Associated Real Estate Wins “Best of Tehachapi” Awards!

We are so thrilled to announce that Associated Real Estate has won THREE “Best of Tehachapi” Awards for 2019.

BEST in Real Estate Office
BEST in Property Management
BEST in Realtor – Josh Riley

And as a wonderful bonus, we were also voted a Favorite for Employer!

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We are so honored to win these awards and are so appreciative of everyone who voted. Taking the time to vote and help us win these awards means a lot to our local, family owned company.  Congratulations to all of the other Best of Tehachapi winners as well!

If you or anyone you know are looking to buy, sell or rent in Kern County or Antelope Valley, trust the BEST Real Estate Office and the BEST Property Management company in Tehachapi!

TNI Best Of logo 2019 Best Of favorite logo 2019

2019 Tehachapi Halloween Events

Looking for something fun and spooky to do this Halloween in Tehachapi? We’ve got you covered! Here’s a round-up of 2019 Tehachapi Halloween Events!

Halloween Costume Party
Triassic Vineyards
10/26/19
4-7pm

Fright Night at the Haunted Library
Tehachapi Library
10/26/19
6-8pm

Trunk or Treat
Whiting Center
10/26/19
5-8pm

Trunk or Treat
Downtown Tehachapi
10/31/19
5-7pm

Halloween Hoopla
Woodward West
10/31/19
6-9pm

Happy Harvest Night
First Baptist Church
10/31/19
5-7:30pm

What are you most excited about? Comment below and let us know!

7 Home Buying Acronyms You NEED to Know

If buying a home is in your future, there are some terms you are going to need to know. We are breaking down 7 of the most common home buying acronyms on the blog today!

  1. HOA = Homeowners Association. Many neighborhoods are governed by a Homeowners Association. If you choose a home in a HOA-regulated neighborhood, you’ll pay association fees and will be subject to the HOA’s rules. On the plus side, you’ll also benefit from some nice services like trash removal, amenities, lawn care or maintenance!
  2. FRM = Fixed Rate Mortgage. A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that does NOT change during the entire term of your loan.
  3. ARM = Adjustable Rate Mortgage. An adjustable rate mortgage generally has lower monthly payments at the beginning, but will adjust over time depending on the interest rates.
  4. P&I = Private Mortgage Insurance. This is the extra fee you pay when your down payment is less than 20%.
  5. LTV = Loan to Value. This is the ratio that is calculated by dividing the loan amount by the home’s purchase price. This is important because if you put down less than 20%, you could be able to tap into a special program from your lender.
  6. PITI = Principal, interest, taxes and insurance. Also called your “monthly housing expense”, this includes your mortgage payment and a monthly portion of your homeowners insurance and real estate taxes.
  7. CD = Closing Disclosure. A document that provides important information about your loan, like the interest rate, monthly payments and closing costs. You’ll want to make sure that the information in this document matches the Loan Estimate you received when you applied for the loan.

Real estate terms can seem complicated! We are here to help. Contact us today to help you navigate the home buying process.

5 Tips for Hosting a Successful Open House

If your real estate agent is holding an open house to help sell your home, there are some things you can do on your end to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. We all know that it is necessary to clean your house and clear the clutter, but here are some additional tips for presenting your home in its best light to potential buyers!

  1. Remove your pet (and all signs and smells of your pet). If you can, it is a really good idea to bring your pet with you the day of the open house. Put pet beds, bowls and toys away and do your best to vacuum up pet hair and spray pet odor eliminating air freshener. Pet smells that really turn off potential buyers, so do your best to eliminate them before the big day.
  2. Brighten up your home. Open the curtains or blinds, wash your windows and let the sunshine in! Grab some cheery fresh flowers from the store and place them throughout your home. It’s also a great idea to turn the lights on in each room.
  3. Leave a treat. Display cookies or cupcakes on a pretty stand in your kitchen as a “thank you” to your visitors. Not only is it a nice gesture, but it is a great way to encourage them to stand in the kitchen and chat with the realtor showing your home! Bonus points if you leave bottles of water or some fresh lemonade to drink!
  4. Think about the exterior. Start off with a great first impression by power washing your exterior, cleaning up your landscaping, and purchasing a new, clean welcome mat.
  5. Think about every closet and drawer. People are nosy! They are most likely going to open drawers and closet doors. Make sure they are as organized and clutter-free as possible. If you need to, rent a storage unit to place your extra items until you sell your home.

Want more open house tips? Contact an ARE Real Estate agent today!

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Tehachapi Fall Bucket List

Fall in Tehachapi is one of the most beautiful times of year! Take in everything the season has to offer with our Tehachapi Fall Bucket list!

