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    Step 21 to Buying a Home: Home Warranty

    A home warranty is not the same thing as homeowners insurance, nor is it a replacement for homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance covers major perils such as fires, hail, property crimes, and certain types of water damage that could affect the entire structure and/or the homeowner’s personal possessions. On the other hand, a home warranty is a separate contract covering repairs and replacements on systems in your home, usually for a period of one year (note if you’re buying new construction that has never been lived in before then usually the builder will give you a one year warranty and after that the home warranty kicks in for a certain amount of time).

    What does a home warranty usually cover?

    Policies differ based on which company your warranty comes from, but in general, a home warranty will cover your home’s appliances and systems such as electrical and plumbing. The home warranty usually does NOT cover exterior issues such as the roof, water intrusion due to a roof issue, fencing, decking, landscaping, anything in a detached garage, etc. The cost and coverage of a home warranty can vary widely, so always compare policies before purchasing.  In general, warranties usually range between $325 – $700 and are good for one year from the purchase date. Also, while home warranties cover many of your new home’s crucial systems and appliances, those items must be in working order before the contract is entered into with the warranty company. When you buy a home warranty, consider premium and optional coverage to customize the plan to fit your needs, especially if your home has more than one oven, dishwasher, a wine fridge, etc.  These extra appliances may not be covered under the standard warranty.

    Who pays for the home warranty?

    That depends.  Sometimes we negotiate for the seller to provide a home warranty as part of the contract negotiations. In that case, the home warranty would be provided and paid for by the seller. You’ll then receive the details of the home warranty at the closing.  If we did not ask for a home warranty as part of the contract, then you need to decide if you want to purchase one separately.

    How much does a home warranty cost?

    The cost of the home warranty depends on several factors such as how old your home is, how big it is, and what you want covered. Usually the cost is between $500 – $1,000.  In addition, if something breaks and the home warranty company needs to come out, there is usually a service fee call of approximately $75 per trip. With most warranty programs, there are no additional fees to repair an item beyond the service fee call.

    What if an appliance can’t be repaired and needs to be replaced?

    The home warranty company will try repairing the item first. If that doesn’t work and the appliance needs to be replaced, they will usually replace the item with a model that has similar features.  For instance, if you have a fridge that has an ice machine and a water dispenser you’ll get one with the some features. However, it most likely won’t be the same brand. For instance, American Home Shield normally replaces all appliances with a GE brand. Therefore, if you have a Subzero fridge, you’re most likely not getting another SubZero. Instead you’ll get a GE fridge with similar features. If you really want a Subzero, most warranty companies will give you the cost of the GE fridge in cash and you can put it towards purchasing the Subzero on your own.

    Where can I buy a home warranty?

    If the seller is not providing you with a home warranty and you want to purchase one, there are many reputable companies such as Achosa, HMS/Cinch Home Warranty, and HSA Home Warranty.  You can most likely get a free quote online. This is something you would take care of prior to closing and would ask to have the home warranty start the day of closing.

    When a home warranty is understood and utilized for its intended purposes, it can be the easiest way to save on home repairs and reduce the extra stress that comes with buying or selling a home.

    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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