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Tips For Buying Your First Home

What a rush it is to buy your first home! While it’s a very exciting process, there are many things that can go wrong if you aren’t careful.

Prevent as much as you can from going wrong by:

Find a great Realtor  – if you read our last blog post, we explained ways to know if you found the wrong (i.e. a bad) Realtor and need to find a better one. We cannot stress how important it is to find the right Realtor. Finding someone you click with isn’t enough; they must also be GREAT at their job.  Just because you like them doesn’t mean they know what they are doing. Ask for references and follow up with those references. Check our their reviews on Yelp, Zillow and Trulia. If you think you’re working with a sub par Realtor, don’t be afraid to find a new one. This is YOUR money they are representing. If you signed a buyer agreement and aren’t happy, speak with that person’s managing broker. Often they will let you out of the agreement or assign you to a better Realtor in their office.

Get pre-approved – if you’re our client, we won’t put an offer in on a home for you unless you’ve been pre-approved.  To get a pre-approval letter you must submit a formal application along with documentation to the lender of your choice.  Once you’ve done that, the lender will provide you with a pre-approval letter. This letter will provide you with a certain level of comfort about the houses you’ll be able to afford, how much the monthly payments will be, how much the lender will lend you, and it will show other real estate agents that you’re a serious and qualified buyer.

Listen to and take the advice of your Realtor and mortgage lender – As a Realtor or mortgage lender, we’re working in your best interest. Pay attention and listen to our advice as we’ve been doing this a long time and have a lot of valuable experience. We are truly just looking out for what is best for you.

Be Flexible – If you’re flexible, you shouldn’t have a problem making it to the closing table. For example – if you’re buying a currently occupied home, be flexible with the closing date/possession date. It takes time to move.

Have realistic expectations – As a buyer, you need to understand what you can afford in the area you’re interested in looking at. Your Realtor should be able to help you with that by gathering comps to show you what you can afford based on your specific needs and wants.  Remember that unless you have $20 million dollars, you probably aren’t going to get everything on your wish list. Be realistic based on your budget. There is no such thing as a perfect home.

Need help buying your first home? Contact me at or text at 717.963.0016.

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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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