Trying to decide if you should build or buy a home? Ask yourself these 4 questions!

If you’re ready for a new space, but unsure if you should purchase a lot to build your dream home, or purchase an existing home, ask yourself these 4 questions.

  1. What’s your budget? While a new construction home may be more costly initially, an existing older home could require large repairs (like a new HVAC system or new roof) later on that can add up. Be sure to consider your initial costs, monthly costs and potential long-term costs before making a decision.
  2. What’s your timeline? Are you in a rush to get into a new home? If so, buying an existing home might be a better choice. Building from the ground-up takes time! According to Realtor.com, the average home takes 3-6 months to build. If you’re on a strict timeline, building a new home might not work. Check with your builder to get a realistic timeline before you move forward.
  3. How important is customization to you? If you have a very specific vision for your home and love thinking about the details, building a new home might be for you! You’ll need to make big decisions about things like your floorplan, paint colors, hardware, flooring options and appliances! For some, this is overwhelming. But other people love it! Which type of person are you?
  4. How much work are you willing to do? An existing home is most likely going to require more maintenance than a new construction home because of its age. But if you’re willing to put in a little work, you could be getting a great deal on a wonderful home that just needs a little love! Make sure to have a full inspection before you close to make sure there are no surprises once you move in.

When you’re ready to search for a new home or discover the ideal lot to build your dream home, we can help! Contact us here!

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Haylee Gang!

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate! Meet Haylee Gang!

Haylee Gang

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

I love just about everything about Tehachapi. My fiancé and I are newer to the area and we already see it as the perfect place to raise our children. Everyone is so warm and welcoming anywhere you go. It is a quaint little town that has so much to offer. Most of all I am obsessed with the sunsets in Tehachapi. The way it sets perfectly behind the mountains is breathtaking and makes our little town glow.

2. What is your number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their house?

When trying to sell your house it is so important to stage it perfectly. When sellers remove all clutter from counters and tuck away their personal items it allows buyers to envision what living in that house may look like for them. I also highly recommend keeping the front yard in tip top shape when your house is for sale. After all it is the very first thing a buyer will see, and first impressions are everything!

3. What do you think is the most important thing for clients to know about buying a house?

I think the most important thing for clients to remember when buying a house is to not let the stressful parts of home buying steal your joy. Trust your agent to walk with you throughout the process and take care of helping you get pre-approved, all the paperwork, negotiating with sellers, etc.

4. Where is your favorite place in the world?

My absolute favorite place in the world is anywhere that I am with family. I can find the beauty anywhere I go if I am surrounded by good company, good times, and good vibes.

5. What do you love about being a real estate agent?

I love being a real estate agent because it fulfills my desire to make others happy. The excitement and joy I see in my clients when selling/buying their homes is priceless. I look forward to expanding my clientele in the area so I can see more of that. I also love how it always keeps me on my toes. This business has a lot of ups and downs, but it sure is exciting! Finally, I love that I get to work with my mom. We work as a team at Associated Real Estate. She has taught me everything I know!

6. Tell us a little more about yourself and your family!

I was born and raised in California. I have lived just about all over this big state. I was born in the Central Valley where I hold so many fond childhood memories. Shortly after my family moved to Northern California where I did most of my growing up. Now, I am in Southern California. I have lived in many different areas, small towns & big cities. I appreciate that fact because it has given me the opportunity to explore so many different types of living.

My family is the most important thing in my life. I have a strong bond with each one of them and thank God for them all every day. I am so happily engaged to the love of my life who blessed me with our handsome baby boy, Noah. I have the best parents anyone could ask for and five amazing siblings. Life is so good. I am beyond blessed!

Want to work with Haylee? Contact her here!

4 Ways to Organize Your Home for Back to School

The beginning of a new school year is always a great way to get organize and plan for a successful year ahead. Did you know there are ways to organize your home to help increase your family’s functionality and decrease stress? Here are 5 awesome ways to set yourself up for success this year!

  1. Rethink Your Entry Way. There’s nothing more frustrating than coming home after a busy day and seeing a mess in your entry way. Give your family the opportunity to stay neat and tidy right away by adding hooks for jackets, bins for shoes or small items, and a place for backpacks and bags. Color coding them is a great way for each child to know exactly where they should place their things! Click here for some organized entry way inspiration!

organized entry way2. Organize Your Pantry. Want your kids to make healthy choices and be self-sufficient this school year? Set up a designated snack area in your pantry and your refrigerator with grab and go “parent approved” choices! Use clear bins that are placed on a lower shelf so kids can see exactly what their choices are. Need some healthy snack ideas for a new school year? Check out this great list!

organized pantry3. Set Up a Homework Station. Having a designated, organized homework station just might be the thing to help combat homework blues. Keeping supplies stocked and organized in a special space will help your child stay focused and off the kitchen counter while you are trying to make dinner! Here are some great ways to set up this area!

homeworkstation4. Create a Functional Laundry Room. Install hanging bars for air drying and rethink your storage and shelves to access the items you truly use the most. Another good idea? Add a spot for a hamper within your laundry area so smelly sports gear and dirty school uniforms can be tossed in as soon as your child gets home from school.

Wishing you an organized and stress-free (as possible) start to the new school year!

Our All-Time Favorite Summer Memories

With school starting soon and summer coming to a close, we wanted to share some of our team’s all-time favorite summer memories with you!

