2020’s 11 Hottest Paint Colors!

Screen Shot 2020-01-22 at 4.20.08 PM

Color evokes mood and powerful emotions. What’s the latest trends in paint colors and who are the top brands to look out for?! Check out this list and be create using color in your home in a way that you may not have thought of.

 

1.     Sherwin Williams: Naval

2.     PPG: Chinese Porcelain

3.     Pantone: Classic Blue

4.     Behr: Back to Nature

5.     Benjamin Moore: First Light

6.     HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams: Romance

7.     Graham & Brown: Adeline

8.     Dunn-Edwards: Minty Fresh

9.     Pratt & Lambert: Songbird

10.   Kelly Moore: Sun God

11.   Valspar: 12 Nature-Inspired Colors

 

Source: https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/styled-staged-sold/2020s-hottest-paint-colors-which-is-your-favorite

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

3 Spooky Myths Holding You Back From Buying a Home

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a home for a while, what’s holding you back? If you are like a lot of potential buyers, it could be these common misconceptions. Check out these common concerns and why you shouldn’t be afraid of them below!

Spooky Myth #1: “I need a 20% down payment to purchase a home.” Buyers often overestimate how much money they need to put down in order to qualify for a home loan. While of course it is better to have a larger down payment, it also makes sense to be putting equity into your new home instead of waiting to purchase until you can make a large payment. If you need to make a lower down payment, look into FHA or VA loans. They allow you to put as little as 3.5% down for a mortgage.

Spooky Myth #2: “My credit score is too bad to purchase a home.” A perfect credit score is not required to purchase a home. If you have a couple dings on your credit report, there is still a good chance you’ll be able to obtain a mortgage. In general, you’ll need at least a 580 credit score to qualify for a FHA loan. Wondering what your credit score is? Learn how to find it here! (link to https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports)

Spooky Myth #3: “The house I want is too expensive.” There are many different factors behind the scenes that could be motivating a homeowner to sell.  More often than not, most sellers are willing to negotiate on the listing price. Make sure you hire an experienced realtor to help you navigate the home buying process (guaranteed they have some tools to help you have the best chance of getting your offer accepted)!

Are there other factors that are holding you back from purchasing a home? Let’s talk!

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.

10 Tips for Moving with Kids

Making a big move with children can seem like a daunting task. There are new friends to make, possibly a change of schools, and new bedrooms to get used to! We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite tips to make moving with your kids as easy as possible.

child-559378_1920

  1. Pack up your child’s toys while they are asleep (but leave one box of toys until the very end!).
  2. Keep your child’s belongings separate and organized by using a different colored duct tape for each child. You’ll know exactly who belongs to which box with a quick glance!
  3. Let your child help decorate their new room. Give them three “parent-approved” paint color choices to choose from to let them feel like they have a say without picking something crazy.
  4. Find a fun playground or restaurant in your new neighborhood to visit even before you move (if possible!). This creates a sense of excitement and shows your children how fun your new part of town will be!
  5. Pack a “moving day bag”. Let your children keep a special toy or fun activities out and in an easily accessible bag that will give them things to keep them occupied while the adults are working.
  6. Keep a positive attitude. Children will feed off of your energy. If you can stay positive and excited about the move, they will be too! Think of this as a fun, new adventure for your family.
  7. Create a “moving day plan” and talk about it a lot before the big day arrives. This will help relieve some of your child’s anxiety when they know what to expect!
  8. Let your kids help with the move. Children love to be a part of the action. Let them dust, pack a box, or sweep!
  9. Say “goodbye” to your old house and then say “hello!” to your new home! This small gesture is big for younger children.
  10. Most of all, listen to your children and their concerns. Even the youngest of children can have a hard time adjusting during a move.

If you’re ready to make a move with your family, we are ready to help! Contact us here to find your dream home!

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!

puppy-1903313_1920 (2) dessert-352475_1920

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!

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!

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!

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!

Our All-Time Favorite Summer Memories

With school starting soon and summer coming to a close, we wanted to share some of our team’s all-time favorite summer memories with you!

Stevi Campbell and her family enjoying Lake Tahoe with their Uncle Cooper and Aunt Sophie.

Summer Memories

Debra Shea with her husband David in the Caribbean and having a beach day with her four kids in Ventura.

Debra Shea Summer Debra1

Josh and DeVerie Riley with their sons Ethan and Sean on their Family Europe Trip. “We were in London for the first time and took this photo right outside of the London Tower.”

