Navigate Your Home Loan Like a Pro!

Navigate Your Home Loan Like a Pro!

Financing a home is one of the primary concerns for most home buyers in Tehachapi.  Your agent at Associated Real Estate is here to help you navigate the maze of loan types and mortgage terms.  Here are some of the basic loan terms to help you get started.  And remember, with any home purchase your first step should be to contact a reputable realtor and schedule a FREE consultation.  If you are planning to purchase a home call us now at 661-822-3500.

  • Mortgage  A loan specific to purchasing property, where the bank liens you the title with the agreement you will pay the entirety of the balance owed on your beautiful Tehachapi property!
  • Conventional Mortgage – Any mortgage loan that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government. This applies to all privately owned property, and is the most common type of mortgage.
  • Term  Refers to the length of the loan. Home loans (mortgages) are often in terms of 15, 20, or 30 years. Generally, as term lengths increase your payment will decrease; however, a shorter term loan means you will pay less interest over the life of the loan.
  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)  A yearly interest rate(calculated by the average interest rate over the term of the loan) that includes upfront fees and costs associated with the loan. Use this to accurately compare the costs of different loans as fees will vary depending upon the lender, and every buyers situation is different. Make sure to make your loan work for you!
  • Fixed Rate  A fixed rate mortgage allows you to lock in an interest rate that will last for the entire term of the loan. These are, generally, a good choice if current interest rates are low.
  • Adjustable Rate  Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) usually begin with a lower interest rate than a fixed rate, but will increase as market rates increase. A good choice if fixed interest rates are high, but make sure you are willing to have a payment that will increase over time!
  • Caps – A limit to how much and how frequently an interest rate can change on an adjustable-rate mortgage. These payment caps can be periodic or extend for the life of the loan. Thank goodness for structure!
  • Note – No, not like the ones we used to pass in class! This note is a legally binding written promise to repay the mortgage plus interest, which includes the name of the borrower, issuing lender, and the terms and provisions.
  • Down Payment – An upfront payment made by the home buyer(you!) toward the sale price of the property, typically ranging from 5-20%. The remainder of the sales prices makes up the mortgage loan amount, excluding interest. Typically, the bigger the down payment is the smaller the monthly payment will be, and we all like small payments!
  • Amortization  The paying down of principal(the loan excluding interest)  over time. Generally, the principal is scheduled to be paid off, or fully amortized, over the term of the loan.
  • PITI  This is a fun one. An abbreviation for the major expenses that make up a mortgage payment: Principal (the amount borrowed), Interest, (Property) taxes, and (homeowners’) Insurance.
  • Escrow  The holding of funds or documents by a neutral third party prior to closing your home sale. You can practically taste home ownership at this point! 
  • Closing Costs – An amount of money that must be paid to close your loan, including lender fees and third-party charges, along with taxes and transfer fees. Almost there!
  • Closing – The final step in the loan process when loan documents are signed at an escrow or title company. Congratulations on your new home!!

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Weekly Real Estate Update — March 26th, 2017

This is House Market Information for Tehachapi, California. See what sold in your neighborhood last week.

Address Area Bed Bath SQFT Acres CDOM $ / SQFT Sold For
20300 Sierra Ave Golden Hills East 2 2 1272 0.191 114 129.72 $165,000
700 Las Colinas St Tehachapi City 3 2 1203 0.14 154 157.11 $189,000
21440 Shirley Dr Golden Hills East 3 2 1386 0.58 0 149.35 $207,000
841 S Green St Tehachapi City 3 2 1130 0.18 8 183.19 $207,000
27451 Hialeah Dr Stallion Springs 3 2 1241 0.4038 2 167.2 $207,500
25701 Cumberland Ct Bear Valley Springs 2 1 1007 2.02 20 213.51 $215,000
21308 Indian Wells Dr Golden Hills West 3 2 1560 0.57 335 140.38 $219,000
20924 Brentwood Dr Golden Hills West 3 2 1354 0.28 1 166.17 $225,000
22812 Retreat Pl Golden Hills West 3 3 1849 0.29 178 132.77 $245,500
28301 Burlingame Ct Stallion Springs 3 2 1723 1.51 63 145.1 $250,000
17800 Pavot Ct Stallion Springs 4 2 1989 0.3783 10 140.02 $278,500
1337 Scarlet Oak Dr Tehachapi City 3 2 1716 0.31 28 168.94 $289,900
27201 Buckpasser Dr Stallion Springs 4 2 1931 0.7 35 150.44 $290,500
30201 Sunland Way Bear Valley Springs 3 4 1842 1.07 3 162.87 $300,000
25908 Bear Valley Rd Bear Valley Springs 3 3 1831 1.03 2 171.98 $314,900
21265 Woodford Tehachapi Rd County 3 3 2266 2.48 62 139.01 $315,000
30621 S Lower Valley Rd Bear Valley Springs 3 3 2104 0.46 127 154.47 $325,000
110 Sweetleaf Lane Ln Tehachapi City 4 3 2812 0.21 0 120.91 $340,000
22861 Saddleback Dr Bear Valley Springs 4 4 2968 3.57 255 168.13 $499,000

