Search Results for: buyers

All About Spring Creek

All About Spring Creek, Louisa Va For many people, being able to live in a gated community that offers a well-rated 18-hole golf course just 20 minutes drive outside Charlottesville, and with easy access to Rt. 64 and points east and west, brings them to Spring Creek as the perfect choice. Located just off Rt. 64 at Exit 136 – Zion Crossroads/Highway 15 – the entrance to Spring Creek is a mile … [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...]

If You Can Rent in Charlottesville You Can Own in Charlottesville

Newly elected CAAR president Anthony McGhee recently said that he believed, "If you can rent in Charlottesville you can own in Charlottesville.” Here at Solutions, we thought this was worth investigating. Should you buy or rent? This is a question most of us will likely face in our lives, whether buying a house makes more financial sense than renting a home.  What’s the financial … [Read more...]

Shopping for a Home in January

Shopping for a Home in January With the start of any new year, buying a new home might be the furthest resolution on people’s minds. But it might, in fact, be a very smart way to start off the year right. For one thing, as a Buyer, you will have little to no competition for houses on the market, even though the inventory will be lower than the most popular time - spring. Another reason to … [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...]

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...]

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...]

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 Pets

Tips for Charlottesville Pets Now that summer is almost upon us again, many in the Charlottesville area are thinking ahead to vacation and short trips out of town. If you’re listing a home and own a pet the debate arises as to whether it’s easier to hire a house sitter or board them. With many listings we often suggest removing the pet if possible during showings, and this can also hold … [Read more...]


What’s the difference between a REALTOR® vs an Agent? Many people interested in buying a home often ask us, “What’s the difference between a Realtor® and a real estate agent, and, where does a broker fit in the equation?” We hear the terms real estate agent and Realtor® bandied about quite often, and many people think they’re referring to the same thing. Before the Multiple Listing … [Read more...]

What is a HOA – and what are the pros and cons?

We’re often asked by prospective Buyers first, what’s an HOA and what does it cover, and second, what are the pros and cons of living in a neighborhood with an HOA? The first is relatively simple to answer. You’re required to join an HOA - or Home Owners Association - when you purchase a condominium, townhouse or other type of property in a planned development, such as a leased land … [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...]

2016 Charlottesville and Albemarle Tax Assessments

2016 Charlottesville Real Estate Assessment numbers are now out as I write this post. There are two areas that have the greatest impact on Assessments: the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, where Charlottesville is located.   2016 Charlottesville Real Estate Assessment The City of Charlottesville says that the released assessments are “an estimate of fair market value as … [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...]

House Hunting – Dos and Don’ts

House Hunting - Dos and Don’ts Searching for a house can be challenging and time-consuming, and most won't be “the one.” It's tempting to dive right in and start looking at every open house listed in the paper or online. But before you dedicate your weekends, you need to know what you're looking for. In order to prioritize your wants and needs versus seeing everything in case you feel … [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...]

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...]

Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

Many first time homebuyers have in mind that they need at least a 20% down payment and a monthly check for the mortgage. But that’s not the entire story when it comes to buying a home. There are a mountain of “hidden” costs — from closing fees to taxes — that can add up to more than $9,000 each year — and that number will only jump if you live in a major U.S. city. Three unavoidable costs — … [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...]

7 Signs That Your Home Is Over-Priced

We get asked lots of questions about when the best time to list a home is - we’re heading into a traditionally quiet time of year - but there are other ways to make sure your listing gets noticed. We’ve talked about ways to spruce up your home so it stands out, from curb appeal to a sparkling decluttered interior, but we also want to emphasize that pricing is one of THE most important factors … [Read more...]

How do you break up with your listing agent

How do you break up with your listing agent if you decide it's not working? Here at Solutions, we’ve talked in earlier blogs about ways for a Seller to prepare their home for sale in the Charlottesville area, what to look for in a Listing Agent and what factors come into play in a Buyer’s mind when they see your home for the first time - curb appeal, location, price and condition. The most … [Read more...]

How to Get your House SOLD

We often get asked by Sellers, when the inventory is as low as it has been recently, about pricing strategy. After all, Charlottesville has captured national attention because of its desirability as THE place to live - whether you work or retire here - and so Sellers can pretty much ask any price they want, right? Not so fast. It’s true that location is a good indicator for what price a … [Read more...]