Josh and DeVerie Riley Summer Memories

Julie Apathy and her family on a kayak, hike, zip line adventure in Kauai in 2017.

Julie Apathy Summer Memories

“My friends say I’m nuts! LOL. I’m just a daredevil and do nutty things sometimes that nobody else would! This is powered hang gliding over the island of Oahu. Best memory ever!!!!” – Lindsey Redera

Lindsey Redera Summer Memories Lindsey Redera

“The tan will fade, but the memories will last forever!” – Adriana Ghorbani in Fiji in 2018.

Adriana Ghorbani Summer Memories

We’d love to hear about your favorite summer memories! Comment below and let us know!

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 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!

firepit

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!

wooden deck upgrades

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

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!

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!

Favorite Memories of Our Moms!

In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked our ARE Real Estate team to share their favorite foods that their mom used to make.

Lindsey Redera

Lindsey: “My mom would make her filipino traditional food called chicken  adobo and lumpia which most people know as egg rolls. It’s always so yummy!!”

Adrianna Ghorbani

Adriana: “My mom made the best tacos!”

Debra Shea

Debra: “Chicken Fried Steak!”

Julie

Julie: “I remember my mom’s delicious homemade stuffing at Thanksgiving.
She made it in a huge container and it took a couple days. I can’t say
how she made it but it’s one of the reasons I love Thanksgiving.”

Jutta Thacker

Jutta: “‘Schweinebraten mit brauner Sosse”(Pork Roast), Eating it with a
Salad and Potatoes or french fries and rice.”

Wendy Finley-Blackburns

Wendy: “My mom has always made homemade bread along with jams and
jellies.  She would make 2 loaves at a time.  One that got eaten while
it was still warm (my dad usually ate this by himself) and one for
later.  Delicious!   Now she makes 6 loaves at a time and gives them
away with her “famous” Jalapeno Pepper Jelly.”

What was your favorite thing that YOUR mom used to make you? Comment below and let us know! Happy Mother’s Day!

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!

3 Big Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Downsize

Whether you’re becoming an empty-nester or just feel like your current home is too big for your needs, there are a couple of questions to ask yourself before you take the plunge and downsize.

  1. Will this move save me money? Just because you are moving to a smaller home, there may still be additional expenses that need to be considered before you make a decision. Think: HOA fees, homeowner’s insurance that could increase based on the type of home you are moving in to, replacing old appliances, costs of maintenance, etc. Make sure that downsizing makes sense to you financially before you sell.
  2. What will I do with all of my STUFF? If you’re moving to a smaller home, there’s a big chance you will not have space for everything from your current home. This is a great opportunity to declutter, sell and/or donate items that you no longer use. If you just can’t seem to part with some of your things but you still want to downsize, perhaps it makes sense to rent a storage unit.
  3. Am I emotionally ready? The thought of downsizing is emotionally tough for many homeowners because it might mean that you are leaving a home that you love. It’s hard to leave a home where you have raised children, celebrated holidays and created memories! But if downsizing is truly the right decision for you, think of all of the wonderful memories you will be making in your new place! And, remember that the home that you once loved will now be ready for a new family to love.

If you’re comfortable with your answers to these questions and you’re ready to find your perfect, smaller home, we can help!

3 Things to Look for in Your First Investment Property

If you’ve decided that an investment property is the right purchase for you, there are three things you’ll want to consider before you sign the contract on your first fixer-upper or rental unit.

  1. Location. You might have found a great property, but is it in an attractive location where other people would like to live? Make sure you really check out the neighborhood to make sure it is in a desirable area. It could be the perfect house, but if no one wants to live in that area, you are not going to be able to make any money. An experienced realtor will have the insight to help you find the perfect spot for a successful investment property.
  2. How much work does it really need? Before you put an offer in, you need to have a very clear picture of all of the work (and money!) this property requires. If this is your first time rehabbing a house, bring a contractor with you to give you their honest opinion of all of the projects that need to be done. A property may appear to only need cosmetic changes, but there could be larger foundation issues (for example) that aren’t obvious right away. Don’t make a bad purchase that will end up costing you money!
  3. The Real Costs. Making a decision based on emotion is a big mistake that many first time investors make. Beyond the purchase price and renovation costs, you’ll need to consider property taxes, insurance, and operating costs. Be honest and realistic about what your investment will cost now, before it’s too late.

Remember: A smart rental investment property is one that appreciates in value. A great realtor has insight into different communities that are perfect for investments. Ready to start the hunt for an investment property that will make you money? We’d love to help!