Stevi Campbell and her family enjoying Lake Tahoe with their Uncle Cooper and Aunt Sophie.

Summer Memories

Debra Shea with her husband David in the Caribbean and having a beach day with her four kids in Ventura.

Debra Shea Summer Debra1

Josh and DeVerie Riley with their sons Ethan and Sean on their Family Europe Trip. “We were in London for the first time and took this photo right outside of the London Tower.”

Josh and DeVerie Riley Summer Memories

Julie Apathy and her family on a kayak, hike, zip line adventure in Kauai in 2017.

Julie Apathy Summer Memories

“My friends say I’m nuts! LOL. I’m just a daredevil and do nutty things sometimes that nobody else would! This is powered hang gliding over the island of Oahu. Best memory ever!!!!” – Lindsey Redera

Lindsey Redera Summer Memories Lindsey Redera

“The tan will fade, but the memories will last forever!” – Adriana Ghorbani in Fiji in 2018.

Adriana Ghorbani Summer Memories

We’d love to hear about your favorite summer memories! Comment below and let us know!

5 Ways to Fall Back in Love with Your Home

Feeling stuck in a rut with your current home but not sure you are ready to sell? It might just be time for a little switch up! Here are 5 easy ways to fall back in love with your home.

  1. Rearrange the furniture. Configuring your rooms in a new way is an easy way to see your house in a new way. And your new configuration might just work better for you!
  2. Declutter. If you’ve been in your home for a long time, there’s a good chance you’ve accumulated a lot of things. Removing the clutter from your drawers, counters, and shelves will make your home feel fresh again.
  3. Make easy décor changes. Add new throw pillows to your couch, replace your rugs, switch out your hardware or even give your walls a new coat of paint! These easy changes allow your home’s style to evolve with yours!
  4. Switch out your photos. Update the photos in your picture frames and gallery walls with something new! They are sure to bring a smile to your face every time you walk by.
  5. Take a look at your lights. Do your rooms feel light and airy or dim and dingy? Reevaluating your lighting needs in each room can help you improve your home’s functionality and help you to enjoy it more.

If you just can’t seem to find the love in your current home and you are ready to sell, we’d love to help you! Contact us here and let’s get started!

Watch Out for These Summer Safety Hazards at Home

Summer time and the living is easy! Weekends at the lake, grilling every night, relaxing on the patio – summer fun allows us to put our guard down and soak up the sunshine. But unfortunately there are some seasonal dangers around your home in these summer months that we need to stay aware of. Here are some common summer hazards that can happen around the home.

  1. Overworked, outdated AC units. Old and dirty AC units can circulate gross air throughout your house and increase your energy costs a ton in the summer months. Even though we are halfway through summer, it’s not too late to get an AC tune up done by a professional to ensure your system is operating at its best (and safest!).
  2. Unsecured homes. Letting a summer breeze in through open windows and doors is lovely, but it also gives thieves an easy way to get in and steal your valuable property. Always ensure that your home is completely locked up before leaving (including your windows!), especially if you are headed out of town!
  3. Pool safety. According to the CDC about one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. If you have a pool, it absolutely must be secured with a four sided pool fence that separates the pool area from the house. The fence should be at least 4 feet high with a self-latching gate. Automatic door locks and door alarms are also a great idea! And remember to remove all pool toys from the deck and pool when you are not using it so children are not tempted to get back in the water. You can never be too cautious with pools.
  4. Grill with caution. Before you fire up the grill, always make sure that it is set up at least 10 feet away from your home. Gas grills should be checked for hose leaks and blockages. Make sure to never step away from the grill while it’s on and to wait for coals to cool completely (if using a charcoal grill) before disposing of them.

We want you to have the best summer possible, and being aware of some safety hazards can help you do just that!

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Stevi Campbell!

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate! Meet Stevi Campbell!

Stevi Campbell

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

My favorite thing about Tehachapi is raising my kids in the same town my husband and I grew up in.

2. What is your number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their house?

My number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their home would be to have a yard sale before your house goes on the market. You can get rid of all of the clutter and you won’t feel rushed to do a yard sale when your house is in escrow.

3. What do you think is the most important thing for clients to know about buying a house?

I think the most important thing buyers should know is that they should really read all of the disclosures and forms they are signing. I know it’s tempting to skim through and sign but it is really important to know what you are signing. Remember to ask as many questions as you need to.

4. Where is your favorite place in the world?

My favorite place in the world is the home we moved into in 2011 in Bear Valley. Josh Riley was our agent!

5. What do you love about being a real estate agent?

I love being a Real Estate Agent because it keeps me involved in our community and I like being connected to so many families.

Want to work with Stevi? Contact her here!

5 Ways to Make Your Rental Feel Like Home

Just because you don’t own the building that you live in, doesn’t mean that it can’t feel like home.  We’ve got some easy ways to make your rental feel warm, cozy and like you.

  1. Make inexpensive updates. There are a lot of inexpensive updates you can make to your rental that can reflect your style and make it feel more customized to your tastes. Replace things like toilet seats, light fixtures, towel bars, shower heads, cabinet hardware and even outlet covers.
  2. Decorate the walls. Create a gallery wall with your favorite family photos and hang up your favorite art to really make your home feel like yours. Make a statement by highlighting a large piece of art or make it even more personal by framing large photos of your favorite travels!

picture-frames-1149414_19203. Make it practical. If your rental agreement includes a “no holes policy”, use removable hooks and adhesive strips to make your rental work for you. Need a hook on the back of a door for bath towels? Use a removable hook! You’ll be so much happier in your rental if you install elements that make your day-to-day easier.

