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    Step 15 to Buying a Home: HOA Communities

    If you’re buying a condo, at some point during the contract period, you need to review and approve or disapprove the condominium/HOA documents. These documents generally include the Declarations and Bylaws, the Rules and Regulations, the current year budget, the meeting minutes, and the 22.1 disclosure. If you’re buying a single family home this MAY apply to you if your neighborhood has a HOA (Homeowner’s Association).

    The reason you need to review these documents is that when you buy a condo, you’re not just buying your particular unit, but you’re also buying into the building. You need to figure out if the building is stable and healthy financially speaking or if there could be potential problems, either with big upcoming maintenance issues or delinquent condo owners who aren’t paying their HOA fees, etc.

    It’s also important to learn about the community’s rules such as:

    1. Are there pet restrictions (number of pets, breeds, weights, etc.)?
    2. Can you move in any day/time or are there restrictions on when you’re allowed to move in?
    3. Are there are move in fees or procedures such as needing to reserve an elevator?
    4. Can you lease your unit and, if so, for how long? (Typically applicable to condos)
    5. Is more than 50% of the building renters? If so, there is a good chance your mortgage lender won’t approve the loan as a building with too many renters is a risky investment
    For all of the above reasons, we  strongly urge you to read each condo document thoroughly. Write down any questions or issues you’d like to know more about as we can ask for clarification or further documentation. Pay particular attention to the meeting minutes as this is often where you’ll learn what’s really going on in the building and any future plans for big ticket repairs.

    NOTE: In PA, you must approve/accept the HOA documents before settlement. You will typically only have 5 days from the date that you receive the documents to terminate the contract should these documents be unsatisfactory to you.  IF HOA documents are not provided to you until the actual settlement day, this does NOT mean that you cannot still terminate the contract based on the HOA documents. As always, it is recommended to speak to a real estate attorney about the potential implications of terminating the agreement of sale.

    In addition, review our mortgage officer’s list of important condo questions to ask.

    After you’ve read the condo docs, email me any questions you have and whether you feel comfortable going forward, want to cancel the contract or would like additional information.

    Questions? Call 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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