Charles McDonald
Charles McDonald

Buyers Agent, Listing Specialist, Skilled Negotiator


• Interview •

Charles loves to spend a day showing off Charlottesville. He discovered this area, years ago, and decided it was the perfect place to raise a family.


Starting Charlottesville Solutions was a natural thing for Charles to do. Having run his own Engineering Business for over 20 years in the Bay Area, working with technology and people is second nature to him.

Charles moved to Charlottesville with his family 19 years ago and so understands the process and needs of buyers who are relocating to our area. Charles focuses on New Construction and relocation with his clients and working with buyers is his true passion.

Charles, why Charlottesville?

It is so simple, my background is Engineering and when I researched places to raise my family, back in 2000, I found Charlottesville. My criteria is a lot like many of my buyers. Excellent schools, low crime, four seasons, really the quality of life we all look for in a place to live. It was the best decision of my life.

Where is your favorite place to eat?

Duners, excellent food, small town feel and can alway count on running into friends. Only downside is they do not take reservations, but I suspect if they did, getting one would be tough. It is first come first serve.

What is your favorite event or show you have seen?

I would say seeing the Rolling Stones Live in Charlottesville, however we are going to Cirque du Solei at the John Paul Jones Arena, so I may have to change my vote.

What is your favorite time of year?

To me Fall is the most beautiful, however I actually like Winter best. It is because our real estate market slows a little and I can spend more time with family and of course the holidays.

What about Charlottesville surprises you the most?

How people complain about the traffic on 29 North. It really is nothing and when you compare to other places, like California, DC or New York, I just have to laugh.

Charlottesville Hidden Gem?

It is not really Hidden, but I love Monticello, the history of the area and the fact that I live a mile from the birth place of Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark).

Favorite Vineyard?

Glass House Winery. My good friends and clients, Jeff and Michelle Sanders, moved here and I helped them buy the property. Over the years they have transformed it into a wonderful landmark in Albemarle County.

Lifetime accomplishment?

My loving family is certainly number one. Beyond that, running my own Engineering business and now a successful real estate brokerage.

Why Real Estate?

After moving to Charlottesville and purchasing my own home, I then bought a few investment properties. I found that I wanted to be more educated about the process and the details of a caveat emptor state. So I took some classes and soon realized that I have a passion for helping solve the puzzle of locating that perfect property for my clients.

Favorite Vacation?

Honeymoon on the Island of Kauai and as a young man I traveled to Hawaii, Fiji and Australia scuba diving...twice.

Favorite Tech Tool?

This will be shocking but a blue-tooth earpiece that I helped design many years ago. In fact anything blue-tooth, I am looking forward to our cars being fully automated and of course, full home-automation.

Favorite Place to Shop?

Don't laugh... "on-line"

Advice for Buyers?

I will refer to Jefferson's Ten Rules... number 4. "Never buy what you don't want because it is cheap" I see this mistake made by first-time buyers and even seasoned investors.

• Testimonials •

Like Family – Charles has been an absolute godsend to my husband and I throughout our relocation process to Charlottesville. From our first phone call to acquaint ourselves, we felt like part of his family and not like clients. His knowledge of Charlottesville and his real estate savvy are obvious benefits to any clients but his warmth, empathy and sincere interest in our best interests meant the world and made a stressful process fun. He is patient, informative and honest and he makes you stop and really think about things you maybe would have overlooked. He really listened to what we said, remembered it and sometimes had to remind us what we were really looking for in a house, area and overall. Charles is a treasure and we would recommend him to anyone who needs a real estate “friend” in finding a home in the Charlottesville and surrounding areas. We will use him again if we ever tire of the perfect house he found for us!

Kathy and Matt

Cross Country Relocation – Charles recently orchestrated our cross-country move from a large city in California to Charlottesville. Beginning more than two years ago, in anticipation of an active retirement, our goal was to find a vibrant, yet more relaxed, community on the East Coast, close to family. From prompt responses to early email inquiries to multiple personal tours of the Charlottesville vicinity, we were privileged to develop a personal relationship with Charles so that by the time we had sold our house in California and it was time to move east, we were able to locate an ideal property just outside of town, negotiate a fair deal and get into contract in less than 48 hours. Once in contract, Charles arranged all of the inspections, oversaw the escrow process and provided invaluable local insights to make our move a seamless as reasonably possible. Truly, one of the best real estate experiences we have ever had. Thank you, Charles

David and Judy

Finding the perfect home – My husband and I are beyond thrilled that we found Charles and Charlottesville Solutions. Charles is one of the most passionate and knowledgeable real estate agents we’ve met. He has extensive knowledge of the area and local market, and he is truly about finding the right home for his buyer, not just closing a deal on a house. Charles is caring, professional, responsive, and committed. We would highly recommend him to any buyer or seller!