4. Add texture. Sometimes a rental can feel a little sterile. Make it soft and comfortable by adding textures to your décor! Lay down a fluffy rug over rental-grade carpet to create a cozier feeling. Utilize throws, soft pillows, and high quality bedding to make you (and your guests!) feel at home.

5. Bring the outdoors in. Add life to your rental by adding house plants to your window sills, tables and kitchen! This is especially beneficial if you do not have a lot of outdoor space where you live.

home-2609600_1920

What are your favorite ways to make a rental feel like home? Comment below and let us know!

5 Outdoor Upgrades to Increase the Value of Your Home

Now that the weather is nice, it’s the perfect time to add some upgrades to the exterior of your home. But don’t start just any renovation! There are some projects (like adding a swimming pool) that could actually reduce your homes attractiveness to potential buyers. Even if you aren’t thinking of selling your home soon, but you do want to take on some projects this summer, consider these five value-adding exterior projects when deciding what to tackle.

Replace your garage doors. Beautiful, new garage doors are a great way to increase curb appeal and draw buyers from the get-go. While new garage doors are not cheap, the value that a new garage door can bring to your home when you are ready to sell it is almost guaranteed to offset the cost.

Build a fire pit. While some backyard additions can be polarizing, almost every one can agree that there is nothing nicer than enjoying a fire on a cool evening. Install a high-quality, classic fire pit to enjoy now that will eventually woo buyers when you are ready to sell. Want to build your own? Here’s how!

firepit

Spend some time on your landscape. Really dedicating some time this summer to focus on the health of your lawn is worth your investment. Lush landscaping is another curb-appeal factor that will start any home showing off on the right foot.

Build a deck or patio. Adding a deck or patio to your backyard extends your living space which is a huge plus for homebuyers. And of course, you’ll love using it too!

wooden deck upgrades

Plant a tree. Trees are one of the only things that actually appreciate over time. Plant one (or two!) now so that when you are ready to sell, they add value to your home. Looking for the perfect tree for your front yard? Check out this list of “14 Favorite Front Yard Trees”!

What exterior upgrades are most important to you? Comment below and let us know!

Our favorite things to do in Tehachapi this summer!

Now that summer is in full swing, we asked our team to tell us what their favorite things to do in Tehachapi are when the weather gets warmer. Here’s what we love!

“Walking my dogs at Brite Lake!” – Julie Apathy

“My kids favorite past time in the summer is fishing at Brite Lake.” – Debra Shea

“Hiking and spending time at Brite Lake.” – Jutta Thacker

BriteLake

“Going to Bear Valley Springs and relaxing while watching the kayakers and swimmers. Our dog Lucy also loves chasing the sucks and digging in the sand there.” –DeVerie Riley

“Hiking, 4 Island and Cub Lake, going to the Rodeo.” – Wendy Mascarenas

Tehachapi Rodeo

Mountain Festival in the middle of August.  There is so much to do. Parade, rodeo, carnival, gem and mineral show, vendors and food at the park. It is so fantastic!  Car show too.  Something for everyone!” – Wendy Finley-Blackburn

“The Bear Valley Springs pool and 4-Island Lake!” – Adriana Ghorbani

“Getting out and going off-roading in the Jeeps or the ATV’s. Also going gold-panning or digging for cool looking rocks. Camping in the RV when we can or having a BBQ and playing cornhole.” – Lindsey Redera

 

What’s your favorite thing to do in Tehachapi in the summer? Comment below and let us know!

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Julie Apathy!

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate! Meet Julie Apathy!

Julie Apathy

  1. Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family!

I grew up in Glendale, CA with three brothers and a sister. We loved camping and going to the beach. My father was an architect, engineer, and contractor. My mom was a preschool teacher and played organ at church. I received my AA degree from Glendale Jr. College and transferred to California State University, Northridge where I received my BS in Foods in Business. While in college I worked as a tour guide at Universal Studios and later worked at Glendale Adventist Hospital in the dietary department. Because much of my family had moved to Tehachapi in the early 1980s, I followed them and helped run Old Town Postal & Blueprint Services. I had been dating Jon, who was also from Glendale, and we got married in 1986. We took over the business and had two daughters.  In 1997, I started my full time teaching career at Golden Hills Elementary as a second grade teacher, and have been there ever since. In 2013 I got my real estate license and have been a part time agent with Associated Real Estate. My teaching career is coming to an end, and I look forward to spending more time as a realtor, helping clients achieve their goals.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

I have lived in Tehachapi for 33 years and love it! I’ve seen the growth over the years, but it still has that small town charm. My husband and I have raised two daughters here and now have two grandkids that live down the street from us. It’s the friendly people, beautiful rural landscape, and location that truly make it one of the best places to live in California.

  1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their house?

When getting ready to sell your house, it’s important to get it in ship-shape before listing.  Investing some money and muscle before listing will pay off in the long run and help to increase the home’s value. Neutral paint colors and curb appeal will also bring more showings. Pricing is key, and if it’s priced right, it won’t sit on the market and lose interest. Find a realtor who is knowledgeable and puts your interests first.