Based on information from the Tehachapi Area Association of REALTORS® (alternatively, from the Tehachapi MLS). All data, including all measurements and calculations of area, is obtained from various sources and has not been, and will not be, verified by broker or MLS. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information.


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A Few Things You May Not Know About Tehachapi

A Few Things You May Not Know About Tehachapi

  • Tehachapi may have gotten its name from the Kawaiisu people that made the Tehachapi Valley their home for hundreds of years before it was settled. Tihachipia, the word meaning “hard climb” in the kawaiisu language is said to have evolved into Tehachapi over the years.
  • Established in the 1860’s, the Southern Pacific Rail Road depot was the oldest building in Tehachapi until it burnt down in June 2008. It was rebuilt and is now the home of a rail road museum.
  • Tehachapi Natives love their home town team. If you ever feel like being nostalgic you can look up Warrior Football records dating back to the 1930’s on their website http://thswarriors.com/.
  • The Errea House is the only  surviving building from the original Tehachapi settlement. It was relocated to its current location at 311 S. Green St. around 1900. The Errea House in now a museum.
  • The large white cross placed on top of the mountain in the center of the Tehachapi loop was placed there in memory of two rail road employees killed on May 12, 1989 in a train derailment.
  • President Ronald Reagan at one time owned a ranch in Bear Valley Springs.
  • As of 2014 Tehachapi Valley had a population of 35,000 people. 9,000 of them lived in Golden Hills alone. Of the 3,200 households in Golden Hills,  36% of them were families with children.
  • More than 1,000 bicycling enthusiasts have ridden the GranFondo in Tehachapi each year.
  • Big Daddy, the descendant of a herd of Rocky Mountain Elk purchased from Yellow Stone National Park was a beloved Elk of Tehachapi residents. He was the victim of poaching. The poacher was found and convicted. Big Daddy’s Antlers now hang in the Bear Valley Country Club in his memory.

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Weekly Market report: March 19

Sold Last Week in Tehachapi, CA: March 13th-  March 19th

This is House Market Information for Tehachapi, California. See what sold in your neighborhood last week.

Address Area BD BA Sq Ft Acers DOM/CDOM List/Sell $
25440 Deertrail Dr Bear Valley Springs 2 2 1038 1.07 164/164 $169,000
25581 Jacaranda Dr Bear Valley Springs 3 2 1304 1.01 172/172 $174,900
20909 Ridgeway Dr Golden Hills West 3 2 1352 0.46 70/70 $182,500
22004 Mariposa Rd Golden Hills West 3 2 1764 0.29 49/49 $249,500
30060 CADDY Ln Bear Valley Springs 4 2 2328 0.41 5-May $280,000
19516 Moon Dr Golden Hills East 2 2 1688 0.56 59/59 $305,000
21201 Sierra Vista Dr County 3 3 2558 0.93 79/294 $349,900
21760 Mid Way Golden Hills East 4 2 2362 0.41 8-Aug $349,900
24220 Willow Pass Dr Bear Valley Springs 4 3 2186 1.13 30/30 $399,000
29740 Pinedale Dr Bear Valley Springs 3 3 2894 0.4046 139/139 $399,900
24600 Tiara Ct Bear Valley Springs 3 2 3095 21 283/283 $499,000
29801 S Lower Valley Rd Bear Valley Springs 3 3 2480 23.37 60/60 $519,000
22760 Cummings Valley Rd Cummings Valley 3 3 2838 19.63 195/195 $599,500
20725 Sasia Rd Cummings Valley 3 2 1654 19.45 123/486 $649,000

Based on information from the Tehachapi Area Association of REALTORS® (alternatively, from the Tehachapi MLS). All data, including all measurements and calculations of area, is obtained from various sources and has not been, and will not be, verified by broker or MLS. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information.