  1. Dance the night away at the Tehachapi Apple Festival
  2. Find your perfect pumpkin at Banducci’s Family Pumpkin Patch
  3. Pick your own apples at Knaus Apple Ranch
  4. Take the family camping at Tehachapi Mountain Park
  5. Get crafty at a Succulent Pumpkin class at Tangleweed Farm
  6. Wine Down at Souza Family Vineyard’s Friday dinner and music event
  7. Hike the trails
  8. Celebrate Oktoberfest at Stallion Springs
  9. Create your own Fall décor with Brush & Blush Easel
  10. Grab a delicious hand-crafted bread from Kohnen’s Bakery to serve with some soul warming soup at home

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

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Mimi Molina!

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

Mimi Molina

What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

It’s friendly people and the beautiful, peaceful atmosphere!

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

The name of the game is “right pricing”. Find a real estate agent that really understands the market and can value your house appropriately.

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

I advise my clients to know the ultimate condition of the property they want to buy. A physical inspection by a licensed professional is highly recommended!

Where is your favorite place in the world?

I love Italy. Out-of-this-world scenic hillside, interesting historic architecture, romantic atmosphere and their delicious cuisine!

What do you love about being a real estate agent?

I love to be of assistance to people who need to sell or find their dream house that meets their needs. It’s awesome to see my clients to get nicely situated! And I love showing houses!

Tell us a little more about yourself and your family!

I grew up and studied in the Philippines and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in nursing. I have four other siblings and have been married to the love of my life for almost 50 years (on October 25, 2020!). I am blessed to have two sons, now both with families of their own. My youngest son John is a commercial airline pilot working for Air Asia, with three kids. My eldest, Michael, is a Media Operation Tech and has two children. I am blessed!

Want to work with Mimi? Contact her here!

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!

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.

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

10 of the BEST Summer Entertaining Hacks

If you’re hosting a backyard BBQ this summer (4th of July, anyone?) make it easier on yourself with 10 of the BEST summer entertaining hacks!

  1. Save space on your stovetop (and cook enough corn for a crowd) by cooking your corn in a cooler! Check out the super easy instructions here.
  2. Keep your kitchen from piling up with dirty dishes by giving your guests a clearly marked “dirty dish bin” to leave their used utensils, plates and cups. A wheelbarrow is a great spot for dirty dishes.
  3. Attach a bottle opener to your drink tub or cooler to make it easy for your guests to find.
  4. Set up a drink station to ensure that your guests can serve themselves.
  5. Speaking of “stations”, create a sunscreen and bug spray station to keep your guests comfortable and protected throughout the day.
  6. Serving ice cream cones to kids? Drop a mini marshmallow into the bottom of the cone to keep it from leaking all over their little hands!
  7. Keep the bugs out by using large glass jars with lids to serve your salads and fruit.
  8. Make sure you have adequate shade for your guests to escape the sun! Set up umbrellas, screened in tents or shade sails to give everyone some relief from the heat.
  9. Have enough fun activities for kids to keep them busy! The adults at your party will thank you! Need some easy ideas? Check this out!
  10. Have some clean blankets in a basket for your guests to grab when the sun goes down and the air gets cool.

Do you have any entertaining tricks? We want to hear them! 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!

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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!

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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

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“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!

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!

Common regrets of first-time home buyers (and how we can all learn from them!)

It goes without saying that purchasing your first home is one the biggest milestones in your life. There are so many things to think about and sometimes (without the help of an awesome real estate agent!) the process can get overwhelming. Here are some common regrets of first-time home buyers and how to avoid them when purchasing your own home – whether it’s your first one or not!

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  1. Not being realistic about their budget. Sure, you may be approved for a monthly mortgage payment that seems doable – but have you considered closing costs, HOA fees, utility bills, and home maintenance down the road? If you’ve considered all of these expenses AND have factored them into your monthly budget, then your dream house might be the perfect fit.
  1. Caring more about the square footage instead of the layout. When you’ve never lived in a home before, the square footage may seem like the most important thing to you. But is the space livable? If the square footage is spread out amongst a lot of smaller rooms, you might find that an open floor plan (even with less square footage) would have been a better fit for you.
  1. Not loving the neighborhood. Having good neighbors that you have fun with and trust is the best. Take the time before you move in to visit the house and drive around the neighborhood more than once (and at different times of the day!). Are there young families walking around the block pushing strollers and walking their dogs? Are there loud parties happening on Friday nights? Is no one ever outside? These all might be indicators of the type of neighborhood you would be a part of. Knock on the doors of the neighbors next door and try to get a feel for the neighborhood before you make an offer.
  2. Thinking about the NOW instead of the FUTURE. The house that you want to purchase might be the perfect fit for you now, but where do you envision your life in 5 years? Will you need extra rooms for possible children down the road? Is it a possibility that your aging parent might have to move in with you? Taking some time to really think about how long you plan to live in the house and what life events might take place while you’re there, will ensure that you pick the right home for the long-term.