  1. What do you think is the most important thing for clients to know about buying a house?

If you are planning on buying a home, it’s important to get pre-qualifed for your loan. I recommend going with one of our local lenders here in Tehachapi. They are experienced, know the market, and make things move as smooth as possible.

  1. Where is your favorite place in the world?

My favorite place in the world is the garden island of Kauai.

  1. What do you love about being a real estate agent?

The best thing about out being a real estate agent is that sense of accomplishment once escrow has closed and my clients are satisfied with their purchase or sale. It’s wonderful getting to know them and helping them through the process.

Want to work with Julie? Contact her here!

Patriotic Desserts for Your Memorial Weekend

The first big cookout of the summer is here! Celebrate with some delicious (and patriotic!) desserts that are sure to be a hit at your get-together.

Patriotic M&M Cookie Bars. Easy to make and perfect for a crowd, these will be devoured in no time.

Red-White-and-Blue-MMS-Cookie-Bars-4

Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Strawberries. A healthier dessert option that is delicious and pretty!

stuffed-strawberries-3

Red, White and Blue Popsicles. Made with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, these popsicles are refreshing AND good for you!

popsicles

Red, White and Blue Pretzel Bites. Sweet and salty is always a winning combination! And adding a mini candy bar to the middle? YUM.

Red-White-Blue-Candy-Bar-Pretzels

Firecracker Cake. This cake is a showstopper! And it’s easier to make than you think.

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What will you be making for your Memorial Day Cookout? Comment below and let us know! For more ideas check out this recipe round-up from Country Living.

10 Hacks to Make Moving Out Easier!

Planning on moving soon? We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite hacks from the internet to help make moving as easy as possible!

  1. Fill your pots and crock pots with spices when you pack them. It saves space and keeps them safe during the move!
  2. Keep your utensils in their organizer, but cover them with plastic wrap so they don’t move!
  3. Remove drawers and put plastic wrap over each. Then you don’t have to empty the contents at all.
  4. Put a fitted sheet on both ends of your mattress before loading into the moving truck to keep it
  5. Before moving complicated electronics, snap a picture of the wiring setup. Then label wires with tape before unplugging so that you can easily rewire your devices when setting up at your new house.
  6. Leave your bathroom necessities in a clear, labeled bin and leave it in an easily accessible space. That way you can grab it quickly when you get to your new place!
  7. Put tape in an X across mirrors to prevent them from breaking or shattering.
  8. Pack books or other heavy items in suitcases with wheels for easy transport.
  9. While your clothes are still hanging in the closet, put them inside a trash bag to make unpacking simpler.
  10. Instead of bubble wrap, protect your dishes and fragile items with clothing and linens. You need to pack them anyway, so might as well make them useful!

For more ideas check out this and this! Do you have any moving tips that we missed! Comment below and let us know!

5 Sounds Your House SHOULDN’T Be Making

All houses make some noise (think: creaky floors, squeaky drawers, and noisy door hinges), but there are some sounds that could mean some big problems. If you hear any of the following 5 sounds in your home, it’s time to call a professional.

  1. Your Lights are Buzzing. If you hear a buzzing sound coming from your outlets or light fixtures, there is probably a loose connection. Call an electrician right away to make sure there is no loose connection which could cause an electrical fire.
  2. Scurrying Coming from the Attic. If it sounds like a rodent, it probably is a rodent. Beyond the “yuck” factor, rodents like squirrels or rats are dangerous to have in your house because they can chew through electrical wires, causing a fire in your house. Get a pest control professional to come and see what’s running around up there ASAP.
  3. Banging from Your AC. If you hear a banging sound or a squealing noise coming from your AC, there’s probably something that needs to be tuned up. Have your unit serviced be a professional to extend its life and ensure that you are operating efficiently.
  4. Running Water. If no one is using anything, but you still hear running water, you could have a big, wet problem on your hands. Call a plumber to do an inspection and see if you have a leak somewhere.
  5. A Hissing Sound. This is probably the worst sound you could hear in your house. If you hear hissing and suspect that you might have a gas leak, leave the house as quickly as possible and DO NOT touch any light switches or anything electric. You’ll need to get as far away from your home as possible (do not turn on your car!), call 911, and warn your neighbors to get far away too.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry! If you hear any of these noises, call a professional to ensure your home is as safe and healthy as possible.

Tehachapi Golf Guide

Ready to hit the links? We’ve put together a guide to golf courses within 35 minutes of Tehachapi to help you make the most out of your time on the course!

Golf Courses

Bear Valley Springs Golf Course
29541 Rolling Oak Drive
Tehachapi
Phone: 661-821-5144

California City Public Golf Course
21000 Hacienda Blvd.
California City
Phone: 760-373-3530

Rio Bravo Country Club
15200 Casa Club Drive
Bakersfield
Phone: 661-871-4900

Tierra Del Sol Golf Course
10300 N. Loop Blvd.
California City
Phone: 760-373-2384

What’s your favorite course? Comment below and let us know!

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Beecher Aller!

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate!

Meet Beecher Aller!

ARE Real Estate Beecher Aller

  1. Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family!

I grew up in a military family with five siblings in the Antelope Valley. My favorite part of living in the Antelope Valley now is its central location and the easy ability to get anywhere.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

Henry’s Café is one of my favorite places in Tehachapi!

  1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their house?

Find a highly qualified and successful agent and price your home reasonably.

  1. What do you think is the most important thing for clients to know about buying a house?

Do your best to determine ahead of time if you can really afford the market you are looking at.

