looking for a way to save on utility bills? Adding home insulation can improve your home’s energy efficiency. While it isn’t the most exciting project, it could help make your home more energy-efficient which will benefit you by saving money in the long run. Start by checking your attic, basement, and crawl space to see if more insulation is needed.

Install A Programmable Thermostat

This is a simple do-it-yourself project that will end up paying off in the long run by increasing the energy efficiency of your home. The thermostats are wi-fi enabled and automatically adjust heating and cooling temperature settings in your home for optimal performance. They can also learn your temperature preferences and establish a schedule that automatically adjusts to energy-saving temperatures when you are asleep or away. There are many options available to fit any budget or lifestyle.

Channel Your Inner Marie Kondo

When Spring and Summer get here, you’re not going to want to spend your time going through the piles of junk in your basement, you’ll want to be outside, enjoying the fresh, warm air. Marie Kondo was the rage last year, and we gave our top lessons we learned from her here. Take a page from Marie Kondo’s book and tidy up! Winter is the perfect time to work on getting organized. Pro tip: Don’t try to tackle the entire house at once. Start small, and go slow.

These top 5 winter home projects are the perfect start to getting your home refreshed. Are you looking for advice on how to get your home ready to sell for the lest price this spring or summer? Give us a call and we can connect you with a professional, knowledgeable agent today.

Spruce Up Your Landscape This Spring

The spring real estate market is up and running in Charlotte, NC. When preparing a home to market, don’t forget to spruce up your landscape this spring. Follow the tips below to draw buyers outside, no matter the size of the yard.

Clean Up!

Start by replacing mulch, trimming trees/bushes and weeding. Address any problem areas in the lawn by adding seed or sod to bare spots.

Create An Outdoor Lounge

Creating an outdoor lounge or dining area that is an extension of the home is always a draw to a listing. Adding an umbrella or pergola is another great way to define an outdoor lounging space or dining area. Lights or a hanging lantern could easily be added to enhance the coziness. Homes that have a sense of connectivity to the outdoors are very appealing to buyers. To ensure buyers are drawn outside create the space so it is easily accessible to indoor rooms like a family room or a kitchen.  Creating an outdoor oasis can add substantial value to your home.

Don’t Forget Privacy

Buyers value privacy. Consider adding fencing, lattice, garden walls or landscaping to define the area and screen views of neighboring homes.

Decorative Options

Add A Little Rock

Jane Lemmond created a little zen garden off her deck in a weekend. She used gravel, stepping stones and a simple water feature.

A flagstone walk or patio is another great way to connect the home to the outdoor space. Lanier Landscaping in Charlotte has a great selection of stone and rock for all of your landscape projects.

Water Features Make A Splash

Adding simple water features and a hammock can be a nice touch. We would all like to nap on a hammock while listening to water sounds!

Bring the Indoors Outside

Colorful throw pillows, candles and music are simple ways to create a comfortable spot. Have space for a beverage cart or bar? Who doesn’t want to envision sitting on a deck sipping wine or a cocktail with friends or family. One of the quickest and easiest ways to enhance a deck or patio and define the space is to add a bright area rug. There are lots of inexpensive low maintenance options for outdoor rugs.  “Last year I grabbed one at World Market for $20 and it is still going strong,” comments Jane Lemmond. Adding pots with bright and or fragrant plants is always an attractive and simple way to finish off any outdoor space.

An added benefit to living in North Carolina is being able to enjoy an outdoor area almost year round. Do you have any tips to add?

Hurricane Matthew Home Restoration Donations Needed

As most of you remember, it was a little over a year ago when Hurricane Matthew devastated many areas of eastern North Carolina. There are many families who had no flood insurance and are still displaced. They have not been able to repair their homes so they can return to their properties.

Wayne Honeycutt in our Eastover office has agreed to help a couple of groups that are working to restore several of the properties. They are in need of kitchen and bath cabinets, tops, and fixtures. If you know of anyone who is remodeling and would like to see these items reused and repurposed, please let him know. He can take a quick look and see if they will work. If so, he can make arrangements to have them removed from the property and transported to the eastern part of the state. Hopefully this will help speed the process of restoring several properties.

The Mint Hill Fire Department donated their old kitchen when they remodeled and the group was able to finish one kitchen renovation in Eastern NC. See the pictures below! Thank you for keeping our neighbors in the Eastern part of NC in mind when you hear of a renovation this Spring.

wayne honeycutt realtor wayne honeycutt realtor charlotte



Sneak Peek: New Home Rebuild In Charlotte

Winnie Simmons has been busy since we last left her after her complete home renovation in Foxcroft project. She is back to share a new scrape and build project in the Cotswold neighborhood in Charlotte, NC.

The featured property is on South Canterbury. This project is high quality new construction by Blue Azalea Development group comprised of custom builder Wes Piatt of 16 Penny construction, Craig W.  Isaac Architecture and broker and Winnie Simmons of Dickens Mitchener. The developer is Billy Flippin of Optimus properties. The team was thoughtfully constructed in collaboration with Winnie’s client Joe Di Zazzo, owner of Blue Azalea Development group.