What is PMI?

What is PMI? Here at Solutions, we often get asked lots of questions by first time homebuyers about all the acronyms that get thrown around by lenders when preparing an offer. For one example, what is PMI? Basically, it’s a protection for a lender. When your down payment is less than 20%, you usually have to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance, (PMI), which is the lenders’ (banks’) … [Read more...]

What is an Escrow Money Deposit and Who Holds it?

Here at Solutions, we often get asked by First Time Home Buyers, “What is an Escrow Money Deposit (EMD), and why do you need it?” In short, during the purchase offer stage, it’s like a deposit that a Buyer puts down to show that they’d like to purchase a property in good faith. An EMD is only deposited after a contract has been fully ratified (when all signatures and initialing are complete … [Read more...]

What is the Title Insurance, and Why is it Important?

Here at Solutions, we are often asked by our Buyer clients why they need title insurance and, when they order it, what’s involved in the process. Buying a home is a long, complex transaction. Title insurance is an important part since it insures and assures the Buyer that all liens placed against the prior owners of the property, or documents that will restrict their use of the property, have … [Read more...]

Do I Need a Home Inspection?

Here at Solutions, we often get asked by our new clients if they really need a home inspection when buying a home. As Virginia is a “Caveat Emptor,” or “Buyer Beware,” state, it’s really the only way to see if the home has any defects or hidden issues as most Buyers don’t have the necessary training to look for these. A home inspection is one of the best consumer protection services … [Read more...]

Do you need an agent when building a new home?

For Buyers, the Model Home signs you see everywhere around the Charlottesville area often make you want to stop in and check them out. When you see the finished project, it’s easy to get excited about building your dream home from the ground up - choosing your lot, your model, interior finishes and upgrades, etc. But, like with any home purchase, buying new construction is an expensive … [Read more...]

Five New Home Trends for 2015

Where once McMansions reigned supreme in new house sales, buyers today are now asking for more energy efficient, customized and smaller models. While we aren’t quite at a Jetsons-style home with dinner at the push of a button, innovation and invention are at the forefront of building industry trends. These designs include options that are “green”, are more pedestrian-friendly - with dining, … [Read more...]

Questions Agents May Ask You at an Open House

Questions Agents May Ask You at an Open House Now that the Spring Market has started in earnest you will start to see Open House signs sprouting up all over - especially on weekends. Prospective Home Buyers who are not quite sure they’re that serious about looking prefer Open Houses as they get to see a home and not ally themselves with a particular agent. But they should also be prepared for … [Read more...]

Spring Tips to Make Your Home Shine

Spring is the ideal time for Buyers to find their dream home, so Sellers can take advantage of this by getting their homes ready with these seasonal staging tips: Start with a Spring Cleaning Clean until your home sparkles - and don’t forget the windows, blinds, gutters, molding and ceiling fans! Then, turn your attention to getting rid of winter clutter - you don’t want to weigh down your … [Read more...]

Buyer Beware: Red Flags when Purchasing a Home

Top Things to Watch For When Buying a Home  Virginia is a “Buyer Beware” state when it comes to purchasing a home. While there are lead based paint and the standard seller disclosures included in most active area listings, Sellers don't always disclose the whole truth to potential Buyers, especially if they're motivated to sell. Having a home inspection done is a must when it comes to … [Read more...]

Make a Great First Impression – Agents call it ‘Curb Appeal’

Make a Great First Impression - Agents call it ‘Curb Appeal’ They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression - the same can be said when it comes to listing your home. Having great “curb appeal” has become the go-to way a great listing gets noticed over an okay listing, even if they’re in the same neighborhood, with the same amenities. Curb appeal is the initial appeal of a … [Read more...]

Top Reasons Your Home Might Not Sell Quickly

Here are the Top reasons your house might not be selling as quickly as you would like: Here at Solutions we often get asked by both our listing and purchasing clients why a house isn’t selling. Selling a home in today’s market may turn out to be more than a real challenge. In order to best position yourself, why not ask the following questions. (These are important, because a Buyer will also be … [Read more...]

Who Really Represents the Client in a Real Estate Transaction?