  1. Where is your favorite place in the world?

Anywhere my family is!

  1. What do you love about being a real estate agent?

Because I’m now “retired”, I can work the hours that I want!

Want to work with Beecher? Contact him here!

5 Landscaping Hacks to Save You Time This Spring

With warmer weather on the horizon, we’re guessing that you are itching to get outside and get your hands in the dirt! We’ve rounded up our favorite landscaping hacks to help you save time and money this Spring!

  1. Plant Your Pots. If you’re worried about certain plants or flowers taking over your garden, plant them in a pot and put the pot in the dirt! It will keep them contained just where you want them!
  2. Use a Muffin Tin to Help with Seed Spacing. Instead of digging a bunch of holes to plant your vegetable seeds, push a muffin tin into the dirt, drop the seeds into the depressions, cover with soil and water!
  3. Make Mowing as Efficient as Possible. Group plantings into beds with mulch to avoid mowing around each individual plant (which would be super time consuming!)
  4. Get it Right the First Time. Avoid heading back to the store multiple times because you didn’t measure correctly the first time. Figure out the square footage of the area you want to soil or mulch (length x width) and then convert to cubic feet so you know how much material to buy. Here’s a handy mulch calculator to use!
  5. Save Your Grounds. Did you know that coffee grounds keep pests like ants, snails and slugs away? Another reason to drink more coffee!

What are some of your favorite landscaping hacks? Comment below and let us know!

Yes, You WANT a Home Inspection and Here’s Why!

You’ve found your dream home and you’re convinced it’s perfect. While you may feel like you can skip the home inspection, having one done really is essential to the home buying process and totally worth the money. Here are our top reasons why home inspections are essential:

  1. Uncover Safety Issues. A proper home inspection will ensure that the home is safe. A home inspector might find leaky plumbing, improper electrical wiring, fascia problems, improper fan ventilation or inoperable windows during the inspection. Other safety issues that may be uncovered are things like radon, carbon monoxide and mold. Be sure that your home-buying contract states that if any of these hazards are found, you have the option to cancel the offer to buy.
  2. Use it as a Negotiating Tool. If the inspection reveals repairs that need to be made, your inspection report gives you the opportunity to ask the seller for a price reduction to accommodate those repairs. Your realtor will know which repair requests are worth asking for and which can help you negotiate a better deal.
  3. Project Future Costs. A home inspector will be able to take a look at large equipment like the HVAC, water heater and plumbing systems and let you know their current condition and when they might need to be replaced. This will help you predict home much you’ll need to spend on these large items in the future and adjust your home budget accordingly.

You’ll get peace of mind knowing that your future home is in great condition by having a home inspection completed by a qualified home inspector. Ask us who we recommend!

Our Favorite Breakfast Spots in Tehachapi!

A delicious breakfast can’t be beat, and luckily, we’ve got some delicious options in Tehachapi! We asked our ARE team for their favorite breakfast spots and here’s what they recommend:

Henry's Tehachapi Breakfast
Henry’s Cafe
550 Tucker Road
Monday-Sunday 6am-3pm

Kohnens Bakery Tehachapi Breakfast
Kohnen’s County Bakery
125 W. Tehachapi Blvd.
Monday-Sunday 6am-6pm

 Bear Valley Market Breakfast Tehachapi

Bear Valley Market Grill & Deli
26900 Bear Valley Road
Monday-Sunday 6am-9pm (open until 10pm Friday and Saturday)

Steampunk Café and Grill Breakfast Tehachapi

Steampunk Café and Grill
20324 W. Valley Blvd
Monday-Saturday 7am-9pm, Sunday 7am-2pm

Where’s your favorite place to grab breakfast in Tehachapi? Comment below and let us know!

3 Big Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Downsize

Whether you’re becoming an empty-nester or just feel like your current home is too big for your needs, there are a couple of questions to ask yourself before you take the plunge and downsize.

  1. Will this move save me money? Just because you are moving to a smaller home, there may still be additional expenses that need to be considered before you make a decision. Think: HOA fees, homeowner’s insurance that could increase based on the type of home you are moving in to, replacing old appliances, costs of maintenance, etc. Make sure that downsizing makes sense to you financially before you sell.
  2. What will I do with all of my STUFF? If you’re moving to a smaller home, there’s a big chance you will not have space for everything from your current home. This is a great opportunity to declutter, sell and/or donate items that you no longer use. If you just can’t seem to part with some of your things but you still want to downsize, perhaps it makes sense to rent a storage unit.
  3. Am I emotionally ready? The thought of downsizing is emotionally tough for many homeowners because it might mean that you are leaving a home that you love. It’s hard to leave a home where you have raised children, celebrated holidays and created memories! But if downsizing is truly the right decision for you, think of all of the wonderful memories you will be making in your new place! And, remember that the home that you once loved will now be ready for a new family to love.

If you’re comfortable with your answers to these questions and you’re ready to find your perfect, smaller home, we can help!

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Sean McCostlin!

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate!

Meet Sean McCostlin!

Sean McCostlin

  1. Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family!

I was born in Monterey, California and lived in Salinas and Bakersfield before moving to Mojave. My dad works as an electrician for Chevron Oil and my mother is a homemaker.

  1. Have you always been in real estate or did you have a different career prior to becoming a real estate agent?

I received my Bachelors of Science in Advertising from San Jose State University. I worked in Retail Store Management for a majority of my life but recently decided to go into real estate because I view houses as the ultimate project. Selling homes comes naturally to me.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

The cooler climate compared to other areas in California.

