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Step 13 to Buying a Home: The Home Inspection

Attending the home inspection is one of the most important parts of buying a new home as it’s a huge financial investment with long term repercussions and you want to make sure the home you’re buying is in good shape. Therefore, we feel strongly that buyers should always be at the home inspection.  Yes, you’ll get a written report after the inspection, but it doesn’t give you nearly as clear of a picture of the condition of the house as being there to see any problems for yourself and ask the inspector follow up questions. Plus, unless you’re extremely knowledgeable about home construction, it’s difficult to understand what in the inspection report is a big problem or defect and what is really a minor issue. Instead, it’s easy to get worked up about ungrounded outlets, but not realize that the water seepage in the basement is a much bigger and more extensive problem to fix.

Here is a list of tips for attending the home inspection:

-Inspections of condos take approximately 2 hours and single family home/multi-unit buildings generally take about 3 hours. Plan to be there the entire time.
-Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that can get dirty as the inspector may ask you to crawl in the basement or get up on the attic to see any problems.
-The inspector isn’t psychic. He can only see obvious defects and cannot see what is going on inside the walls with plumbing, electrical, etc.  Therefore, having a clean inspection report doesn’t mean you won’t ever have a problem with a home. It just means what can be seen seems to be in good shape.
-Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the inspector, especially if you don’t understand what he is explaining to you. It’s crucial you understand each issue and whether it’s a minor issue or an expensive repair.
-Bring a tape measure with you to take any needed room measurements as we may not be able to get back into the home until the walk through the day before closing. In addition, if you want family/friends to see the home, it’s best to bring them to the inspection as well.
-Feel free to bring friends and family with you, especially if you want their input on inspection items, furniture placement, decorating, etc as we may not be able to get into the property again.
-If you are planning on having any work done to the home, it’s best to arrange for contractors, painters, floor refinishers, etc. to come by sometime during the inspection to give you estimates as we may not be able to get into the home again until the final walk through. If you need referrals for service providers, please let me know.
-Bring your checkbook with you as most inspectors require payment at the end of the inspection.
Inspection reports are generally emailed to you within 2 days after the inspection. As soon as you get the inspection report be sure to email it to me so we can look it over.

After you receive the home inspection report and read it over, we will schedule a call where you can share with me your major concerns and we will work together to decide if we want to ask for seller’s to make any repairs.  Keep in mind that just because we ask the seller for repairs does not guarantee that they will do them.

Remember that the point of the inspection is to:
Discover safety issues
See if there are any structural issues
Discover any needed repairs to the working components. For instance we want to make sure that all of the appliances are working, that the furnace and AC units are working, etc.We are NOT there to nit pick because we don’t like the paint colors, there is a dent in the fridge door, the furnace needs to be cleaned, the gutters need to be swept out, etc. Unless you are buying new construction, no home is going to be perfect. If you want a perfect home, buy new construction. If you aren’t buying new construction, then we need to accept the house with its cosmetic flaws or find a new house.  Remember, we are mainly concerned with safety issues and things not working.

IMPORTANT: The home inspection is the time you’ll likely want to measure for furniture placement. Your second contractual walk through won’t be until the day of settlement.Lastly, we recommend photographing every room and closet in the property as you’ll want to refer to these photos later when planning where to put furniture, whether to update paint colors, add shelving in closets, etc. Also, in PA, only the individuals on the contract itself are allowed at the home inspection.  Children will need to be cared for elsewhere while you attend the home inspection as well as any family members not on the contract.

Have questions about your upcoming inspection?  Call or text me at 717.963.0016 or email at homesalesinyourarea@gmail.com.

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Gina Casner

In 2016, I began my tenure in real estate as a licensed Executive Assistant for a leading real estate training coach and subsequently for high-producing real estate teams. I very quickly fell in love with real estate and by 2019, I transitioned into personally helping clients turn their dreams into keys. After dozens of transactions, I have been dubbed the “unicorn hunter,” finding out-of-the-box solutions for clients looking for a home with unique requirements. In addition to managing my real estate practice, I am involved in providing community education on responsible home ownership through my exclusive Path to Home Ownership workshop series. I also am the founder of Chronically Strong, an organization that promotes mental health awareness and suicide prevention in our local communities. I take a holistic and individualized approach to real estate. Buying or selling a home in Central PA can be complex, sophisticated and often a deeply personal endeavor. Your experience should mimic the high level of customer service all of my clients have, while being very specific to your own individual needs. I work with a team of experts to provide a full, complete experience that only a cohesive team can consistently provide. Working with us, you will be given personal attention in every aspect of your home buying and selling experience with the professionalism and consistency of a thoughtful business model. And yes, superior results will follow! On a personal note, I attribute my success not only to my passion for helping clients execute on their next “big move”, but also to my knowledge regarding the psychology of buying and selling. My clientele works in diverse industries with an emphasis on technology, finance, medicine, law, and business. My real estate practice has grown successfully and consistently thanks to the repeat business of happy clients and their introductions to friends, family and neighbors. This track record is only possible because we deliver both results AND an enjoyable experience. Growing up, my family moved frequently all across the continental U.S., but you will hear me say that I am from California because that is the longest place that I lived during my formative years. Moving became a way of life for my family and each place I lived became a part of my story. It taught me that our home truly is the foundation of everything in our lives, and it is this belief that compels me to work hard for my clients when they are buying or selling their home. In many ways, our home becomes a part of our identity, an identity and memory that should be honored. I have been accused of being tenacious and super honest. I like to win (for my clients) but do so with a calm demeanor and a smile. I live in a raised ranch home in Lower Paxton Township with my main squeeze, my teenage son, and our very spoiled dog, Ginger. I have mad faith, and truly believe that each and every one of us is capable of great things. I graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelors’ in Sociology. There is a running joke in my family that every day I go to real estate school because every day my clients teach me something new. I continually invest time, money and thought into the latest sales, marketing and negotiation techniques. Why? Because I believe that you deserve to have the best working for you. I want to live life on my own terms, and am committed to helping you do the same. Would you like to work together? Please reach out. I look forward to hearing from you! Gina

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