What happens if your yard floods?

It seems like we can’t go a week without some sort of substantial rainfall these days. In areas where there has been a drought this has not been an issue as they are grateful to have it, but in areas where the soil is already saturated problems are cropping up. If rainwater collects in your yard, you can wind up with large pools that can damage the landscaping and flood your basement. If … [Read more...]

What to do if your House floods

With all the recent rain in Virginia lately, not to mention the damaging flooding in the Mid- and Southwest, a homeowner’s mind naturally turns to thoughts of what to do if it happens to you? One of the most damaging and devastating things you can ever experience as a homeowner is a flood. There are many causes including: heavy rains; sewer back-up; malfunctioning sump-pump; and burst … [Read more...]

Remodels That Make Good Resale Value Sense — and Those That Don’t

When faced with knowing you need to remodel your home, actually beginning the project sometimes can end up being pushed back time and time again because it’s difficult to know when is the best time to begin and what makes the most sense in adding value to your home. Decisions can lead to new dilemmas, unintended consequences and surprising outcomes. In some cases, these dreaming of the … [Read more...]

Common Bathroom-Layout Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Putting in a new bathroom can be costly, so you’ll want to be sure that it delivers. Although that striking freestanding tub or statement tile may be all the fashion today, it’s the layout that largely determines how well the space works and whether you can get a great return on your investment.  What are the most common layout mistakes homeowners make and how can you avoid … [Read more...]

How to Determine a Home’s Value

Many Home Buyers believe the physical characteristics of a house will lead to increased property value. But, in reality, a property's physical structure tends to depreciate over time, while the land it sits on typically appreciates in value.  Although this distinction may not appear to be much, understanding how prospective land values influence property returns lets investors make better … [Read more...]

Things Every Homeowner Should Do Once a Year

Owning a home comes with many benefits, as well as responsibilities. From housework to decorations and even renovating, we all need to make constant upgrades to add value to our home and make it more comfortable.  There are a number of things, however, that might not yet be on your radar, but these will help you enjoy your home for years to come. Drain Hot Water Heater Sediment … [Read more...]

2019 Real Estate Tax Rates

(Updated May 6, 2019) While the city of Charlottesville’s tax rate has remained steady, Albemarle County’s just increased from 83.9 to 85.4 cents per $100 of assessed value.  Our City and local Counties set their own tax rates and then you pay your taxes based on the assessed value of your property at these rates. Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa and Nelson counties all saw an … [Read more...]

The Salary Needed to Buy a Home in 50 U.S. Metro Areas

Have you ever wondered how much you would have to earn to be able to afford in a home in your area? And, how does this compare to other areas around the country? The Salary Needed to Buy a Home in 50 U.S. Metro Areas Here in the greater Charlottesville area, the latest first quarter numbers from CAAR for 2019 indicate the following: The Median Sales Price decreased 11.3 percent to … [Read more...]

Spring 2019 in Charlottesville

Dogwoods and redbuds are in full bloom after the recent rains and spring is once again here in Charlottesville. One could argue there really isn’t a prettier place to be than in this area for spring - neighborhood streets boast a riot of colors, from small plants to bushes and trees that drape over the walkways - we are truly a green town and even greener countryside. We also know the … [Read more...]

Historic Garden Week 2019

Each spring visitors are welcomed to over 250 of Virginia's most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks during "America's Largest Open House." This year marks the 86th annual time that visitors can tour the beauty that is Virginia in the spring. Garden Week features 31 tours over an 8-day statewide event - from April 27 through May 4, 2019 - and provides visitors with a unique … [Read more...]

UVA Cavaliers win NCAA Championship for the First Time in School History!

In an unbelievable ending that began a year ago with one of the worst losses ever in the NCAA tournament, the University of Virginia Cavaliers pulled off an incredible titanic win in Minneapolis, MN, on Monday, April 8, 2019, to take their place in school history as the first team ever to come back home with the Championship trophy. The last time UVA was in the NCAA tournament was back in … [Read more...]

FRIDAYS AFTER FIVE celebrates its 32nd Season!

Charlottesville’s Fridays After Five Free Concert Series is set to begin its 32nd year on Friday, April 12 - right in the middle of another annual tradition around here, the Tom Tom Festival. Residents and visitors alike enjoy going Downtown on Friday evenings after work to enjoy free music and meet up with friends and family members. This annual tradition has been located in several … [Read more...]

Charlottesville’s Annual Dogwood Festival celebrating 69 Years in 2019!

There are very few certainties in life, but we can say, here in Charlottesville, once you see the hillside along both sides of Route 250 near the Hydraulic Road intersection ablaze in blooming forsythia you just know the redbuds and dogwoods are not far behind.  And then, we all know what dogwoods around here mean - they’re the sign the Annual Charlottesville Dogwood Festival is about to … [Read more...]