  1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their house?

Make sure not to overprice!

  1. What do you think is the most important thing for clients to know about buying a house?

Try not to stress – that’s my job!

  1. Where is your favorite place in the world?

Venice, Italy.

  1. What do you love about being a real estate agent?

One of my favorite things about being a real estate agent is that I get to be my own boss.

Want to work with Sean? Contact him here!

3 Things to Look for in Your First Investment Property

If you’ve decided that an investment property is the right purchase for you, there are three things you’ll want to consider before you sign the contract on your first fixer-upper or rental unit.

  1. Location. You might have found a great property, but is it in an attractive location where other people would like to live? Make sure you really check out the neighborhood to make sure it is in a desirable area. It could be the perfect house, but if no one wants to live in that area, you are not going to be able to make any money. An experienced realtor will have the insight to help you find the perfect spot for a successful investment property.
  2. How much work does it really need? Before you put an offer in, you need to have a very clear picture of all of the work (and money!) this property requires. If this is your first time rehabbing a house, bring a contractor with you to give you their honest opinion of all of the projects that need to be done. A property may appear to only need cosmetic changes, but there could be larger foundation issues (for example) that aren’t obvious right away. Don’t make a bad purchase that will end up costing you money!
  3. The Real Costs. Making a decision based on emotion is a big mistake that many first time investors make. Beyond the purchase price and renovation costs, you’ll need to consider property taxes, insurance, and operating costs. Be honest and realistic about what your investment will cost now, before it’s too late.

Remember: A smart rental investment property is one that appreciates in value. A great realtor has insight into different communities that are perfect for investments. Ready to start the hunt for an investment property that will make you money? We’d love to help!

4 Thoughtful Home Updates Buyers will LOVE

If you are thinking about listing your home for sale, it might feel overwhelming to think about updates you need to make before you get it on the market. We’ve rounded up four ways to make your home really standout to buyers – and they are easy!

Give Them Curb Appeal. Freshen up your landscape, pull weeds, mow the lawn, trim the bushes and lay down fresh mulch to give potential buyers the best first impression as possible! Refresh the paint on your door (and maybe pick a new pop of color!) to invite them in. Add some hanging baskets on your front porch with beautiful, colorful flowers, and put a new, clean welcome mat at your door.

Exterior

Replace Bathroom Mirrors. A sure sign of an outdated bathroom are old, gross mirrors. Replacing them with something more modern and new will freshen up the space. Other bathroom tips? Replace the shower curtain (with something clean and neutral) and switch out your linens with new white towels. Replacing your bathroom fixtures like faucets and shower heads will also go a long way!

bathroom

Install Ceiling Fans. Buyers love practical and beautiful ceiling fans. If your home does not already have them, consider adding them to your living room and bedrooms.

ceiling fans

Tone Down Bright Colors. While you don’t need to repaint your entire house, if you have some rooms with especially loud colors (think: kid’s rooms), consider repainting them to something more neutral. Chances are the buyers would be planning to do this anyway, so cross this off their to-do list from the start.

colorful interior

If you are thinking of putting your home on the market, we’d love to help you get ready! Our agents have a ton of knowledge about what Tehachapi buyers are looking for and would be happy to talk to you about how you can make your home stand out. Contact us here to get started!

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Jutta Thacker

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate!

Meet Jutta Thacker!

Jutta Thacker

  1. Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family!

I was born and raised in Germany where I met my husband. He was stationed there during his time in the United States Air Force. After spending many years living abroad in Germany, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia, we moved to Tehachapi in 2002, where we raised three children, Nina, Katja and Casey.

  1. Have you always been in real estate or did you have a different career prior to becoming a real estate agent?

After working in retail for many years, I got my real estate license in 2003 and became an agent. While working at Coldwell Banker I was awarded Top Producing Associate, Top Selling Associate, Top Listing Associate and Multi-Million Dollar Producer.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

I love the small town feel but am definitely excited about Walmart coming to town! I also love the low crime rate of Tehachapi.

  1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their house?

The most important thing to do is declutter and sell unwanted furniture to make the house presentable for showings. Determine potential fixes before listing and price the home correctly.

  1. What do you think is the most important thing for clients to know about buying a house?

That the first step is to get pre-qualified!

  1. Where is your favorite place in the world?

The Mexican Rivera. We took a cruise there a couple years ago and I really liked it.

  1. What do you love about being a real estate agent?

I love helping my clients find their dream home. Providing the highest quality of service possible while building lasting relationships at the same time is one of the most wonderful things about being a real estate agent.

Want to work with Jutta? Contact her here!

Tehachapi Guide for Dog Owners

Moving to Tehachapi with your dog? We’re so happy to welcome you and your 4-legged family member to our beautiful community! We’ve put together a resource guide to help make your move to Tehachapi with your dog as easy as possible.

