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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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Charles McDonald
Charles McDonald
PRINCIPAL BROKER®
Charlottesville Solutions
2013 Woodbrook Court, Charlottesville VA 22901
434-515-1585
REALTOR® - Licensed to sell Real Estate in Virginia
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