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 Overworked, outdated AC units.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!

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!

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!

What to Know About Your Home Inspection

Tehachapi Home Buyers: What to Know About Your Home Inspection

Some items should always be examined during a Tehachapi home inspection.

Structure

The home’s “skeleton” should be able to stand up to weather, gravity, and the earth that surrounds it. Structural components include items such as the foundation and the framing.

Exterior

The inspector should look at sidewalks, driveways, steps, windows, doors, siding, trim, and surface drainage. They should also examine any attached porches, decks, and balconies.

Roofing

A good inspector will provide very important information about your roof, including its age, roof draining systems, buckled shingles, and loose gutters and downspouts. They should also inform you of the condition of any skylights and chimneys as well as the potential for pooling water.

Plumbing

They should thoroughly examine the water supply and drainage systems, water heating equipment, and fuel storage systems. Pressure pumps and sump pumps also fall under this category but are less common in our area. Poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots, or corrosion can indicate larger problems. The inspector should be able to tell you the water heater’s age, its energy rating, and whether the size is adequate for the house.

Electrical

You should be informed of the condition of service entrance wires, service panels, breakers and fuses, and disconnects. Also take note of the number of outlets in each room.

Heating and air conditioning

The home’s vents, flues, and chimneys should be inspected. They should also describe and inspect all the central air and through-wall cooling equipment. The inspector should be able to tell you the if the heating and cooling systems in the house are efficient.

Interiors

Your inspector should take a close look at walls, ceilings and floors; steps, stairways, and railings; countertops and cabinets; and garage systems. These areas can reveal leaks, insect damage, rot, construction defects, and more.

Ventilation/insulation

Inspectors should check for adequate insulation and ventilation in the attic and in unfinished areas such as crawl spaces. Insulation should be appropriate for the climate. Here in Tehachpi we get freezing weather that cause problems like pipes freezing and breaking if not properly insulated. Without proper ventilation, excess moisture can lead to mold and water damage.

Fireplaces

They’re charming, but fireplaces can be dangerous if they’re not properly installed and maintained. Inspectors should examine the vent and flue, and describe solid fuel-burning appliances.


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Preparing to Buy Real Estate in Tehachapi

Preparing to
Buy your Tehachapi Home

Choose an agent you know you can trust.

Finding a trusted partner is absolutely a vital step to purchasing a home. Choosing a real estate professional to help you with each step of the process can help relieve  stress and worry. An Associated Real Estate agent will take the time to understand your goals and will be ready and able to guide you through the home buying process.

Talk to mortgage brokers.

Many first-time home buyers don’t take the time to get prequalified. They also often don’t take the time to shop around to find the best mortgage for their particular situation. It’s important to ask plenty of questions and make sure you understand the home loan process completely. You may discover that improving your credit could help you to afford your dream home in Tehachapi. Talking to a professional to prepare you for the finance process will also help you know what you can afford to offer when you do find that perfect home.

Be ready to move.

This is especially true in markets with a low inventory of homes for sale. It’s very common for home buyers to miss out on the first home they wish to purchase because they don’t act quickly enough. By the time they’ve made their decision, they may find that someone else has already purchased the house.

Make a good offer.

Remember that your offer is very unlikely to be the only one on the table. Do what you can to ensure it’s appealing to a seller.

Factor maintenance and repair costs into your buying budget.

Even brand-new homes will require some work. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.

Think ahead.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in your present needs, but you should also think about reselling the home before you buy. The average first-time buyer expects to stay in a home for around 10 years, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Develop your home/neighborhood wish list.

Prioritize these items from most important to least.

Select where you want to live.

Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account nearby schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety. Get to know each area of Tehachapi and what it has to offer you. You may like the connivance of being in town or want more outdoor space and prefer Golden Hills. If amenities or Equestrian facilities is what you are looking for you might choose Bear Valley. You should also ask about Home Owners association fees and CC&R’s for each area to be sure it will fit your lifestyle and budget.