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!

SoldSign

  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.

Weekly Real Estate Update — April 9th , 2017

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

Address Area BED BATH Sq Ft Lot Sz CDOM Price Per Sq Ft List/Sell $
6 Village Ln Bear Valley Springs 2 2 (1 1 0) 1240 0.01 135/135 72.58 $90,000
21276 White Pine Dr #28 Golden Hills West 3 2 (2 0 0) 1164 0.22 58/58 124.57 $145,000
510 S Mill St Tehachapi City 3 2 (2 0 0) 1250 0.15 2-Feb 143.2 $179,000
28041 Seabiscuit Way Stallion Springs 3 2 (1 1 0) 1226 0.38 27/27 159.05 $195,000
21310 Santa Maria Dr Golden Hills East 3 2 (2 0 0) 1595 0.24 171/171 148.28 $236,500
1024 Canyon Dr W Tehachapi City 3 2 (2 0 0) 1517 0.19 2-Feb 166.78 $253,000
914 Cathy Ln Tehachapi City 3 2 (2 0 0) 1985 0.19 51/51 147.61 $293,000
20537 Old Town Rd County 3 2 (2 0 0) 1530 1.24 8-Aug 192.81 $295,000
19806 Star Ct Golden Hills East 5 3 (2 1 0) 2441 1.11 229/229 127 $310,000
17400 Fabius Stallion Springs 5 5 (4 1 0) 3049 0.58 52/52 104.95 $320,000
20201 Mesa Dr Golden Hills East 3 2 (1 1 0) 2118 0.5011 188/188 152.74 $323,500
22927 Rim Way Golden Hills East 4 3 (2 0 1) 2220 0.54 42797 155.41 $345,000
23707 Clover Springs Rd Oak Knolls 4 2 (1 1 0) 2128 3.49 134/134 189.85 $404,000
20150 Oak Knolls Dr Oak Knolls 4 3 (2 0 1) 2193 2.58 18/18 189.24 $415,000

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


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How to Buy in a Tight Market

How To Buy in a Tight Market

Increase your chances of getting your dream house in a competitive housing market.

Get prequalified for a mortgage.

You’ll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and your offer will be more desirable to the seller.

Stay in close contact with your real estate agent.

Your agent will be on the lookout for the newest listings that meet your criteria. Be ready to see a house as soon as it goes on the market — if it’s a great home, it will go fast.

Hire an experienced agent.

When you hire an experienced real estate agents they can give you the tools to help you find the property you are looking for. Tools such as the 2 Click Home Search offered on Associated Real Estates website can help you stay one step ahead of other buyers looking on real estate websites.

Be ready to make a decision.

Spend plenty of time in advance deciding what you can afford and must have in a home so you won’t hesitate when you have the chance to make an offer.

Bid competitively.

Your first inclination may be to start out offering something less than the absolute highest price you can afford, but if you go too low in a tight market, you will likely lose out.

Keep contingencies to a minimum.

Restrictions such as needing to sell your home before you move can make your offer unappealing. Remember that, if the market is tight, you’ll probably be able to sell your house rapidly. You can also talk to your lender about getting a bridge loan to cover both mortgages for a short period.

But don’t get caught in a buying frenzy.

Just because there’s competition for a home doesn’t mean you should buy it. And even though you want to make your offer attractive, don’t neglect inspections that help ensure the house is a sound investment.

Weekly Real Estate Update — April 2nd, 2017

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

Address Area Beds Baths SqFt Acres DOM $ Sq Ft Sell $
600 S Dennison Rd #117 Tehachapi City 3 2 1118 47 60.28 $67,388
711 Brentwood Dr Tehachapi City 3 2 1163 0.15 88 154.69 $179,900
815 S Mill St Tehachapi City 3 2 1116 0.15 10 169.35 $189,000
17980 Swaps Ct Stallion Springs 3 2 1554 0.3 77 149.94 $233,000
29390 Fawn Way Bear Valley Springs 3 2 1645 0.37 20 142.86 $235,000
23580 Stacy Ct Bear Valley Springs 2 2 1577 1.21 14 171.21 $270,000
112 Manzanita Ln Tehachapi City 4 3 2543 0.18 62 114.04 $290,000
22408 Valley Vista Dr Golden Hills West 3 2 1988 0.81 156 160.97 $320,000

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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Navigate Your Home Loan Like a Pro!

Navigate Your Home Loan Like a Pro!

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

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

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Weekly Real Estate Update — March 26th, 2017

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

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

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


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Weekly Market report: March 19

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

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

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

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


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7 Reasons to Own A Home

7 Reasons to Own A Home

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

Tehachapi Weekly Real Estate Update: March 12, 2017

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

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

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

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


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Checklist: For a Better Home Showing

Checklist: For a Better Home Showing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekly Real Estate Update: March 5, 2017

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

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

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

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


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How to Prepare to Finance a Home

How to Prepare to Finance a Home

Don’t get discouraged.

