Consumer hoaxes and scams – what to do if it happens to you

Consumer hoaxes and scams - what to do if it happens to you When you are in the middle of purchasing or selling a home, it is difficult to be prepared for every type of scenario that might pop up, which is why we always recommend working with a real estate agent to help guide you through anything unusual along the way.  Their market expertise particularly will come in handy … [Read more...]

On-line lenders and Real Estate

We are often asked at Solutions whether it makes more sense to go with a local lender in the Charlottesville area that knows the local market and is available to answer calls beyond regular office hours, or go with an online mortgage lender.  We see the commercials all the time about being approved in eight minutes by uploading your W2s and other tax info from your phone, thus beating out … [Read more...]

2019 New Year’s Eve in Charlottesville

2019 New Year’s Eve in Charlottesville New Year’s Eve falls on a Monday this year, but with the next day typically a national holiday there is still lots to do and enjoy around our area. The most beloved annual celebration in Charlottesville – known for its many family-friendly activities on and around the historic Downtown Mall – is celebrating its 37th birthday this year! First Night … [Read more...]

2018 Christmas In Charlottesville

Fun Ideas for the Holidays in Charlottesville With the weather turning a bit colder, and Thanksgiving on Thursday, it’s time once again to turn our thoughts to celebrating the holidays in Charlottesville.  Every year, there are signature events that define the season and we’ve compiled them for you below, along with some new traditions. We all know that shopping local helps the local economy, … [Read more...]

Declutter Regret

Declutter Regret When it comes to getting your home ready to list, we always recommend “decluttering” to help Buyers envision the house with their own furniture and personal items. We do not, however, recommend that our Sellers toss everything out in their anxiety to make their home as “show ready” as possible as it’s hard to tell whether those same items will be just the perfect fit for a new … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving in Charlottesville 2018 Once again we have arrived at the time of year that reminds everyone to slow down from all the rush of the holidays and enjoy a meal with family and friends and think of ways to be thankful. This year, Thanksgiving Day falls on Thursday, Nov. 22. Although history has shown us many different versions of when the first official date of Thanksgiving is in … [Read more...]

National Home Prices

National Home Prices - Oct 2018 The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) produces housing statistics on the national, regional, and metro-market level where data is available.  It is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries, and releases national and regional existing-home sales … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Halloween 2018

With Halloween about a week away, many houses around town are already sporting skeletons, cobwebs and other decorations, but there is still time to pick up a pumpkin and candy for the trick or treaters.  It’s time once again for a fun annual tradition in Charlottesville, even though it’s on a Wednesday evening this year. Here are some upcoming events to help you ease into the sugar … [Read more...]

Does your Homeowner Insurance cover you in a Natural Disaster?

Does your Homeowner Insurance cover you in a Natural Disaster? With the recent arrivals of Hurricanes Florence and Michael through our area - although a bit east of Charlottesville - it is understandable for local homeowners to wonder if their home insurance policies are up to date in the event we get a direct hit next time. A natural disaster is defined by the United Nations as "the … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Real Estate – CAAR 2018 Third Quarter Market Report

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2018 Third Quarter Market Report Our Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors has just released the latest real estate market report showing stats for sales in our area, 2018 3rd Quarter. This report comes out Quarterly and gives us a good idea of the current Real Estate Market in the greater Charlottesville Area. The specifics are pulled from our local … [Read more...]

Why is the Listing Agent Present at a showing when I have a Buyers Agent?

Here at Solutions, we often let our Buyer’s clients know that when they are going to open houses and a listing agent approaches them to let that agent know they are working with a Buyer’s agent.  This is to protect the potential Buyer as the listing agent is loyal to their Sellers FIRST and might not necessarily provide the same answers that they would be required to with a Buyer’s agent present … [Read more...]

Household Items that can be Recycled

Household Items that can be Recycled Did you know that the average person in the United States generates around 4.5 pounds of waste every single day? Multiply that by around 300 million, and you can see why garbage has become a serious problem in this country. This is just one reason why recycling is so important. Here in the Charlottesville area, the city and county have made a commitment … [Read more...]

Is the Current Real Estate Market at a Top?

In 2017, a majority of Americans began worrying that the real estate market was going to crash. In fact, 58 percent of those surveyed agreed that there will be a "housing bubble and price correction" in the next two years. As a result, 83 percent of them believed it was a good time to sell. Here in the Charlottesville area, the market has maintained its low inventory of resale homes, which has … [Read more...]

Should I replace my windows?

