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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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 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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Jumping into Early Possession can be Risky

Early Possession - Is It a Good or Bad Idea? In a perfect world, moving into a new home is seamless for both the Seller and Buyer, and possession of a home typically transfers from the Seller to Buyer at closing.  But, when you factor in such events as the Buyer also selling a home or ending a lease before the settlement date, or the Seller building a new home that isn’t quite ready, Early … [Read more...]

Drones and Real Estate

Drones and Real Estate More and more these days, if you’re outside in a lovely spot admiring the view you might notice a steady buzzing noise also accompanying the peace and quiet and wonder, “What the heck is that annoying sound?” Welcome to the age of the drone - now, more than ever, they’re being flown by hobbyists and professionals alike, especially in the field of real estate. Aerial … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Real Estate Market Timing

Charlottesville Real Estate Market - Hot or Cold? As many of you know, the Spring 2017 market here in the Charlottesville area was hopping! With low inventory, there were many occasions when a house would come on the market and have several offers within a few hours and go under contract not long after.  This can be frustrating for Buyers when they see their dream home disappear in a flash, … [Read more...]

Charlottesville 2017 1st Quarter Market Report

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2017 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, 2017 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 … [Read more...]

Staging Mistakes

Staging Mistakes To Avoid So You Can Sell Your Home Faster When Sellers ask us here at Solutions for advice, it’s usually because they’ve read the latest magazines or watched HGTV and the many shows targeting fixer uppers or DIY projects, but just don’t know where to begin when it comes to listing their own home. The first thing to remember is that they’ll no longer be living there so Sellers … [Read more...]

Tips for a Smooth House Closing

Tips for a Smooth House Closing When it comes to finding your dream home, there are many steps along the way to a smooth closing. After you’ve identified your perfect house - negotiated the contract, applied and approved for a loan, inspected and agreed to repairs and/or credits - the last step is the most important: the closing. By knowing what to expect and doing some legwork, you can … [Read more...]

Your Home Stinks

How to eliminate odors in your home For Sellers, decluttering and staging a home are both incredibly important to presenting it in a flattering way, but it’s also important to make sure potential buyers don’t stop at the front door because of an unpleasant smell. We all have walked into homes that have the strong stench of something undefinable, whether it’s from pets, bad food or strong cooking … [Read more...]

Moving abroad?

Moving abroad - how complicated can it be? If you think moving across town or a few states over is hard, consider what’s involved with moving to another country. As exciting as a move abroad can be, it’s also complicated — with a seemingly endless number of issues thrown at you as you make your way from Point A to Point B across the globe.  You already know about the visas you need to arrange, … [Read more...]

Charlottesville 2016 4th Quarter Market Report

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2016 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, 2016 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 … [Read more...]

Tips For Keeping Your Home Safe

Protecting your home and family go hand in hand. With the help of a little research, finding the right home security tools will prepare a homeowner, whether they’re just moving in, are already living in or are in the process of selling a house, for whatever may happen. Most burglaries occur on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Homes that appear unoccupied during the day, are dark at night, and … [Read more...]

Charlottesville 2016 3rd Quarter Market Report

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2016 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, 2016 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 … [Read more...]

Moving Checklist

Moving Checklist It’s that time of year again - college students are heading back to school and anxious parents are trying not to forget anything along the way. Moving to your dorm room or apartment is the same as moving into a new house - just on a slightly smaller scale. We have some great tips to help your move go smoothly - regardless of whether it’s to a smaller or larger place … [Read more...]

FSBO Charlottesville

FSBO - Is It Really Better To Sell A Home Yourself? Here at Solutions we’ve touched on the issue of FSBOs (For Sale By Owner) quite often as we’re frequently asked by potential Sellers why they should consider having an agent versus selling their home themselves. Selling a Charlottesville home is easy, at least that’s what some people say. All you have to do is put a “For Sale” sign in the … [Read more...]

Clean Your Home Before AND After Selling

The importance of Cleaning Your Home Before AND After Selling  In previous blogs, we’ve discussed the important of decluttering a house before listing it, and also about what the term “broom clean” means as you’re getting ready to close, but what about the importance of having a clean home before and during listing, and then again right before you close? Getting your home as clean as … [Read more...]

Interview with a Professional Home Inspector

Interview with a Professional Home Inspector Having an inspection done is the only way for Sellers and Buyers to know the state of a house, at a given point in time, and have a general understanding of what to look out for in the way of potential upcoming repairs. Your home inspector wants the process to yield a comprehensive to-do list and not to unduly stress out either the Seller or … [Read more...]

Ways to Prepare for Your Home Inspection

Ways to Prepare for Your Home Inspection After you’ve fallen in love with your dream home, ratified the contract and contacted your lender, the next vital step in the buying process – for both Sellers and Buyers – is the home inspection. Having an inspection done is the only way for Sellers and Buyers to know the exact state of the house, and have a general understanding of what to look out … [Read more...]

Will Bookcases Become Obsolete?

Will Bookcases Become Obsolete? With all the talk of technology, e-readers and cell phones, it appears likely for people to assume books will also go the way of the dodo - with bookcases not far behind, because, if you don’t need them for books, what use are they? To many, a house without books is a bit bare. Ask around and you might be surprised how many people will say they actually dream … [Read more...]

Pros & Cons of Removing Shoes Before Showing a House

Pros & Cons of Removing Shoes Before Showing a House Sellers want their houses shown in the best light, and many think that asking potential Buyers and their agents to remove their shoes is the perfect solution - thereby keeping their houses clean and dirt-free. Some Sellers, for example, may have severe asthma - so tracking in pollen/dirt/mold spores is a very real concern. But what do … [Read more...]

Downsizing in Charlottesville

Downsizing in Charlottesville Whether you're an empty nester moving from a house into a condo, or a renter trading in a two-bedroom for a studio, downsizing is hard— a smaller place means you don’t have room for all of your current belongings. But downsizing is also an opportunity to refresh and start anew. If you get rid of the clutter, you can fill your new place with the things you really … [Read more...]

Should I Sell my Home As-Is?

Pros and Cons of Advertising a Home “As-Is” Sometimes people find themselves in a situation where they need to sell their house “as-is.” Perhaps they've already moved and can't be there to arrange for repairs, or maybe they don't have the money that improvements will cost, are dealing with complications to their health or are going through a divorce. When a Buyer sees the words “as-is,” … [Read more...]

How to Make a Small Room/Bathroom Appear Bigger

When it comes to listing a home it’s ideal to have professional photos done to show off every aspect of every room, but there are some rooms that are just so small they often get skipped in this process. But, there ARE ways to make these rooms - which are often bathrooms - stand out and shine. Taking a little bit of extra time and paying attention to detail can make these rooms pop and even … [Read more...]

Sellers – Renovate or Sell AS-IS?

Should you renovate to sell your home? We often get asked by our Sellers, is it worth making a ton of home improvements - other than the typical staging suggestions we’ve made in previous blogs - or should you sell “as-is”? Of course, it depends on what the Seller can afford to do, how much the Seller wants to make on the home, the particular improvements the home needs, the local market … [Read more...]

Median ​v​s Average ​Price

We recently released the 2015 3rd Quarter Charlottesville Market Report and sometimes it helps to define how numbers are determined. Many Buyer clients ask us: “What’s the difference between median and average values?” And many of our Sellers want to know: “How does this affect my listing pricing strategy?” Let’s start with defining the term “average”, also known as the “mean.” This … [Read more...]

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Charles McDonald
Charles McDonald
PRINCIPAL BROKER®
Charlottesville Solutions
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