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7 Reasons to Own A Home

7 Reasons to Own A Home

  1. Tax benefits. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home.
  2. Appreciation. Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing-home sale prices have increased on average 5.2 percent each year from 1972 through 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.  The recent housing crisis has caused some to question the long-term value of real estate, but even in the most recent 10 years, which included quite a few very bad years for housing, values are still up 7.0 percent on a cumulative basis. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 10 to15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.
  3. Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.
  4. Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.
  5. Predictability. Unlike rent, your fixed-rate mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will likely increase.
  6. Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.
  7. Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years allows you and your family time to build long-lasting relationships within the community. It also offers children the benefit of educational and social continuity.

Tehachapi Weekly Real Estate Update: March 12, 2017

Sold Last Week in Tehachapi, CA: March 6-March 12th

This is House Market Information for Tehachapi, California. See what sold in your neighborhood last week.

Address Area Price Per Sq Ft CDOM Sell $
28061 Deertrail Dr Bear Valley Springs 79.95 98 $118,000
22160 Buena Vista St Golden Hills East 81.44 103 $165,000
22317 Milky Way Way Golden Hills East 105.26 680 $180,000
20031 Bald Mountain Dr Golden Hills East 138.63 329 $225,000
22028 McCarthy Dr Golden Hills West 161.72 81 $245,000
26131 Deertrail Dr Bear Valley Springs 132.21 131 $247,900
20401 Tucker Rd County 180.56 733 $260,000
29280 Horsethief Dr Stallion Springs 152.31 32 $290,000
18581 Kern Ct Stallion Springs 153.21 109 $334,000

Based on information from the Tehachapi Area Association of REALTORS® (alternatively, from the Tehachapi MLS). All data, including all measurements and calculations of area, is obtained from various sources and has not been, and will not be, verified by broker or MLS. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information.


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Checklist: For a Better Home Showing

Checklist: For a Better Home Showing

Remove clutter. Clear off counters and pack unnecessary decorative items. Put extra furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season items. Don’t forget to clean out the garage, too.

Let it shine. Cleaning windows and screens will help bring more light into your home. Replace burnt bulbs, and consider higher wattage in low-light areas. Clean the walls or brush on a fresh coat of bright, neutral paint. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones and show off your view.

Keep it clean. A deep clean before listing your home will make upkeep easier. Consider hiring a cleaning service to help.

Maximize comfort. In summer, shut A/C vents on the first floor so more air will get upstairs. Reverse the process in winter.

Perform a sniff test. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate odors. Open the windows to air out the house. Consider potpourri or scented candles and diffusers. For quick fixes in the kitchen, cotton balls soaked in vanilla extract or orange juice can instantly make the fridge a nicer-smelling place. Boil lemon juice in your microwave, then add it to your dishwasher to eliminate odors. You can also run lemon rinds through the garbage disposal for a similar effect.

Take care of minor repairs. Sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained.

Tidy up outdoors. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. A pot of bright flowers near the entryway adds great curb appeal.

Set the scene. A bright afghan or new accent pillows easily jazz up a dull room. Pretty dishes or a simple centerpiece on the tables can help buyers picture themselves living there. Try staging a chess game in progress. If you have a fireplace, lay fresh logs or a basket of flowers there.

Make the bath luxurious. Make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight, along with old towels and toothbrushes. Add a new shower curtain and fancy guest soaps.

Send the pets to the neighbors. If that’s not possible, crate or confine them to one room, and let the real estate practitioner know where they’ll be to eliminate surprises.

Lock up valuables and medication. Agents can’t watch everyone all the time.

Head out. It can be awkward for everyone if you’re home at the time of a showing.

Weekly Real Estate Update: March 5, 2017

Sold Last Week in Tehachapi, CA: February 27- March 5

This is House Market Information for Tehachapi, California. See what sold in your neighborhood last week.