The previous home was demolished and architect Craig Isaac drew up plans for a 5200-5400 square foot home with an option for a pool. Sixteen Penny has been busy with the construction of the home. The finished home at 136 S. Canterbury will feature:  5 bedrooms | 4.5 bath; 10 ft. ceilings on main and 9ft up with 8 ft. doors through out the home. Wolf/Viking appliance package with scullery pantry off kitchen, wet bar with beverage refrigerator in family room and a covered terrace overlooking a European pool with pergola and croquet green lawn. MLS# 3315814.

Contact Winnie Simmons for details about the property – 705-576-9225 or [email protected]




Foxcroft Renovation – Final Reveal!

It is finally time for the final review of 2000 Stedwick Place! We have been following along as real estate agent Winnie Simmons and her client Stuart Hicks have been renovating this home in the Foxcroft neighborhood of Charlotte, NC. The home was originally 5 bedrooms,  2.1 baths and had a 2 car garage. After the renovation, this home now has 6 bedrooms, 4.2 baths and a 3 car garage. Follow along below as we reveal the before and after photographs of this beautiful addition.

2000 stedwick front of home

We completely changed the landscape and exterior look of the home. All of the concrete was re-poured; the exterior was painted; the front porch was reconstructed to be more inviting and we added new shrubbery. The addition of the master bedroom, mudroom and garage were all added to the right side of the home.

before & after front porch

Next we turned our focus to the inside of the home. An open floor plan was desired so a wall was taken down between the old dining room and kitchen. The space opened up into a dining area which flows into the kitchen with a beautiful island that flows into the family room.

Dining room before & after

open kitchen before and after

Before and after family room

The new addition was added off of the original family room. An arched doorway was created that leads into the additional garage, mudroom and master bedroom/bathroom retreat. The master bedroom opens up to the expansive deck area complete with a fireplace.

before and after deck

The home originally had 3,024 sq feet. The addition added over 800 sq feet to the home. If you would like to see this beautiful home that shows like new construction, contact Winnie Simmons.

Thank you for following this beautiful transformation. Keep posted, we have another to share with you soon!


Part Two – Complete Home Renovation in Foxcroft

We are excited to share the next phase of the renovation in Foxcroft. When we last left you, Winnie Simmons and her client, Stuart Hicks,  were turning this existing 5 bedroom, 2.5 baths, 2 car garage into a new 6 bedroom, 4.5 baths and 3 car garage home. This includes an addition of a new master suite, additional garage bay, mudroom/laundry room and a big beautiful deck with a large brick fireplace overlooking the wooded lot and walking trails.

The client, Stuart Hicks, wanted to create an open concept kitchen and living area. This was achieved by taking down walls and creating a walk out onto a new wrap around deck with an outdoor fireplace. He then added new french doors opening onto the deck.

Next they decided that the existing home needed a full demo of all existing baths and kitchen. We added two new baths which includes the master bathroom. It was important to us to use all custom cabinets, marble, natural stone, high end tile and hardwood flooring throughout the home. The home has all new lighting and hardware throughout.  We renovated the front elevation by adding a new front door, shutters, front porch and clap board. The new addition is full brick veneer.

“I’m not really sure if it’s a service or a joy helping my client’s with: design, tile colors, hardware, counter tops and cabinetry” said Winnie. “I was a designer and an investor myself from 1994 – 2007 and have been a broker since 2009.” She began her real estate business in Nantucket, MA and Greenwich, CT and relocated back to her home state of North Carolina and Charlotte in 2004.

“The success of my clients, working with them through the entire process is one of my favorite aspects of my business. I love the hunt for the buy and identifying a property that will be a successful investment – it is a real honor to be part of my client’s team”.

After the renovation is completed, Winnie will put back on her real estate hat and market and sell the property, the Dickens Mitchener way. Stay tuned for the final reveal.

Coming Soon: Complete Home Renovation in Foxcroft!

Join us on a journey of a complete home renovation with Winnie Simmons and her client, Stuart Hicks. Stuart was looking for an investment property in the Foxcroft neighborhood of Charlotte. He chose to work with Winnie due to her experience in the design, build, investment process which she truly enjoys as well. The process can be lengthy and challenging due to lack of inventory or the price may exceed budget with necessary renovations. Sometimes investors have to be willing to keep looking or move on to another property if repairs are too extensive. They must be willing to be patient and buy at the right price. This will dictate success along with projected exit price when the project is complete and ready to be relisted. Staying on schedule with the renovation in order to take advantage of the market’s most popular times(such as spring), is also impactive to an investor’s optimum return.

Winnie always follows these steps in looking for an ideal property: 1. Identify a property that is a good candidate which is based on condition and purchase price. 2. She and her client must determine the highest and best use of the property – whether to renovate or scrape home and rebuild. 3. Follow the 3 tried and true rules: location, condition and price.

Winnie and Stuart went on a hunt in the area and found their pearl at 2000 Stedwick. They determined the highest and best use for this property in this location was to renovate the existing home. We will follow the renovations that will change this home from the existing 5 bedroom, 2.5 Baths, 2 car garage into the new 6 Bedroom, 4.5 baths and 3 car garage. The addition includes a new master suite, additional garage bay, mudroom/laundry room and a big beautiful deck with a large brick fireplace overlooking the wooded lot and walking trails.

Follow us in this exciting home renovation! Next up – pictures of the master bedroom/open concept living area and garage addition.

charlotte home renovation