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...]

Livability – 5 best places to live in Charlottesville 

With a population now hovering around 44,500 and often the subject of Top Ten lists nation and world, the city of Charlottesville has a lot to offer locals and transplants alike. Greenbrier takes Number 1 spot According to a recent look at the five best places to live in Charlottesville, ranked by their livability scores, the Greenbrier neighborhood takes the top spot at 84 out of 100, and also … [Read more...]

2018 New Year’s Eve in Charlottesville

New Year’s Eve Celebrations Around The Area New Year’s Eve falls on a Sunday 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 36th birthday this year. First … [Read more...]

2017 Christmas In Charlottesville – Fun Ideas for the Holidays

With Thanksgiving on Thursday, it’s now time 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, but celebrating local also helps the community spirit as well. We’ll start with the … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving in Charlottesville 2017 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. Although history has shown us many different versions of when the first official date of Thanksgiving is in North America – Native Americans had been giving thanks … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Halloween 2017

Charlottesville Halloween 2017 Although Halloween decorations made their appearance in grocery stores around town back in late August, now is the time when people have finished decorating their yards and getting ready for a fun annual tradition in Charlottesville, even though it’s on a Tuesday evening this year. JMRL- Gordon Avenue On Friday, October 27, at 10:30 am, come and enjoy “Hotel … [Read more...]

Charlottesville 2017 3rd Quarter Market Report

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2017 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, 2017 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...]

Charlottesville 2017 2nd Quarter Market Report (revised)

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2017 Second Quarter Market Report (REVISED) Revised reports are posted below for 2Q 2017, based upon a discrepancy in the current and historical inventory statistics. Upon review, a MLS data update in early June resulted in the inaccurate counts. While the current Greater Charlottesville statistic for "inventory of homes for sale" was previously stated as … [Read more...]

A Tour Around Charlottesville

A tour around our Charlottesville area Afton Afton straddles Albemarle and Nelson counties, and is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 20 miles west of Charlottesville.  Its highest elevation is 1,362 feet and one of the most beautiful vistas of the area can be seen at the lookout at the top of Rt. 64 as you cross over from Waynesboro heading east, near the Rockfish … [Read more...]

Welcome to Crozet 

Welcome to Crozet  The community of Crozet began as a whistle stop on the Chesapeake and Ohio (C & O) Railroad that was established at the request of the Miller Manual Labor School (the Miller School), which had been founded a year earlier.  Originally called "Wayland's Crossing," it was renamed in 1870 in honor of Colonel Claudius Crozet (1789-1864), the French-born civil engineer … [Read more...]

Rivanna Trail around Charlottesville

Rivanna Trail around Charlottesville Here in Charlottesville, we have a true example of what happens when volunteers get together and work on a community project - the Rivanna Trail around the city. The Rivanna Trails Foundation (RTF) is a non-profit corporation founded in 1992 by area citizens with a dream to create a trail system throughout the greenbelt of the Rivanna river and its … [Read more...]

Ivy Creek Natural Area

One of our area’s greatest treasures is the Ivy Creek Natural Area (ICNA), a 215-acre preserve bordering the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir, which is located off Earlysville Road - just down the road from the Rock Store on the way to the Reservoir.  Long a destination for those who really enjoy a walk in the woods nearer to Charlottesville, the preserve is a “mix of upland woods, pine stands, open … [Read more...]

Open Houses – How Effective are They Really?

When it comes to listing your home, the idea of an “Open House” will most likely come up in a conversation with your listing agent.  When the weather turns from Winter to Spring and Summer, newspapers and signs start appearing promoting the latest Open House opportunity - usually on a Sunday - but they’re not always the right choice when selling a home.  Here at Solutions, we don’t always … [Read more...]

Charlottesville 2017 2nd Quarter Market Report

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2017 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, 2017 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...]

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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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