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

Develop a budget.

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

Reduce debt.

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

Increase your income.

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

Save for a down payment.

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

Keep your job.

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

Establish a good credit history.

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

Start saving.

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

Obtain a copy of your credit report.

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

Decide what kind of mortgage you can afford.

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

Seek down payment help.

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

 

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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Weekly Real Estate Update- Feb 19, 2017

 

Sold Last Week in Tehachapi, CA: Feb 12- feb 20

Address Area Bed Bath Sq Ft Lot Sz DOM Sell
21276 White Pine Dr #76 Golden Hills West 3 2 1468 0.13 172 $205,000
23921 Basin Harbor Ct Bear Valley Springs 3 2 2141 0.37 110 $279,000
26780 Columbia Way Bear Valley Springs 3 2 2095 1.41 198 $345,000

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.

 

Weekly Real Estate Update- Feb 12, 2017

Sold Last Week in Tehachapi, CA: Feb 6- Feb 12

Address Area Bed Bath Sq Ft Lot Sz DOM Sell $
122 W West E Street St Tehachapi City 2 1 624 0.17 20 $90,000
324 E F St Tehachapi City 3 2 1637 0.17 71 $125,000
200 Meadowbrook Ct Tehachapi City 4 2 1155 0.15 25 $160,000
207 W A St Tehachapi City 2 1 1239 0.18 33 $171,500
308 W E St Tehachapi City 3 2 1500 0.18 32 $205,000
27650 Buckpasser Dr Stallion Springs 3 2 2348 0.32 92 $250,000
28121 Braeburn Pl Stallion Springs 3 3 2221 0.41 127 $265,000
812 Mulberry St Tehachapi City 3 2 2100 0.17 82 $280,000

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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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.

Understand Agency Relationships

It’s important to understand what legal responsibilities your real estate salesperson has to you and to other parties in the transaction. Ask what type of agency relationship your agent has with you:

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Seller’s representative (also known as a listing agent or seller’s agent)

A seller’s agent is hired by and represents the seller. All fiduciary duties are owed to the seller. The agency relationship usually is created by a listing contract.

Buyer’s representative (also known as a buyer’s agent)

A buyer’s agent is hired by prospective buyers to represent them in a real estate transaction. The buyer’s rep works in the buyer’s best interest throughout the transaction and owes fiduciary duties to the buyer. The buyer can pay the licensee directly through a negotiated fee, or the buyer’s rep may be paid by the seller or through a commission split with the seller’s agent.

In Tehachapi, as in most of California, a buyer typically wont pay anything to their agent because the buyers agent will generally be offered a share of the commission paid by the seller. This gives buyers a way to have someone representing their best interests searching for homes for sale and negotiating for a Real Estate purchase.

Subagent

A subagent owes the same fiduciary duties to the agent’s customer as the agent does. Subagency usually arises when a cooperating sales associate from another brokerage, who is not the buyer’s agent, shows property to a buyer. In such a case, the subagent works with the buyer as a customer but owes fiduciary duties to the listing broker and the seller. Although a subagent cannot assist the buyer in any way that would be detrimental to the seller, a buyer-customer can expect to be treated honestly by the subagent. It is important that subagents fully explain their duties to buyers.

Disclosed dual agent

Dual agency is a relationship in which the brokerage firm represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction. Dual agency relationships do not carry with them all of the traditional fiduciary duties to clients. Instead, dual agents owe limited fiduciary duties. Because of the potential for conflicts of interest in a dual-agency relationship, it’s vital that all parties give their informed consent. In many states, this consent must be in writing. Disclosed dual agency, in which both the buyer and the seller are told that the agent is representing both of them, is legal in most states.

Designated agent (also called appointed agent)

This is a brokerage practice that allows the managing broker to designate which licensees in the brokerage will act as an agent of the seller and which will act as an agent of the buyer. Designated agency avoids the problem of creating a dual-agency relationship for licensees at the brokerage. The designated agents give their clients full representation, with all of the attendant fiduciary duties. The broker still has the responsibility of supervising both groups of licensees.

Nonagency relationship (called, among other things, a transaction broker or facilitator)

Some states permit a real estate licensee to have a type of nonagency relationship with a consumer. These relationships vary considerably from state to state, both as to the duties owed to the consumer and the name used to describe them. Very generally, the duties owed to the consumer in a nonagency relationship are less than the complete, traditional fiduciary duties of an agency relationship.


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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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