Millennials Taking Over in the Home Buyer Field

We’ve seen this trend building momentum in the past year or two, but now there is irrefutable proof that millennials are taking over the homeowner leaderboard.  They’re getting older and finding stable careers, their household income has increased to $88,200, and they’re looking to buy their first homes. This works out perfectly for them as more baby boomers are retiring and … [Read more...]

Ways to Spruce Up Your Home For Spring

Now that we have begun Daylight Savings Time once more, you can also begin sprucing up your garden and house as Spring is around the corner.  Even though it feels like we have had nothing but rain since the beginning of the year - with the odd snow shower here and there mixed in - yesterday’s sunshine revealed that bulbs are beginning to sprout in gardens around town and a few cherry … [Read more...]

Mortgage Interest Rates – On the Rise?

Lenders in our area have been talking about this issue for some time - mortgage interest rates are on the rise again after years of being at a standstill.  Interest rates are projected to increase to an average of 5% for a 30-year mortgage and 4.4% for a 15-year mortgage. So, what does this mean for Buyers? It’s been seven years since mortgage rates were this high. But despite … [Read more...]

Real Estate in 2019 – What’s ahead?

As we saw in 2018 in the Charlottesville area, the spring market seemed to begin in early January, when it usually starts heating up in mid-February. Sales seemed to slow down a bit in mid-summer as there still wasn't enough actual inventory - either resale or new construction - to supply the increasing demand.  Many landlords have taken advantage of the number of people needing … [Read more...]

What to Look For When Buying Vacant Land

With the lack of resale housing inventory in our area for the past few years, many Buyers are turning to the idea of purchasing some land and building their own home.  But, what are some of the things you may need to look out for, and the right questions to ask (known as “due diligence”), in finding the right lot? Land can be a great investment, but it’s also a matter of knowing … [Read more...]

Ways to Prevent Winter Mold and Mildew in Your House

Although humidity levels are lower during winter, if you live in a cold climate, kicking up the heater during winter months doesn’t just keep you warm — it also helps to create a perfect environment for winter mold and mildew. The wet season in the winter months is one of the best times of year for molds to grow and expand. Often mold is contained near sources of water where it can … [Read more...]

Is This the Right Time for Remodeling?

With the recent government shutdown and uncertainty about rising rates, homeowners might start to think twice about tackling a remodeling project this year, unless they have the skills and knowledge to do the work themselves.  36951394 - female hands framing custom kitchen design drawing and photo combination. Despite a strong 2018 in our area, and after several years of booming … [Read more...]

How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

With this morning’s single digit temps in the Charlottesville area, our thoughts quickly turn to a topic on everyone’s minds this time of year - how to make sure your pipes don't freeze. When temperatures plummet, the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting skyrockets. In fact, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during frigid weather and can cause … [Read more...]

Tips For Winter Driving in Virginia

With the first snow of the winter season in early December, drivers in the Charlottesville area had their first quick taste of the winter to come - one that was confirmed with the most recent snowfall this past weekend.  The winter season can be hard on vehicles, which is why it's important drivers prepare well in advance of when the harshest conditions arrive. It’s also good to know … [Read more...]

Ways to Declutter When Downsizing Your Home

With the beginning of a new year, our thoughts often turn to decluttering our lives in order to have a fresh start, and that includes where we live.  With the new trend of “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” in our minds, it’s often difficult to know where to begin. Downsizing and moving can be both stressful and exciting. It’s also the perfect time to embrace one of the key lessons of … [Read more...]

Was it Easier to Buy a Home before the Internet?

It’s difficult to imagine buying a house in the years before the Internet, but it did happen and there are plenty of anecdotes to prove it.  Back in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the GI Bill was instrumental in helping former soldiers and their families go back to school and also thereafter purchase a home because they didn’t have the student loan debt.   In those days, the … [Read more...]

Celebrating 25 Years of the Book this March! – Virginia Festival of the Book

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 25th anniversary this year! The 25th annual Virginia Festival of the Book will be held Wednesday, March 20, through Sunday, March 24, 2019, in venues across Charlottesville and Albemarle County, and … [Read more...]

All about The Lodge at Old Trail

Charlottesville is on a number of Top Ten lists - Best Place to Live and Best Public University for UVA - so it makes a great deal of sense that it is also known as one of the Best Places to Retire.  The Lodge at Old Trail View It offers Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care residences in a rustically elegant setting just 12 miles from historic Charlottesville. In May … [Read more...]

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...]

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Charles McDonald
Charles McDonald
Charlottesville Solutions
2013 Woodbrook Court, Charlottesville VA 22901
REALTOR® - Licensed to sell Real Estate in Virginia
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