Should I replace my windows? How will you know it’s time to think about changing your home’s windows? The best indication is on rainy days, oftentimes your windows will start to show you that they are nearing the end of their useful life, or just in need of some repairs, if you notice condensation or foggy glass. Although they don’t last forever, high-quality, well-maintained windows could … [Read more...]

​2018 Parade of Homes Charlottesville

2018 Parade of Homes The 55th Annual Blue Ridge Home Builders Association (BRHBA) Parade of Homes is scheduled to take place the first two weekends in October, 6 & 7 and 13 & 14, from noon to 5 pm each day. All Parade homes, neighborhoods and design centers will be open and free to the public both weekends. The BRHBA was organized in 1964 to unite Charlottesville builders with the … [Read more...]

Generation Z and Home Buying

Generation Z and Home Buying Most members of Gen Z - born between 1994 and 2005 and now 23 and younger - expect to own their first home by age 28 - three years younger than the median age of first-time homeowners; and another nearly 100,000 already own a home. By contrast Gen Y - born between 1977 and 1994 - has made it pretty clear that they aren’t ready to take the homeownership plunge … [Read more...]

How to stay cool in Charlottesville

How to stay cool in Charlottesville Summer in Charlottesville runs the gamut from warm rainy days to several humid and really hot days in a row with afternoon thunderstorms to top off and alleviate the sweltering hours just before.  Residents always know to carry an umbrella in their car just in case, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and make sure the AC in their cars is working starting … [Read more...]

Are Mortgage Points a Good Idea?

Are Mortgage Points a Good Idea? When it comes to deciding on what type of loan you will need to purchase a house, it’s a good idea to arm yourself with as much information as possible.  One topic that comes up time and again is buying mortgage points and whether they can save you in the long run, if the numbers line up correctly. If you don’t know what they are, just read on. What are … [Read more...]

Space Saving Tips for a Small Kitchen

Space Saving Tips for a Small Kitchen in Charlottesville The kitchen is the heart of the home - a well-designed one has minimal clutter and maximum efficiency, but when you are working with a small kitchen it’s doubly important to use the space well. Add mirrors Mirrors add the illusion of space - if you install them on cabinet doors they will highlight the light in the kitchen as well as … [Read more...]

2018 Home Design Ideas – Charlottesville VA

2018 Home Design Ideas Have you ever wondered what designers are thinking when they come up with the latest “It” color or other such trends for the season?  For example, on some sites, lavender and lilac are being touted as the new colors for 2018, taking over from millennial pink, which vaguely resembles Pepto-Bismol. Below we look through the trends designers were talking about last … [Read more...]

Myths about Selling your home

Myths about Selling your home When it comes to thinking about selling your home it can feel like you’re all of a sudden getting a ton of unsolicited advice from everyone - your neighbor, best friend, or even from the evening news or online. So, what’s the best way to sort out what is truly helpful advice versus the myths that come up time and again? One great way is to contact your Solutions … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Real Estate – CAAR 2018 Second Quarter Market Report

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2018 Second Quarter Market Report Our Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors has just released the latest real estate market report showing stats for sales in our area, 2018 2nd Quarter. This report comes out Quarterly and gives us a good idea of the current Real Estate Market in the greater Charlottesville Area. The specifics are pulled from our local … [Read more...]

How to Clean Out Your Closet

If you are contemplating putting your house on the market, or just need a fresh new beginning, now would be a perfect time to re-evaluate your wardrobe and make room for new, seasonal pieces.  Cleaning out your closet can seem like a daunting task. Getting rid of your clothes, even if you haven’t worn them in years (and years, and years), isn’t easy.  Now that summer is officially here, do a … [Read more...]

Minimal Cost Kitchen Upgrades That Will Increase the Value of Your Home

Minimal Cost Kitchen Upgrades That Will Increase the Value of Your Home The kitchen is the room where you spend most of your time, so are there cheerful and cost effective ways to update the space without gutting it (or your wallet) to get a whole new look? We have some great tips for you. The average kitchen remodel costs a staggering $18,856 - and high-end ones average $54,909 - but you … [Read more...]

Fourth of July Charlottesville 2018

Fourth of July events around the Charlottesville Area The United States of America is celebrating its 242nd Birthday this year and we’re pleased to see many of our surrounding communities, including the city of Charlottesville, are planning fun celebrations. Here’s a short round up of what’s available. Crozet The July 4th weekend will start on Saturday, June 30, in Crozet with the 8th … [Read more...]

The top places for Brunch in Charlottesville

Going out to brunch in Charlottesville is a delight as there are numerous options and get locations to choose from. Below are three that you may like! MarieBette Café and Bakery This is bar none most people’s go-to brunch, lunch and anytime destination on Rose Hill Drive, just past the intersection with Preston Avenue - the lines are typically out the door and you can get into some great … [Read more...]

