Search Results for: buyers

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...]

Questions Buyers should be asking their Agents

What questions should Buyers ask before putting an offer on a home? Here at Solutions, we get asked lots of questions by clients in their search for their dream home. Because of Equal Housing Laws, there are some we’re prevented by law from answering, but there are a number of answers we can find out or sources we can point you towards to look up the info you seek.Below are a few common … [Read more...]

Helping First-time Homebuyers Find What They Can They Afford

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “first-time homebuyer?”  Chances are you think of a couple fresh out of college and starting new jobs. Did you know that a first-time homebuyer means anyone who has not bought a home in three years? Yes, you heard that right. This can apply to anyone, whether they had to go through a short sale or foreclosed on a home. If it has been three years then … [Read more...]

First Time Home Buyers

Should I buy? Should I rent?  How do I get Financing?  Who can I trust?  What is Dual Agency? Questions, Questions, Questions.... there are a lot of questions and you have just found a resource for all the answers. Working with First Time Buyers is very rewarding for me as I get to help you in a new experience. We will locate the perfect area and the perfect place that you are … [Read more...]


When you are buying a new home it is a important decision. It can be a wonderful experience or it can be extremely difficult. This is a serious investment and for many the largest investment of their lives. I understand there are a lot of emotions and I want you to know that I am your advocate to purchase your next home. Whether it is a grand estate in Albemarle county or an investment … [Read more...]

Use a local Charlottesville Buyers Agent

When looking to buy a home in Charlottesville, or any area for that matter, logic dictates that you use a highly skilled local Charlottesville buyers agent. However, I see so many people go against this logic. So let's look at why. A Local Charlottesville Buyers Agent Knows The Market This just makes good sense. Most Buyers Agents specialize in a particular location. We know the Charlottesville … [Read more...]

Buyers need to ask the tough questions

Looking at number is amazing. It appears that 10% of agents in our MLS sell close to 50% of all transactions in our counties. Looking at the stats closer you would see that the majority of agent in our MLS have 1 to zero transactions for the previous 12 months. Many people choose an agent because they are a relative or a friend. The odds are not good that you are working with a top agent. As a … [Read more...]

Discussing First Time Buyers with Charles

There is nothing more intimidating that being a first time home buyer. Sure there is a lot of information available but a FTHB needs much more complete information and explanation regarding the process and what steps to take.   We love working with FTHB's. We understand that you do not go thru the process of buying a home everyday, but remember we do! More on Charlottesville … [Read more...]

Repeat Buyers with Charles McDonald

Multiple Homes! Today I am off to show homes in Charlotteville. These clients are looking for a 3rd home to purchase with me. There clients see the value in current home prices and are able to make proper investment choices. It is great to have clients who are so loyal to my business. Have a wonderful … [Read more...]

Forget open houses when looking at Charlottesville Real Estate use a top buyers agent and get all the listings!

It pays to use a local expert. Not sure I have to say anything more.   But I will... Open Houses are used by listing agents to do a couple of things. 1. Make a seller happy (the seller thinks this will helps sell the home) 2. Get additional Buyer Clients for the listing agent (this is done a lot more than sellers have any idea) Ask your listing agent to be 100% honest about open … [Read more...]

Local Charlottesville Buyers Agent compares Real Estate to Baseball

I remember reading an article in our local paper about how our Area’s high-priced homes are harder to sell. Well it got me to thinking about our local Association of Realtors – CAAR and how many agents are having a tougher year than in the past. Why baseball popped into my head I do not know, but I see things like this…. Home Runs – Selling Charlottesville Real Estate over 1,000,000 … [Read more...]

10 features home buyers want (Crozet and Charlottesville area is no exception)

1. Large kitchens with islands 2. Energy efficiency, including energy-efficient appliances, super insulation, and high-efficiency windows. 3. Home offices 4. Main-floor master suite 5. Outdoor living space 6. Ceiling fans 7. Soaking tub in the master suite and/or an oversize shower with a seating area 8. Stone and brick exteriors rather than stucco or vinyl 9. Community walking paths and … [Read more...]

10 Inexpensive Ways to Wow Buyers (Cville Real Estate)

10 Inexpensive Ways to Wow Buyers Now is the time for home owners contemplating a spring sale to spruce up their properties in anticipation of what Mike Larson of Weiss Research calls a potentially vibrant home-selling season. "If you have been beating your head against a wall, this is going to feel a lot better,” he says. Here are 10 cheap ways to make a property more attractive to … [Read more...]

Buyers of Charlottesville Virginia Real Estate need information…

When you are buying a new home it is a important decision. It can be a wonderful experience or it can be extremely difficult. This is a serious investment and for many the largest investment of their lives. I understand there are a lot of emotions and I want you to know that I am your advocate to purchase your next home. Whether it is a grand estate in Albemarle county or an investment property, I … [Read more...]

New Constuction Buyers Agent – Charlottesville Real Estate (progess of home)

My clients know that I am the buyers agent in the Charlottesville Real Estate market to work with if they are considering new construction. I recently stopped by one of my projects with a Northern Virginia cleint and the progress looks great! We are well into the drywall phase and are looking for completion soon. (Photo of my clients new home near Charlottesville Virginia) As you can … [Read more...]

Buyers do you understand what an open house is all about?

Now I am sure that a lot of my colleagues will disagree with me and some may even think this is a subject I should not be discussing with the public, but I think the public should understand..... An "Open House" is a "HOOK" Well at least that is what I call it. We are in Charlottesville Virginia and we are a caveat emptor state. The sellers agent represents the sellers best interest. In … [Read more...]

Stimulus Package – Good News for First Time Homebuyers

Well, it looks like first time homebuyers will not get the $15,000 that was originally bandied about, but $8,000 is not a bad compromise for houses bought between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2009. There is some talk that this could affect taxpayers' 2008 taxes, but please do speak with a CPA to get the real scoop on how that will work out. Always be sure to get sound advice when it comes to … [Read more...]

Buyers need to ask…

Yesterday we had a meeting of the top 100 agents in our area. Amazingly our group of 100 agents sell close to 50% of all transactions in our counties. Looking at the stats closer you would see that the majority of agent in our MLS have 1 to zero transactions for the previous 12 months. Many people choose an agent because they are a relative or a friend. The odds are not good that you are working … [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Was it Easier to Buy a Home before the Internet?

It’s difficult to imagine buying a house in the years before the Internet, but it did happen and there are plenty of anecdotes to prove it.  Back in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the GI Bill was instrumental in helping former soldiers and their families go back to school and also thereafter purchase a home because they didn’t have the student loan debt.   In those days, the … [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Why You May Want to Buy a Home in the Summer

Why You May Want to Buy a Home in the Summer The fact Summer is traditionally seen as having higher Inventory levels is good news for many would-be Charlottesville area Buyers as we’ve experienced a severe lack of inventory in town this past Spring. Other good reasons to buy in Summer? Buyers might have more negotiating room as Sellers are on the move and motivated. Prices aren’t necessarily … [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...]

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...]

How to Sell Your Home to Millennials

How to Sell Your Home to Millennials Much has been made about the different generations of Buyers and how they approach purchasing a home. Baby Boomers have ceded space to Generation X, and now the Millennials are jockeying for their place in the real estate market. Numbering around 80 million, Millennials now represent the fastest-growing generation of consumers in the U.S. Those born between … [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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