No matter if this is your first home or your third home in Tehachapi, Bear Valley Springs, Golden Hills, or Stallion Springs, we’d love to help you find your dream house! Contact us to schedule a time to talk.

Supporting our Tehachapi Small Businesses – The EASY Ways You Can Show Your Love!

While Amazon may be the obvious way to finish your holiday shopping in record breaking time, Tehachapi is full of wonderful small businesses that could use your love during the holiday season! With Small Business Saturday happening this weekend, we wanted to remind you of some easy ways to support Tehachapi small businesses.

  1. Shop local! The obvious way to support our local businesses is to do your holiday shopping with them. You’ll find some unique gifts, have fun meeting our local shop owners, and put money directly back into our community. Make a day of it and grab lunch at one of our family-owned restaurants too!
  2. When you love something, share it! Spread the word about your favorite places. Tell your family and friends about your favorite stores. Include a business card of the place you purchased their gift with their present so they know where it came from! If they loved your gift, they’ll spread the word too!
  3. Write a review. Local businesses (like ours!) depend on online reviews to help find new customers. If you love a business, write them a quick review on Facebook, Google or Yelp! All it takes is a couple minutes to have a big impact for a small business!
  4. Get social! Take a picture of your shopping excursion, tag the business (or check-in) and post it on Facebook or Instagram.

Shopping

We love Tehachapi and we love our fellow local businesses. What are your favorite local businesses? We’d love to hear! Comment below with the ones you love. Happy shopping!

PS: If you want to work with a local real estate company, you’ve come to the right place! Contact us to set up an appointment!

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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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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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.

 

Before Putting Your Tehachapi Home Up for Sale

 

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Before Putting Your Tehachapi Home Up for Sale

Here are a few items to take care of before listing your home in Tehachapi. These can make the sale process quicker and easier in the long run.

Consider a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers. Consider making repairs so potential buyers see the property in its best possible condition.

Other Pre -Sale Inspections.  In some areas of Tehachapi, specifically Golden Hills, Stallion Springs, Bear Valley Springs and all of the unincorporated county areas, Septic Systems and Well Systems are very common.  If your home has one of these systems, ask your Associated Real Estate Agent if it would be a good idea to have those systems inspected prior to listing.  This can save time during escrow and help to alleviate buyers concerns while listed, thereby helping to increase exposure and the likeliness of getting a full price offer.  Wood Destroying Pest Inspections are also common in our area.  If you have any sign of wood or water damage, your agent may be able to advise looking into it and could refer you to a Certified Inspector.

Organize and cleanPare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and seasonal items. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or storage area. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine. Clearing away clutter can help a buyer see the homes potential.

Get replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that will need to be replaced soon? Find out how much it will cost to repair an older roof or replace worn carpeting, even if you don’t plan to do so.  The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and they’ll be handy when negotiations begin.

Locate warranties. Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the water heater, washer/dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house. It may seem like this task can be left until closing, but you don’t want lost paperwork or last-minute scrambling to cause the deal to fall through.

Spruce up the curb appeal. Walk out to the front of your home, close your eyes, and pretend you’re a prospective buyer seeing the property for the first time. Is the yard clear of seasonal weeds and does the landscape look nicely manicured ? Is there pealing paint on the eaves or a crack in the side walk? As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Dose the property look well kept? Is the address clearly visible? A buyer makes their first impression from the street and even small improvements in curb appeal can make a big difference.

5 Factors That Decide Your Credit Score

Credit scores range between 200 and 800, with scores above 620 considered desirable for obtaining a mortgage. The following factors affect your score:

creditscore

1. Your payment history. Did you pay your credit card obligations on time? If they were late, then how late? Bankruptcy filing, liens, and collection activity also impact your history.

2. How much you owe. If you owe a great deal of money on numerous accounts, it can indicate that you are overextended. However, it’s a good thing if you have a good proportion of balances to total credit limits.

3. The length of your credit history. In general, the longer you have had accounts opened, the better. The average consumer’s oldest obligation is 14 years old, indicating that he or she has been managing credit for some time, according to Fair Isaac Corp., and only one in 20 consumers have credit histories shorter than 2 years.

4. How much new credit you have. New credit, either installment payments or new credit cards, are considered more risky, even if you pay them promptly.

5. The types of credit you use. Generally, it’s desirable to have more than one type of credit — installment loans, credit cards, and a mortgage, for example.

For more on evaluating and understanding your credit score, visit www.myfico.com.

Go directly to the credit reporting bureaus to check your credit report for free:
www.Expirian.com
www.TransUnion.com
www.Equifax.com


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