Things I wish I knew before buying my first home

For a first time home buyer, choosing and then buying a new home can be a confusing and somewhat daunting task. Here at Solutions, we’ll help you understand the process and find the home that's the perfect fit. Know your needs. First, examine your lifestyle. Do you want to be in the country? Would you like to walk to work or other city spots? Looking forward to a family-friendly suburban … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Area Flooding

IMPORTANT REMINDER If you come to a road with moving/standing water - turn around - do not attempt to go through the water, unseen dangerous conditions are possible. June 2018 stated off with more of the same torrential rain that made the month of May around here a soggy mess.  The last week of May, in particular, turned deadly as at least two people have been confirmed dead from accidents … [Read more...]

Ticks in Charlottesville

Ticks in Charlottesville And now on to everyone’s favorite topic of conversation this time of year - ticks!  According to a recent NBC 29 report, tick experts believe the 2018 season could be the worst in years. That’s because a relatively mild winter helped the tick population. Warmer weather - especially from April to September - means that ticks will soon become more active, increasing … [Read more...]

Plug-In Charlottesville

Plug-In Charlottesville So you bought an electric car, now where do you plug it in? It’s comforting to know that at least in the city of Charlottesville there are several locations where you can pull up and plug in your electric car.  If you are interested in finding places to fill up outside city limits - and even around the state and country - please click on the link to the PlugShare … [Read more...]

Pantops Traffic Charlottesville – Is there a Solution?

As any commuter or soccer parent knows, crossing over Pantops in the morning or afternoon, at any time during the week or weekend, takes planning ahead for the inevitable delays and congestion backups at the various traffic lights, especially at the Rt. 20 intersection. Traffic has been a much-discussed topic of conversation for the past decade or more. Albemarle County has been working since … [Read more...]

Summer 2018 in Charlottesville

Summer 2018 in Charlottesville Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer and 2018 is rapidly filling up with fun activities for the entire family to enjoy. From farmer’s markets to hiking, tubing and vineyard tasting, to music at various venues around town, there’s truly something for everyone.  Farmers Markets Long a favorite as a Saturday morning destination, and now starting its … [Read more...]

Where do I buy an investment property in Charlottesville?

Where do I buy an investment property in Charlottesville? Here in Charlottesville, the University of Virginia drives a great deal of the investment property decisions as many investors would like to capture the student/grad student/medical resident market with their choice of property, so location is key. The other areas where investors like to be are near the Law/Darden and JAG schools or … [Read more...]

Hibiscus and Frost

Hibiscus and Frost My wife and I just lost a Hibiscus to Frost so we thought it was appropriate to write this blog: After the unpredictable winter we’ve experienced this year we know many gardeners and homeowners alike who are trying to get some color going in their gardens right away instead of waiting patiently for the regular perennials to make their appearance. Recently, we bought a … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Real Estate – CAAR 2018 First Quarter Market Report

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2018 First Quarter Market Report Our Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors has just released the latest real estate market report showing stats for sales in our area, 2018 1st Quarter. This report comes out Quarterly and gives us a good idea of the current Real Estate Market in the greater Charlottesville Area. The specifics are pulled from our local … [Read more...]

What Does a Builder’s Warranty Cover?

What Does a Builder's Warranty Cover? With the boom in new building construction taking place all over Charlottesville - from Crozet to in town and all along the 29 North corridor - many people considering building new might also want to think about what the builder’s warranty will cover after the home is built. Or, what it might cover if you buy a newer home a few years after that. Most … [Read more...]

Home Buying Tips for 2018

Home Buying Tips for 2018 Springtime typically means warmer temps and blooming flowers in the Charlottesville area, although the start to this year’s spring has been anything but typical with snow showers on the first official day of spring, and interspersed with sunnier days ever since. The market is indeed different from year to year, and spring 2018 is already shaping up to be a uniquely … [Read more...]

Should You Buy in a Gated Community? 

Should You Buy in a Gated Community?  We have already looked at the pros and cons of buying a home in a neighborhood that has a Homeowner’s Association. Let’s now look at homes that go one step further - those that are located in a gated community. A gated community is a collection of homes that are accessible only to residents and their guests via a gate or wall across any roadways in or out. … [Read more...]

Why some Real Estate Deals Fail

When you’re in the middle of the buying process, there are several things that can crop up that might throw a monkey wrench in the works - also known as “deal killers.” Despite the recent pickup in spring sales activity, the tough lending climate continues to kick up obstacles for both Buyers and Sellers — from obscure zoning problems to 11th-hour mortgage glitches. One of the best ways to … [Read more...]

