Whether buying or selling, the thrill of moving to a new area certainly presents some challenges – and one of them may be the need for foundation repair.
Buying a home with foundation issues can be a very costly proposition. You may face difficulties when trying to get financing for the home. Also, there is a potential risk that the foundational issues may worsen and end up costing you a fortune.
Similarly, selling a home with foundation issues can be tricky too. The words “foundation problems” are enough to make homeowners quiver and home buyers run screaming.
That said, is it still possible to buy or sell a home with foundation problems? The simple answer is – yes! But first, here are 5 things you need to know about foundation repair provided by the experts from Granite Foundation Repair, a foundation repair company servicing DFW area.
Know signs of foundation damage.
Whether buying or selling, it pays to know signs of foundation damage. Some signs of foundation damage are obvious, like a bowing foundation wall or a cracked, settled slab, for example.
Other signs, however, are less dramatic, like uneven floors or wallboard cracks around openings on doors and windows.
Roughly speaking, the following are telltale signs of foundation damage:
- Uneven floors
Uneven floors are rarely caused by problems with the floor itself. The problem stems underneath the floors, usually caused by a settling or shifting foundation.
- Cracked and sunken slab
Foundation settling is one primary cause of this.
- Tilting chimney
If the chimney’s foundation (or the soils underneath that foundation) are unable to support the chimney’s weight, it’ll begin to tilt.
- Cracked walls
Cracks in walls are common in buildings; though some are nothing to worry about, others can indicate a damaged or sinking foundation (subsidence).
- Counters and cabinets separating from the wall.
- Gaps around window frames or exterior doors.
- Doors that stick or don’t open and close properly.
- Foundation cracks, wall or floor cracks, and other fracture types.
Understand that not all foundation problems are created equal.
Foundation problems come in many different shapes and sizes. Before you walk away because of foundation issues, have the problem inspected by a professional foundation repair specialist. This way, you’ll be able to know the exact extent of the problem.
For example, no one wants to see a crack in a home’s foundation. However, not all types of foundation cracks are worth losing sleep over. Vertical cracks, in particular, shouldn’t cause you to panic. They could be nothing serious and may not even require repair.
You can still sell a house with foundation problems.
Selling a house with foundation issues is a very challenging task. There is no doubt that foundation issues can impact a potential buyer’s decision. That said, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
To make the sale, you’ll likely need to make concessions and employ smart strategies. There are several factors you’ll need to consider in this regard. They include:
- How quickly you hope to sell the property
- The degree of foundation issues
- The local market conditions
With that in mind, you could then consider two options. One, you may try to shift the focus to the upside depending on the size and scope of the problems. For instance, you could suggest to the buyer that they add a man cave or finished basement as the foundation is being worked on.
The second option would be to try and fix the issues prior to listing the home. This could potentially mean investing some money (perhaps a lot) out of your own pocket. You’ll also need to include the repair history in the property’s record.
Buyers will likely face financing challenges.
Homes in need of structural repairs present problems for traditional financing. Structural deficiencies not only affect a property’s resale value but also pose health and safety hazards for occupants.
For these reasons, conventional lenders will usually shy away from such homes until they are brought up to standard. However, a federally backed rehabilitation mortgage for eligible owner-occupants is available for homes requiring structural repair.
Decide if you should buy a house with foundation problems.
So, should you take proactive steps to remedy the problem or should you just walk away? Again, it’s important to understand what you are getting yourself into. That’s why it pays to have a professional evaluation of the home by a foundation repair company.
A simple foundation repair, such as repairing a simple crack, may set you back by as little as $1,000. However, there are those that can run the gamut. For example, those requiring a total overhaul of the entire foundation. These could cost as much as $100,000.
When you’ve received the foundation assessment, ask yourself whether you have the budget for it. If you answer is ‘no,’ then walk away. If your answer is ‘yes,’ then make sure that you include the appropriate contingency clauses in the contract.
To sum, these are the 5 important things to know if you considering buying or selling a house with foundation issues.
About the Author:
Jim Oursler, along with his wife Betty founded Granite Foundation Repair with one goal in mind – to build a foundation repair company people could count on. This simple concept has helped them grow to be one of the most respected foundation contractors in Dallas and surrounding areas. They specialize in residential foundation repair, apartment foundation repair, commercial concrete slab and pier-and-beam foundations – and in taking care of their customers. With thousands of foundation contractors in the Dallas area, they believe it is important to know that they have been around a long time and have an established history as a foundation contractor.