So, Who Really Does Represent the Client in a Real Estate Transaction? We know many of our Solutions clients are tech savvy, and they’ve become familiar with such websites as Zillow, Trulia, and others when they’re either looking to purchase or sell a home. But, did you know that, Zillow, Trulia, and even our Local MLS' website, promote something called “Dual Agency”, … [Read more...]

Best Month and Day to Buy or Sell a Home?

Is there a Best Time to Make an Offer on a House? We recently posted about the best time of year to list your home - spring - and best day of the week to list - Thursday - but is there a best month to buy? Although many experts say the best month to make an offer on a house is January (and we’re almost at the end of that month), there’s also a best day of the month to make an offer on a … [Read more...]

Spring is the Best Time to Sell Your Charlottesville Home

Now that we’ve passed the holiday season, our thoughts are already turning to when the weather will start warming up as we all want to skip right over winter, right? Here at Solutions, we know that spring is the ideal time to show off a house to its best advantage, and many of our listing clients are already getting their houses ready to list in the next few months. Buyers come out of the … [Read more...]

The Pros & Cons of Owning a Home in a Rural Area

Many people come to the Central Virginia area because of the natural beauty in the form of the Blue Ridge and Southwest Mountains that surround the towns of Charlottesville, Ivy, Crozet, Earlysville, Afton, Earlysville, Free Union and Ruckersville, to name a few. Although you might be familiar with the challenges that living in a more rural area can bring, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re … [Read more...]

9 Listing Tips During the Holidays

9 Listing Tips During the Holidays Although many market experts point to the spring as the best time to list your home, we’ve found the period from November to January is still an active real estate market because competition is slim. Here at Solutions, we know serious Buyers will view homes and negotiate contracts right up until Christmas Eve. If there’s no way you can avoid listing your … [Read more...]

How to pick a home builder in Charlottesville

Here at Solutions we get asked questions all the time about working with area home builders. When thinking about building your dream home, you have your choice between the larger companies and several well-established smaller local builders. If you prefer the “hands-on” approach, working with a small builder may be your best option, and selecting the right one is a key step in the journey that … [Read more...]

5 Pet Problems to Fix Before Listing Your House

As many of our Solutions listing clients know, selling their house is hard enough, but trying to do so when you have pets is even more difficult. We all know pets add so much to our daily lives, but, did you know that owning a pet can significantly reduce your home's value? When left to their own devices, curious cats, dogs and other pets can cause serious damage to a house. Although you may … [Read more...]

What’s the Difference between a Pre-Qualification Letter and a Pre-Approval for a Loan?

Here at Solutions we get many questions from our Buyers about how to best prepare ahead of time for purchasing their dream house. Our local housing market has very low inventory right now, so, when a great listing comes on the market that is in the right location and is priced well, you can almost guarantee that you will have to compete with other Buyers for the home. At Solutions, we typically … [Read more...]

Eight Waterfront Homes near Charlottesville Virginia

Eight Waterfront Homes near Charlottesville Virginia Everyone loves the idea of having a lake house. Charlottesville is fortunate to be within a short drive of numerous larger lakes - Lake Monticello, Lake Anna and Smith Mountain Lake, to name a few - as well as hundreds of lovely ponds, and several rivers. Each of these areas offer several perfect weekend getaway home options. Although Labor … [Read more...]

How Are Buyer’s Agents Paid Anyway?

Here at Solutions, we often get asked many questions by prospective Buyers, but one in particular tends to stand out - “How do we, when we work as Buyer’s Agents, get paid?”Our answer is very simple - as Buyer’s Agents, we don’t work for free, but it’s the Seller who pays our fee, not the Buyers themselves.The Seller, who has already entered into a listing agreement, pays both their listing agent … [Read more...]

Why use a Buyer’s Agent to Help With Your Home Purchase?

For most Americans, a home is the most significant and costly purchase they’ll make in their lifetime, with significant financial and emotional ramifications for the parties involved. Having proper representation, therefore, is critical. In this economy, and with ever greater access to the Internet, it’s easy to see why many people are looking to cut costs any way they can when it comes to … [Read more...]

How to handle Purchaser repair requests

If you’re selling your home and have gotten an offer, you may be concerned about the Purchasers asking you to make costly repairs that potentially could cut into your profit Repair requests can be negotiated under most circumstances, but it’s important to recognize that a Seller’s ability to negotiate depends on the contract proposed by the Purchasers. This is where your Solutions agent can … [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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