Why is home inventory so low?

Why is home inventory so low? Spring is typically the time when new listings are popping up on the market like so many daffodils in a meadow, but this hasn’t been the case for some time. Inventory of available homes on the market is the lowest it’s been in two decades, but the reasons may surprise you. Two of the likely culprits are baby boomers and homeowners who are simply satisfied with … [Read more...]

Getting your yard ready for Spring

Getting your yard ready for Spring in Charlottesville Despite the appearance of snow flurries around the area today, Spring is one of the most important times to perform maintenance to your lawn.  Winter weather can leave your grass, shrubs and trees weak and hungry, especially after months of lying dormant. By following the steps below you can help prevent your beautiful lawn from being … [Read more...]

Should I have a Whole House Generator in Charlottesville?

Should I have a Whole House Generator in Charlottesville? With last Thursday’s strong wind storm knocking out power to much of Central Virginia, as well as up the Northeast corridor, many home owners are asking if having a whole house generator is the right choice for them. Memories of the 2012 derecho and recent hurricane activity also brings this to mind. After major weather events, we have … [Read more...]

Spring 2018 – Charlottesville VA

Spring 2018 - Charlottesville VA Cherry trees, winter jasmine and daffodils are already dotting the Charlottesville streets with color as we look at the last days of February and peek into March.  Daylight Savings time starts at 2 am on Sunday, March 11, and Spring officially begins this year on March 20. Residents and visitors alike know what’s coming - Charlottesville is beyond compare in … [Read more...]

Virginia Festival of the Book 2018 – Charlottesville VA

Virginia Festival of the Book 2018 - Charlottesville VA If you hear a buzz of excitement on the Downtown Mall and around town this time of year, you know it’s almost time once again for the Virginia Festival of the Book (VFB), which celebrates its 24th anniversary this year! The annual Festival will be held March 21-25, 2018, in and around Charlottesville, and brings readers and writers … [Read more...]

Interest Rates are Rising – What does this mean for you?

Interest Rates are Rising - What does this mean for you? As of Feb. 9, mortgage interest rates were moving up, though not to the point where they are expected to dampen the demand for home ownership or curtail the strength of the U.S. housing market. The rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage climbed to 4.5% at the end of January, close to a four-year high, according to Capital Economics. This … [Read more...]

Groundhog Day 2018 and Charlottesville Real Estate

Groundhog Day 2018 and Charlottesville Real Estate Groundhog Day 2018 is now past us and Punxsutawney Phil, in the same named town in Pennsylvania (and from his hill home at “Gobbler’s Knob”), has predicted six more weeks of winter.  The movie of the same name celebrated 25 years on Friday and Bill Murray’s title character would agree that, sometimes, the real estate market feels like it … [Read more...]

2018 Design House Charlottesville

2018 Design House Charlottesville Address: 2525 Wind River Road, Charlottesville VA 22901 - MAY 7 – MAY 22, 2016 Open every day: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Extended hours on Wed & Thurs: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Purchase tickets online or at the door starting May 7. What is Design House? In 2009, the Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE) celebrated its 30th anniversary, and a vision for establishing a … [Read more...]

Can I Afford a Home in Charlottesville?

Is Charlottesville Housing Affordable?  The city of Charlottesville is a town in constant flux - students move from place to place as they travel through their University careers, medical residents live here for about three years before heading off to other opportunities, visiting scientists and professors stay for a year or two before moving again, and government employees are stationed at the … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Real Estate Market Report 2017 Fourth Quarter

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2017 Fourth Quarter Market Report Our Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors has just released the latest real estate market report showing stats for sales in our area, 2017 4th Quarter. This report comes out Quarterly and gives us a good idea of the current Real Estate Market in the greater Charlottesville Area. The specifics are pulled from our local … [Read more...]

We Buy Homes for Cash (Seller Beware)

We Buy Homes for Cash (Seller Beware) You have seen these signs on telephone poles, but what exactly are they all about? Can they be legitimate? Maybe you've received a flyer in the mail that promises investors will buy your house - in any condition - and for all cash.  Some of these signs say the Buyers are real estate licensees, but they will not charge you a commission. A smart person … [Read more...]

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Charles McDonaldBy Charles McDonald - Charles, and his firm, Charlottesville Solutions, are known locally and around the world for helping people relocate to the Charlottesville area. His background (running his own engineering firm for 20+ years in the Silicon Valley) has given him the skills to not only develop this site but also to manage a stellar group of agents!
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