Address Area Beds Baths Sqr feet Acres DOM Price
21408 Mountain Dr Golden Hills West 3 2 1203 0.6 13 $127,500
27740 Hialeah Dr Stallion Springs 3 2 1943 0.347 6 $230,000
22901 Tulip St Golden Hills East 3 2 1504 0.51 0 $233,350
814 Mulberry St Tehachapi City 3 2 1850 0.19 6 $250,000
21004 Ridgeway Dr Golden Hills West 3 2 1633 0.52 39 $252,000
905 Cathy Ln Tehachapi City 3 2 1520 0.19 12 $253,000
26701 Skyline Dr Bear Valley Springs 5 4 3899 3.15 33 $468,500
24401 Silver Creek Way Bear Valley Springs 4 4 3251 1.7 311 $515,000

Based on information from the Tehachapi Area Association of REALTORS® (alternatively, from the Tehachapi MLS). All data, including all measurements and calculations of area, is obtained from various sources and has not been, and will not be, verified by broker or MLS. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information.


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How to Prepare to Finance a Home

How to Prepare to Finance a Home

Don’t get discouraged.

Home finance can be complicated. The first and most important step is to not allow yourself to be discouraged. There are programs and solutions for nearly every situation. Do not be afraid to seek the advice of qualified real estate professionals, mortgage brokers and credit councilors to help you achieve your goals. With good advice and hard work home ownership is attainable!

Develop a budget.

Instead of telling yourself what you’d like to spend, use receipts to create a budget that reflects your actual habits over the last several months. This approach will better factor in unexpected expenses alongside more predictable costs such as utility bills and groceries. You’ll probably spot some ways to save, whether it’s cutting out that morning trip to Starbucks or eating dinner at home more often.

Reduce debt.

Lenders generally look for a debt load of no more than 36 percent of income. This figure includes your mortgage, which typically ranges between 25 and 28 percent of your net household income. So you need to get monthly payments on the rest of your installment debt—car loans, student loans, and revolving balances on credit cards — down to between 8 and 10 percent of your net monthly income.

Increase your income.

Now’s the time to ask for a raise! If that’s not an option, you may want to consider taking on a second job to get your income at a level high enough to qualify for the home you want.

Save for a down payment.

Designate a certain amount of money each month to put away in your savings account. Although it’s possible to get a mortgage with 5 percent down or less, you can usually get a better rate if you put down a larger percentage of the total purchase. Aim for a 20 percent down payment.

Keep your job.

While you don’t need to be in the same job forever to qualify for a home loan, having a job for less than two years may mean you have to pay a higher interest rate.

Establish a good credit history.

Get a credit card and make payments by the due date. Do the same for all your other bills, too. Pay off entire balances as promptly as possible.

Start saving.

Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs, which can average between 2 and 7 percent of the home price.

Obtain a copy of your credit report.

Make sure it is accurate and correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments.

Decide what kind of mortgage you can afford.

Generally, you want to look for homes valued between two and three times your gross income, but a financing professional can help determine the size of loan for which you’ll qualify. Find out what kind of mortgage (30-year or 15-year? Fixed or adjustable rate?) is best for you. Also, gather the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan, such as W-2s, pay stub copies, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements. Don’t forget property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and association fees, if applicable.

Seek down payment help.

Check with your state and local government to find out whether you qualify for special mortgage or down payment assistance programs. If you have an IRA account, you can use the money you’ve saved to buy your first home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.

 

Weekly Real Estate Update- Feb 26, 2017

Sold Last Week in Tehachapi, CA: February 21- February 26

This is House Market Information for Tehachapi, California. See what sold in your neighborhood last week.

Address Area BD BA Sq Ft Lot Sz DOM List/Sell $
19538 Cherry Ln County 4 2 1923 4.5 39 $194,000
24401 Fire Ct Bear Valley Springs 2 2 1668 1.1 0 $235,000
806 Mulberry St Tehachapi City 3 2 1850 0.17 245 $249,000
1062 Hickory Ave Tehachapi City 3 2 1758 0.23 58 $250,000
914 Carolyn Ln Tehachapi City 3 2 1599 0.23 113 $255,000
24260 Bowen Ct Bear Valley Springs 3 2 1567 1.27 5 $265,900
19604 Brite Valley Golden Hills East 4 3 2102 0.28 172 $287,000
28711 Gleneagle Ct Stallion Springs 3 2 1849 0.465 86 $290,000
23651 Senica Way Bear Valley Springs 3 2 1756 2.28 64 $310,000
22350 Milky Way Golden Hills East 3 3 2160 0.55 4 $350,000

Based on information from the Tehachapi Area Association of REALTORS® (alternatively, from the Tehachapi MLS). All data, including all measurements and calculations of area, is obtained from various sources and has not been, and will not be, verified by broker or MLS. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information.


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