IMG-1835 (1)

(Josh and DeVerie Riley’s dog Lucy)

Dog Parks

  1. Meadowbrook Dog Park
  2. Bear Valley Springs Dog Park

Dog-Friendly Restaurants

  1. Red House BBQ
  2. Petra Mediterranean Deli
  3. Kohnen’s Country Bakery
  4. Village Grill 

Dog-Friendly Wineries

  1. Triassic Vineyards

Veterinarians

  1. Tehachapi Veterinary Hospital
  2. Billingsley Veterinary Clinic

Dog Boarding

  1. Tehachapi Pet Lodge
  2. Happy Trails Boarding and Pet Grooming

Grooming

  1. Canine Creek Pet Wash and Grooming
  2. Grooming Spot
  3. Devan Yates
  4. Dorrie The Groomer
  5. Wizard of Happy Paws Dog Grooming

Is there something that we missed on our list? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to add it!

Tehachapi dog resource guide

(Lindsey Redera’s dogs Dexter and Rivet)

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Wendy Finley-Blackburn!

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate! Meet Wendy Finley-Blackburn!

Wendy Finley-Blackburns

  1. Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family!

I grew up in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys.  I have 5 brothers. Growing up we had horses, milk goats, chicken and ducks.  As a child I raised guinea pigs and sold them to a local pet store.  We always had animals my entire life.

My husband and I have a blended family of 4 adult children, 9 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. We also have a donkey, horse and 2 dogs! We love the open spaces and the beauty of Tehachapi.  We volunteer at the Tehachapi Railroad Depot Museum and for our church.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

When I come back to Tehachapi after traveling, I feel peace and serenity.  I know I am “home”.  There is beauty in every season.

  1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their house?

Fix everything before listing it for sale.  The better it looks, the faster it will sell.

  1. What do you think is the most important thing for clients to know about buying a house?

There is no “perfect” home.  But you can make any home your own.

  1. Where is your favorite place in the world?

I haven’t been there yet!

  1. What do you love about being a real estate agent?

Meeting new people and helping them reach their home ownership and home sales goals.

Want to work with Wendy? Contact her here!

Five Kitchen Improvements to Make Before You List Your Home

Planning on selling your home this year?

Here are five kitchen improvements you can make  to help with resell!

kitchen improvements

  1. Instead of replacing your cabinets (which can be expensive) brighten up your kitchen by sanding and repainting your existing cabinets. White cabinets make a kitchen feel clean, modern and clutter free.
  2. If your kitchen feels outdated, replacing the hardware on the cabinets can make a big difference. And it’s easy!
  3. Add a “wow “ factor. Replace your faucet with a newer version with handy features. Or maybe add a pull out pantry, under-cabinet lighting, or new pendent lighting to stop potential buyers in their tracks (for the right reasons)!
  4. Freshen up the walls with a new coat of paint. Since you want your kitchen to feel as large as possible, stick with a light paint color to brighten up the space. Whites and neutrals are a safe choice.
  5. Declutter your counter tops, organize your pantry, and make the room as functional as possible. Potential buyers want to be able to envision themselves using the space. Make it easy for them to do so by keeping the kitchen as organized and streamlined as possible!

Have questions about what kitchen improvements you should make  before you list it? Let an expert take a look at it! We’d love to see your space and offer up suggestions when you are getting ready to list. Contact us to get started!

Thank You for an Amazing 2018!

As we close out the end of 2018, we wanted to take a moment to thank YOU, our fantastic clients. In the past year, we have been able to help so many of you find your dream home, and many of you sell your home – quickly and painlessly. We are so proud to be a part of the Tehachapi community and are incredibly grateful to be able to help our neighbors with such a big life decision. Thank you for trusting us with your real estate needs!

We have big plans for 2019 (like more community events!) and hope you’ll stay connected with us even if buying or selling a home in the next year is not in your plans. As always, if you had a great experience with Associated Real Estate in 2018, we’d appreciate if you told your friends and family about us! We’d love to help them buy or sell their home.

We live here. We work here. We love it here.

We are your local, family-owned Tehachapi real estate team, and we thank you for your business! Here’s to a new year!

Associated Real Estate Team

4 Easy Ways to Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency – All Year Long!

Looking for easy ways to save money and energy in your home throughout the year? Here are 4 simple things you can do (each season!) to make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible!

Winter

Change (or clean) your furnace air filters. This is the quickest and easiest way to improve your unit’s efficiency and improves your air quality. Not sure how to do it? Here are some easy instructions: https://bit.ly/2Gziupw

Spring

Use nature to your advantage. The spring is the perfect time to utilize the mild temperatures outside and the abundance of sunshine. Turn off your AC unit and open the windows when it’s warm to catch a breeze inside. Open your window treatments to let the sunshine warm your house when it’s cool.

Energy Efficiency

Summer

Switch the direction of your ceiling fans. Save money on you electricity bill by letting your ceiling fans do some of the hard work in the heat of the summer! You’ll want the blades to circulate in a counter clockwise motion to create a breeze. This one is as simple as pushing a button!

Fall

Check weather stripping on windows and doors. Before the weather gets too cool, check to make sure that your home is properly sealed. Leaks in your weather stripping will increase your energy bill and make for a drafty home. Check out easy ways to check your weather stripping here: https://bit.ly/2ECRgfi

What other things do you do you save energy? Comment below and let us know!

Where to volunteer in Tehachapi this holiday season!

The hustle and bustle of the holidays combined with the stress of finding the perfect gifts, planning the perfect meal and attending every holiday event can really take the joy out of the season. An easy (and meaningful!) way to get back to what the holidays are really supposed to be about is to volunteer. Giving your time and talents to an organization that means a lot to you is a win-win for everyone. Here are some of our favorite organizations to volunteer at in Tehachapi this holiday season!

