5 New Year’s Resolutions That Can Help You Buy a Home

Screen Shot 2020-01-10 at 12.00.37 AMYou’ve been dreaming about buying a house, but not sure you have everything in order needed to obtain a mortgage? Buying a home is a financial responsibility and will require approval from a lender.

Fear no more. Below are 5 New Year’s Resolutions that can help you get yourself in a good place to make a favorable impression to those holding the key, so to speak. Good luck!

1. Job hopping

Employment history and income are two of the biggest factors lenders look at when evaluating a mortgage application. A new job may be a good career move, but if you plan to buy a home in the new year, know that job hopping can be a red flag to some underwriters — especially if you’re moving to a different industry.

2. Monthly subscriptions can add up!

Monthly subscription services are certainly convenient, but they can add up. Even if you pay off your credit card every month, you could be dinged for high credit utilization if your credit report is pulled midcycle. If you’re thinking of buying a home this year, consider keeping your monthly subscription services to a minimum.

3. Your credit history counts

One of the first things a lender will look at is your credit history. Lenders prefer borrowers who have a history of paying off credits cards and other debts on time — because it signals that you’re a responsible borrower and less of a risk.

4. What’s your credit score?

Your credit score can have a significant impact on your ability to buy a home. A low credit score can negatively affect how much money a lender is willing to loan you, as well as your interest rate.

5. Avoid large purchases

Avoid taking on large amounts of debt — whether it’s buying a car or planning a large vacation — before buying a house. This is advisable even if you’re already preapproved.

Source: https://www.zillow.com/blog/resolutions-can-help-buy-home-2018-224008/

7 Great Reasons to Purchase Your Own A Home

7 Great Reasons to Purchase Your Own A Home

moving_600x400For those of us who have rented for a while, often there comes a time when we wish to purchase a home. There are so many great reasons, too many to list here. Below are several that just may persuade you to make the leap and in the end you’ll be very happy you did!

 

  1. Joy of Ownership. This one tops our list as the number one reason to own. When you are the “landlord”, it’s no longer just a place to sleep; it’s where you spend time with your loved ones, fix it up the way you like and plan to stick around for a while.
  2. A Great Investment. Beyond loving where you live and it being yours (no landlord yay!), there is the benefit of appreciation in value. The market may have it ups and downs, but over the years, real estate has consistently appreciated. The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight tracks the movements of single-family home values across the country. Its House Price Index breaks down the changes by region and metropolitan area. Many people view their home investment as a hedge against inflation.
  3. 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.
  4.  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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  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.

 

Sources:
Photo designed by Freepik.com
https://magazine.realtor/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-buyers/7-reasons-to-own-a-home 
https://www.thebalance.com/eight-reasons-to-buy-a-home-1798233

The Pros and Cons of selling your home during the holidays!

It’s a busy time of year. Folks often ask is it a good idea to put my house up for sale during the holidays, or should I wait? Below are some pros and cons for selling during the holiday season that may help you make the right choice.

FORSALE2Pros

  • You are a serious seller Keep it on the market during this festive time because the buyers will know you are serious.
  • Reduced inventory – over the holidays generally means less competition. If you live in an area with a milder climate, you will benefit from the lack of inventory on the market through the holidays.
  • The hard-to-sell home – With the reduced inventory your house will be at the top of the list instead of the bottom.

Cons

  • Lowball Offers Buyers might try to negotiate, or give you a lowball offer thinking you are desperate.
  • Inconvenient  Not everybody wants to keep his or her house spic and span when cooking, wrapping gifts, and throwing parties.
  • Smaller Inventory ­ You’re appealing to a much smaller inventory of buyers who have specific needs that your home might not match.
  • Difficult to Close It’s almost impossible to close a financed transaction in December if the offer is received mid-month. Buyers who want to close after the New Year will probably make offers in January.

Tip: As a general rule, Minimizing decorations will make your home feel larger and keep the house looking tidy. When buyers enter your home, you want them to imagine putting their furniture in each room, making it theirs, and they can’t do that if your holiday decorations dominate the stage.

We are here to help! Contact us and let’s chat about selling your home this holiday season!

Sources: https://www.thebalance.com/selling-your-home-during-the-holidays-1799068
https://www.hgtv.com/design/real-estate/top-10-tips-for-selling-your-home-during-the-holidays

4 Unexpected Things Totally Grossing Out Your Holiday House Guests

Having guests over for the holidays? There are four things around your home that are probably going to gross them out if you don’t take care of them now. Good news is that there is still plenty of time before Thanksgiving! Check out the list below!