Jessica and Jeff

Built a Home in Western Albemarle – Charles is an absolute professional in the real estate business. My wife Laura and I began the process of building our first new home with Craig Builders. But first, we needed a lot…and we were clueless. Charles met us on site whenever it worked best for us and we poured through lot options, pros and cons, drainage considerations, basement/no basement, you name it and he was thinking about the possibilities.
Once we had a lot, we then had to choose a floor plan, pricing options, etc. His experience and guidance was invaluable. He has a very inviting and kind attitude towards us as the clients, the builders, etc. But don’t get me wrong, he’ll tell you when something isn’t right! 🙂
Despite me stopping by the home site an insane number of times during this building process, Charles was also there with me step for step thinking through practical considerations, checking for accuracy according to our customized plans and so forth.
I can’t say enough about Charles experience and guidance literally from start to finish in the home buying process, specifically with our new construction process. We highly recommend him to anyone buying or building in the greater Charlottesville area.
Also:  I remember I called you in Spring 2012 while I was still living in Charleston! about an imaginary (proposed) house listed on a lot in Western Albemarle.  I then proceeded to ask you no less than 100 detailed questions.  I recall being on the phone with you for nearly 1 hour that afternoon!  And all because your name and number were at the bottom of that listing page!  Thus a working relationship was born! Thanks again for everything,

Dr. Nick & Laura Paphitis

Relocated from CA, Found a Dream Home – Charles is a delight to deal with! To start with, his web site allowed us out-of-staters to search homes, get an idea about areas and become familiar with the town – all without a requirement to provide contact information and getting a call from a realtor before we were ready.

Upon meeting with Charles in Charlottesville – it just got better. We had identified potential prospects and with his help we narrowed it down to a manageable list to go and see. Any information I needed was either instantly available or he would follow up very quickly with more data. He knew, for example, that the house we now own was in a neighborhood where no more subdivision was permitted – thereby assuring us that the protected view and privacy were permanent. Charles pointed out details which I had missed as we went along (like an irregular roof line which is a higher cost to replace) and it really felt like he was our “agent” in that we knew he was looking out for us.

He has the most amazing talent for listening and helping a home buyer crystallize their requirements for their ideal home. As he did that, he further narrowed down the list to exclude items like “on a busy road”, or “small, outdated kitchen” so we ended up visiting only homes which were candidates. What a great use of time!

During the purchase and move-in process, Charles and his office were ready to help with all kinds of details while we were across the country. Identifying qualified inspectors and repair staff, even down to a contacts for home (and car) insurance and appearing for us during inspections made our purchase experience a lot more convenient and eliminated frustration.

On move-in day, we were surprised to find our refrigerator stocked with essentials as a move-in gift. Nearly a year later, we still walk around the house and yard and comment on their beauty and how perfect the house is for us. We love it.

Because of all of these reasons, we are wholeheartedly able to recommend Charles and his staff to anyone purchasing (or selling) a home. Since that time, Charles and his family have enriched our lives by becoming treasured friends. I can’t imagine a better recommendation than that.

Catherine and Rocky

Retired to Charlottesville – Hi Charles, Charlie and I so enjoyed our time with you! Your love of Charlottesville is infectious. We didn’t feel like we were with a real estate agent, but rather with a friend, passionate about his community. We felt heard and understood, the result of your masterful listening skills; you continually checked understanding of our requirements, refining as needed, which assisted us in gaining clarity as well. Your broad knowledge base and brilliant engineering mind left us feeling confident that we were in good hands. Thank you kindly for your generosity of spirit; we are blessed to be working with you. All the best,

Irene and Charlie

Gold Standard – Having used many realtors in the past, I have to say that Charles is the gold standard. We were lucky enough to meet him when my parents were selling a home. His professional and friendly manner and the way he worked with and advocated for his clients was impressive. Our extended family has now bought and sold homes with his help multiple times, and have been grateful for his guidance, knowledge and As our latest purchase of land to build on shows, he sometimes knows what you REALLY want, even when you start out looking for something completely different. He listens very carefully and seems to understand better than you do, what your needs are.

Paula S

CA to VA and Loving it – When I was planning a move to the Charlottesville area from the San Francisco Bay Area, Charles came highly recommended, and it wasn’t without reason. He listened to everything I wanted in a home, and we spent a day together looking for homes that met my needs and my price range. He was so spot-on that I ended up buying the very first house that he showed me! He negotiated well for me, and made the process very easy from searching to mortgage broker to the closing. Charles has been open to my questions even after my closing, and I feel taken care of in the community because of how available he is. I’m a happy first-time home owner for nearly two years now, and I will definitely go to Charles again next time! I’ve recommended him to friends, and will continue to do so!


Northern VA to Charlottesville – Hi Charles, Just wanted to let you know that we finally have a contract on our Fairfax house. Rob and I were really missing your technical expertise throughout the contract process — our realtor e-mailed me the contract, then I had to print it out to sign and scan it to e-mail it back, and every time I sent it, her mailbox was full so I had to call her to have her clear it out. Since we went back and forth with the buyer a few times, this was quite a process. I can’t tell you how many times Rob or I said “this would never happen with Charles!”… If we ever know anyone buying or selling in this area, we will definitely pass your name along. You made a stressful process go so much more easily. Take care –

Nancy and Rob

Building with Charles – Dear Charles, Now that our beautiful new home is complete and we are about to move in, we wanted to take the time to thank you for everything you have done to help make this possible.
Your service has gone way beyond anything we could ever have expected, or have ever experienced, from a real estate professional. You spent many hours driving us around Charlottesville, over several different weekend visits, and patiently showed us different neighborhoods and houses.
As we worked together, you figured out what we were looking for, and brought us to the development where we ultimately put an offer on our new house. You expertly helped us with our negotiations with the builder, from the offer stage, while the house was being built, and all the way through settlement.
Since we live 2 hours away, we were comforted by your keeping an eye on the construction for us. You always stayed calm and found solutions to everything and every issue that came up.
We are very excited about our move to Charlottesville, and, again, want to thank you for being there for us every step of the way. All the best,

Mitch and Doreen

• Recent Sales •