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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

How to Sell Your Home to Baby Boomers

Last week, we talked about what Millennials are looking for in a home, but now it’s time to look at Baby Boomers and see if their needs are changing. This group spans two decades, from 1946 to 1964, with the oldest nearing 70, and the youngest just passing AARP’s 50-year threshold. More than one-third are single females.  The United States currently has a population of 76 million Baby Boomers, … [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...]

Home Trends for 2017

Charlottesville Home Trends for 2017 Every year, it’s always interesting to see what designers are looking at in the way of trends for the home. Although everyone has their own personal style, many trends do end up either coming back in style, expanding their reach or quietly going back into the past again, until the next time. We may see more color this year, as opposed to the white, grey and … [Read more...]

Best House Hunting Strategies

Best House Hunting Strategies Searching for your dream house can be a daunting task, and most of the homes you see won't be what you're looking for. Below are some great strategies to use to help you weed out the houses that are just not right for you and help you avoid common house hunting mistakes. Have your team in place While many house hunters think they will save money by not working … [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...]

Questions your Realtor may not legally be able to answer

As REALTORS®, we get asked many questions by Buyers. We’re happy to help answer as many as we can, ones like: how old is the roof on a house, or does it use gas or electrical heat?  Your Solutions agent can tell you pretty much anything you need to know about a home you’re hoping to buy (or at least find answers for you). But there are several questions that we (any REALTOR®) aren’t legally … [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...]

Why buy a Charlottesville Home in the Winter

Why Buy A Charlottesville Home in Fall/Winter? In a place where spring is one of the most beautiful seasons of all, it makes sense that our Charlottesville real estate market is also incredibly busy during that time  - with homes often selling within hours or days of coming on the market after fielding several contracts at a time. In spring, people who have been cooped up over the winter are … [Read more...]

​ 2016 Parade of Homes Charlottesville

53rd Annual Parade Of Homes - Oct. 1 & 2, 8 & 9 - Noon-5pm It’s that time of year again. Sponsored by the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association (BRHBA), the now 53rd Annual Parade of Homes is a chance to see what’s new in the world of building, and it’s a free event. This year’s Parade features 42 homes from 18 builders, up from last year’s numbers of 12 builders and 32 homes, and … [Read more...]

How Many Natural Lakes are in Virginia Anyway?

How Many Natural Lakes are in Virginia Anyway? Here at Solutions, we often get asked this question - especially by clients who have already seen, or read about in one of our recent blogs, our local lakes at Chris Greene, Mint Springs, Sherando, Smith Mountain and Lake Anna, just to name a few. You might be surprised to hear that none of the ones mentioned above are naturally formed. All … [Read more...]

What to do with a Low Home Appraisal

What to do with a Low Home Appraisal In the home-buying process, there are several crucial steps along the way that Sellers and Buyers alike will have to navigate: the home inspection, radon test, title issues, getting a survey and negotiating when an appraisal comes in significantly lower than the accepted offer. When this happens both sides can go through many different … [Read more...]

Charlottesville 2016 2nd Quarter Market Report

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

Additional Way to Keep Your Home Safe

Summer is when many of us are excited about getting out of town for a much needed vacation, but it’s also a great time to think about ways to keep your home safe while you’re away. Alarms You don’t need to invest in an expensive home alarm system or install an unsightly barbed wire fence to keep out would be burglars. Sometimes a couple of easy steps are all you need to secure your … [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...]

Charlottesville Real Estate – CAAR 2016 First Quarter Market Report

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

Why your Home Appraisal is Low

Why your Home Appraisal is Low Many Sellers have been faced with this problem - after going through contract and home inspection negotiations, everything is waiting on the appraisal report, and then it comes back lower than the sales price - what to do next? First, don’t panic - this happens more frequently than you know and your Solutions agent will be able to talk you through the next … [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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Charles McDonald, REALTOR® and Principal Broker, is Licensed to sell Real Estate in Virginia. 434-515-1585
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