  1. Your Shower Curtain Liner. Quick – check your shower curtain liner! If you have a guest bathroom, there’s a good chance you never use this shower yourself so you probably don’t know what the inside of this shower looks like. Is it discolored or full of mildew? If so, it’s time to clean it! No one wants to take a shower with a yucky liner.
  2. Pet Hair and Pet Smells. No one wants to sit on a couch covered in pet hair! And walking into a home that smells like a wet dog is a huge turnoff. To get rid of pet hair, vacuum (including couches!) and use a rubber glove to wipe surfaces. Check out more ways to get rid of pet hair here. . And for tips on how to remove that pet smell? Check this out! 
  3. Old Sponges. Cleaning up after a delicious dinner prepared for your guests with an old, ratty sponge is beyond disgusting.  Plus, research has shown that kitchen sponges contain more active bacteria than anywhere else in the house—including the toilet. YUCK. Get a new one to use before your guests arrive.
  4. Dirty Microwaves. Food splattered microwaves that smell like yesterday’s leftovers will totally gross out your guests. If there is dried on gunk that you can’t wipe away, fill a microwave-safe bowl halfway with water and add one tablespoon of white vinegar and microwave on high for 5 minutes. It will loosen the gross stuff and you’ll be able to wipe it away.

Holidays are about enjoying time with your family and friends. Not grossing them out!

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!

teamwin

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!

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!

5 Ways to Repurpose Your College Student’s Old Bedroom

If you recently sent your child off to college, you might be wondering what to do with their old room. Even if you aren’t ready to totally clear out their clutter and want to keep their room ready for them, there’s no harm in dreaming about what this extra space might be some day! Here are some of our favorite ways to repurpose your child’s old room.

  1. A craft room. 

craft-room-storage-recap

2. A cozy library.

library

3. A home gym. 

home-fitness-room-extra-bedroom

4. A walk-in closet. 

Walk in closet

5. A luxe guest room.

Glam-Master-Bedroom-Makeover-41

Which one would you pick? Comment below and let us know!

Tehachapi Event Round Up: September 2019

September is almost here and there are so many fun things happening in Tehachapi in the next month! Check out some of our favorite Tehachapi events here!

9.6.19
First Friday
Downtown Tehachapi
5-8pm

9.7.19
Gone to the Dogs 5k & Pet Festival
Meadowbrook Park
9am-12pm

9.7.19
Let’s Fiesta!
The Shed’s Soul Kitchen
5:30-8:30pm

9.13.19-9.14.19
Tehachapi GranFondo Festival
Centennial Plaza
10am-5pm

9.14.19
Tea at the Terrace
Jennifer’s Terrace
4-7pm

9.18.19
Big Papa’s Steakhouse & Saloon 3 Year Anniversary Celebration
Big Papa’s Steakhouse & Saloon
4-6pm

9.21.19
Kids Day at the Museum
Tehachapi Heritage League Museum
12-3pm

9.21.19-9.22.19
Relay for Life, Tehachapi
The Woods Pavilion

9.26.19
Rotary Club of Tehachapi Fall Fashion Show
Lifetime Events
5-7:30pm

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

June Events in Tehachapi

It is officially summer! Looking for something fun to do in Tehachapi? We’ve rounded up all of the awesome local events happening this month in our wonderful town! PS: They’re all FREE!

What: Movies in the Park: Small Foot
When: Thursday, June 6th at dusk.
Where: Meadowbrook Park
Cost: FREE

What: Main Street Tehachapi Farmers Market
When: Every Thursday through the summer!
Where: Green Street, Downtown Tehachapi
Cost: FREE

What: First Friday
When: Friday, June 7th from 5-8pm
Where: Downtown Tehachapi
Cost: FREE

What: Artisan Festival
When: Saturday June 8th and Sunday June 9th 10am-5pm (only open until 4pm on Sunday)
Where: Railroad Park
Cost: FREE

What: Flag Retirement Ceremony
When: Friday, June 14th
Where: Coy Burnett Stadium
Cost: FREE

What: Movies in the Park: Mary Poppins Returns
When: Thursday, June 20th at dusk.
Where: Meadowbrook Park
Cost: FREE

Is there an event we missed on our list? Let us know in the comments below!

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!

Where to Get Fit in Tehachapi!

Where to Get Fit in Tehachapi

If you’re like a lot of people, you might have a New Year’s Resolution to be healthier in 2019. Lucky for all of us, Tehachapi has tons of great places to help you get fit this year! Here’s a round-up of some of our favorite local spots to get active and be healthy!

Health Clubs
Tehachapi Fitness
The Gym

CrossFit/Boot Camp
Indian Hills Crossfit

Specialty
Macias Boxing Team
Garage Gym Barbell

Yoga/Pilates
Morning Light Yoga Studio

We want to know! Where’s your favorite place to work out in Tehachapi? Comment below and tell us!

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