What You Need to Know About Buying a Home with Foundation Issues
The foundation of a home is a vital aspect to its stability and strength. Without a good foundation, a home can’t stand and may begin to sink, fall, and crumble.
Does this mean you shouldn’t consider buying a home with foundation problems? We’ve set out to answer this question in this article.
Some foundation problems are minor and can be fixed inexpensively. Some, however, can run deep and require a great deal of time and financial investment.
Before taking the plunge, here are the five things that you need to know about buying a home with foundation issues.
- Hire a local foundation repair expert.
If you notice signs of foundation problems in the house, it’s best to hire a local professional. Common signs of foundation issues in Texas include:
- Cracks in the tiles or floor
Hairline cracks are often not an issue. However, it should be an issue of concern if these are larger, or if the tiles are cracked and separated.
- Flooring is uneven or sloped
You should be worried if the flooring is sloping or uneven.
- Nails that are popping out
This is often a result of soil shifting.
- Cracked molding
Molding that is coming out or cracked can point to movement.
- Cracks on the interior walls
If you notice cracks on interior walls, it may be a sign that soil shifting has taken place.
- Windows and doors that stick
This is another sign that soil shifting has taken place.
- Cracks in the sidewalk
Look for cracks in the walkways, patio, or porch. This often indicates soil movement.
- Cracks in the mortar
If there are cracks in the bricks or chimney, then foundation problems could be the issue.
- Cracks in the foundation
Do you notice any cracks on the foundation? Regardless of their size, you should have them checked out by an expert.
You need someone who lives and breathes foundations on a daily basis. The results of their analysis should give you a clear idea of whether the house is worth purchasing, or not.
Hairline cracks oftentimes aren’t signs of foundation problems. However, if the cracks are more than ¼ inch, it’s highly likely that movement has occurred. In this case, call a foundation repair expert immediately.
- Ask the seller about previous foundation issues.
If you notice any of the signs, then it’d be best to ask the seller about previous foundation issues. If there were, request for the documentation of the repair work.
Next, gauge whether the repair company is reputable or not. A quick Google search should help you with this. You can also ask your home inspector for their opinion on the company and whether they think you should get a second foundation repair professional’s opinion.
If you do manage to find the company online, look at their online reviews. Do they point to a reputable company? If yes, then you’d want to carefully examine the reports.
Also, don’t forget to ask the seller whether the previous foundation repair came with a transferable warranty.
- Understand the full costs.
The cost to fix foundation issues varies widely from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. According to HomeAdvisor, most homeowners will pay around $3,996 to repair foundation issues.
The main factors that influence repair costs include:
- Who you choose to repair your structural issue
- The method used for repairs
- The extent of the damage
- Figure out how you are going to finance the purchase.
After you have the repair estimate, the next thing is to figure out how you are going to finance the home purchase. It goes without saying that most traditional lenders will not finance a home with foundation problems. But for the few that will, the interest rate is usually a bit higher.
Alternative financing is oftentimes the go-to option for most people.
- Know when to walk away.
There are always more homes in the market. However, if the issues are minor and won’t take much time and financial investment, you could consider going ahead with the purchase. Just make sure that the problems are evaluated by a professional foundation repair specialist.
You can also try negotiating on the purchase price of the home if the foundation repairs are significant.
Before beginning the project, some of the things that you may want to ask your foundation contractor include:
- How soon can you begin work?
- How long is the estimate good for?
- Is the estimate the true final cost, or are there possible add-ons or line items to account for unforeseeable expenses?
- What kind of warranties do you offer?
- What kind of training do you provide for your employees?
- On average, how long does it take your company to complete these kinds of projects?
- Are you accredited by the Better Business Bureau?
- How long has your company been around?
Now that you are armed with all these crucial details, you should be able to decide whether buying that home would be the best decision, or not.
This article was provided by Granite Foundation Repair. Granite provides foundation repair services in Dallas, Arlington, Plano and surrounding cities.