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!

Top 5 Qualities for a Successful Career in Real Estate

Have you ever thought about a career in real estate? A successful real estate agent embodies a lot of important qualities – here are the top five that we think are essential!

  1. Engaging Personality – As a real estate professional, your personality is what connects you with your clients (and encourages them to recommend you to others!) Being positive, friendly and helpful will go a long way with winning and keeping clients.
  2. Excellent Listener – One of the most important aspects of being a great real estate agent is your ability to truly listen to your client’s needs. Taking the time to understand their goals and their needs will help your client’s instill trust and confidence in you and make the process as smooth as possible.
  3. A Desire to Help People – Buying and selling a home are some of the biggest decisions that someone will make in their life. As a real estate agent, you get to be a part of that! If you have a passion for helping people achieve their dreams, then this might be the career for you!
  4. Energy & Drive – Real Estate is a business that operates at night and on the weekends. Having the energy and drive to get the job done (no matter when!) is essential.
  5. A Willingness to Learn & Adapt – There is always something new to learn in real estate! A willingness to learn about new trends, marketing tools, real estate regulations, etc. is a must.

Think you have what it takes to work in real estate? We are excited to announce that we have two open positions for Real Estate Sales People and are looking to add to our awesome team! No experience (or even real estate license) necessary – just a willingness to learn and obtain your license! Training provided. Interested? Email jobs@arerealestate.com for more information! Associated Real Estate serves the communities of Tehachapi, Mojave, California City, Rosamond, Lancaster, Palmdale, and Bakersfield.

ARE Realtor Awards 2018

4 Last Minute Halloween Decorations for the Exterior of Your Home

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

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

MonsterDoors

Click here for instructions. 

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

Wheelbarrow

Click here for instructions.

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

WindowDecor (2)

Click here for instructions. 

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

HalloweenLightbulbs

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

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.

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!!

Search Tehachapi Homes for Sale the easy way.

Check out our

2 CLICK HOME SEARCH

to see real time data from the MLS for FREE!

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:

whyusearealtor2

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.


Search Tehachapi Homes for Sale the easy way.

Check out our

2 CLICK HOME SEARCH

to see real time data from the MLS for FREE!