  1. Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District: Protect what you love! The Park District has a lot of ways to volunteer including trail cleanup and landscape maintenance. Learn more and sign up here: https://bit.ly/2G4SwtT
  2. Have a heart for animals? Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue is striving to make all dog shelters in Kern County “no-kill”. They rescue, rehabilitate, train and re-home dogs that need it most. Volunteer or donate items to their ranch. Sign up to volunteer and see their wish list here: https://bit.ly/2FYhACK
  3. The Mission at Kern County provides shelter, food, clothing and support to our neighbors who need help. You can volunteer at The Mission, donate items, or create a Care Kit to distribute to those who are living on the street. Find out more here: https://bit.ly/2Qd4Ug5
  4. Did you know that you can volunteer to transport and/or care for sick and injured birds? The Pacific Waterfowl Rescue needs volunteers to help rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming domestic ducks and geese. You can even adopt one! Find out more here: https://bit.ly/2Pk6kQJ
  5. The Family Life Pregnancy Center of Tehachapi trains volunteers year round to help those in our community who need support when facing a pregnancy. Learn more about what they do here: http://familylifepc.org/

Know of some more awesome ways to give back this season? Comment below and let us know!

Its the Season to Give Back

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Lindsey Redera!

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate!

Meet Lindsey Redera!

Lindsey Redera

  1. Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family!
    I was born in Manila, Philippines but came to the U.S. when I was only 6 months old. I grew up in Reno, NV. My mom brought my brother and I to Reno by herself and raised us until my dad was able to be petitioned to come to Reno as well. My parents and brother and sister in law and 2 nephews are all still in Reno.
  2. Have you always been in real estate or did you have a different career prior to becoming a real estate agent?
    My professional history was working for the Department of Homeland Security as a Federal
    Contract Officer for 11 years before I gofinto Real Estate.
  3. Any hobbies?
    My favorite hobbies are playing with anything with a motor in it. Going off-roading in my truck, or riding my ATV’s or going jet skiing.
  4. Why do you love real estate?
    I’ve always enjoyed helping people and now being in real estate and being able to be involved in finding that perfect home for my clients is a great . feeling and something that is very important to me.
  5. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
    I think for me my biggest accomplishment was getting my Real Estate license. Never did I ever think I would get into Real Estate especially at such a later age in life. A good majority of people are afraid to make big changes especially mid-life, but for me life changed and so I saw a different opportunity and took it.

Want to contact Lindsey about buying or selling your house? Contact her here!

Five Reasons You Want to Raise Your Family in Tehachapi

Tehachapi is an amazing place to have a family. With tons of things to do, beautiful weather, great schools, and friendly neighbors, it’s a great place to be! Here are our top five reasons you want to raise your family in Tehachapi!

  1. The Weather
    Called “The Land of Four Seasons” Tehachapi has beautiful weather all year round. Warm sunny days in the summer (but not too hot!), a gorgeous autumn and even moderate snow fall in the winter. Living in Tehachapi, your children will get to fully experience every season – and the fun activities that come along with them!

Ice cream

2. Affordable Place to Live

The average sale price for a home in California is $485,800 while the average sale price in Tehachapi is just $276,300! Less money spent on housing = more money available to invest in your family!

Bike Riding in Tehachapi

3. Community Events

From the Farmers Market, to Trunk-or-Treat, to our big All American 4th of July Hotdog Festival, there is ALWAYS something fun and family-friendly happening in Tehachapi! For the full list of year-round activities, check out the Tehachapi event calendar.

4. Healthy Lifestyle Encouraged!

The residents of Tehachapi are active and for good reason! We’ve got tons of great hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails, fishing and golfing. Our beautiful weather lends itself to year-round outdoor activities and there are plenty of them! And if the weather is having an off-day, there are even 3 gyms in our community to get your energy out, indoors. If raising your kids to love an active, healthy lifestyle is important to you, then Tehachapi is your place!

TehachapiTree

5. Friendly People

We may be biased, but the people you meet in Tehachapi are some of the friendliest people around. Always willing to lend a hand and offer a smile, we promise that you will feel the warmth of this special place right away. Raising your family in Tehachapi is a joy.

Family dinner in Tehachapi

We are so proud of our community and would be excited to welcome you as our neighbor. To schedule your appointment to speak with one of our local, Tehachapi-loving agents, click here. We hope to see your family in Tehachapi soon!

Current Homes For Sale in Tehachapi

4 Last Minute Halloween Decorations for the Exterior of Your Home

Boo! Did Halloween sneak up on you like a black cat in an alley? It’s not too late to get in the holiday spirit with these cheap and easy decorations for the outside of your home before the 31st!

  1. Use construction paper and streamers to turn your front door into a silly monster!

MonsterDoors

Click here for instructions. 

2. Pull out your wheelbarrow, fill it with dirt and put skeleton bones sticking out of the dirt. For this one, you’ll just need to deconstruct a store-bought skeleton. Easy as that!

Wheelbarrow

Click here for instructions.

3. Turn black construction paper into creepy window silhouettes! Keep them simple with bats and ghosts, or make them elaborate with witches and whole spooky (or silly!) scenes.

WindowDecor (2)

Click here for instructions. 

4. Ready for the easiest idea yet? Switch out your normal light bulbs in your exterior lighting with orange or purple light bulbs! Instant spookiness!

HalloweenLightbulbs

Have a fun and safe Halloween!