5 Things Buyers And Sellers Need To Know About Foundation Repair!
Quite literally, the foundation is the base of your home. It’s the load-bearing portion on which the entire structure rests upon. So, when it’s compromised, the entire house may crumble and fall, or at the very least, sustain a lot of damage.
When in the process of buying or selling a house, it pays to ensure the foundation is good or at least be proactive in resolving the issue.
Jim Oursler, the owner of Granite Repair Foundation shares 5 things buyers and sellers need to know about foundation repair.
1. Signs of foundation damage
When you are looking at homes for sale, you want to check whether the house is structurally sound or not. Here are telltale signs of foundation issues:
• Cracks in vinyl or ceramic tile over a concrete floor
• Cracks in walls, especially over windows, doorways, or where the walls meet ceilings
• Stair-step cracks in masonry joints
• Gaps between the wall seams or between the wall and the ceiling
• Cracked drywall over a door frame
• Sloping floors or staircases
• Windows that are difficult to open or close
• Separation of walls, doors, windows and the garage door
• Doors that stick or don’t latch properly
If you notice any of these issues, investigate further. Call a foundation repair expert to determine the extent of the damage. In some cases, like when doors fail to latch properly, the problem may due to high humidity and not as a result of a foundation problem.
2. Inspecting and repairing foundation issues isn’t a DIY project
This is a task that requires foundation repair professionals. It isn’t for DIY-ers. If you suspect the home has a foundation problem, hire either a structural engineer or a home inspector to check it.
Hiring a structural engineer will typically set you back by around $600, and as much as $2,000 for an engineered solution.
Having a qualified professional check, the problems will give you a peace of mind. Additionally, your lender or insurance company may need official documentation certifying the problems were resolved.
3. Should you buy a house with foundation problems?
So, what should you do once the expert establishes that the house has a foundation problem? Should you walk away or take proactive steps to resolve the issue?
It’s important to understand that not all foundation problems are catastrophic. There are some that can be fixed rather easily. Repairing a simple crack in a poured concrete wall, for instance, is usually in the range of $800 to $1,500 per crack.
If this is the case and you really like the house, then by all means, go for it. Also, homes that have foundation problems are usually priced lower.
But, should you buy a home that has serious foundation issues? Major foundation issues can run the gamut. The repairs could be significant, or the foundation could even require total replacement.
According to HomeAdvisor, the cost to replace a home’s foundation ranges anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000, depending on the kind of foundation you choose. Now, ask yourself – do you have the budget for this? If your answer is “no”, then walk away.
If your answer is “yes”, then include the appropriate contingency clauses in the contract. Next, hire a competent foundation repair company.
4. Sellers will likely employ smart strategies and make concessions
Are you selling a house with foundation problems? You need to consider some options. The options will generally depend on things like how quickly you hope to sell the property, the degree of the foundation issues, and the local market.
If you decide to fix the problems prior to listing the home, it would mean two things. One, the repair history will be part of the records of the property. This can discourage buyers from even viewing the property.
And two, it will mean you’ll have to invest some money out of your own pocket. The costs can be significant. Also, foundation problems take time to fix.
If you consider selling the home “as is”, then you may need to price the property accordingly. According to Rare Daily, most foundation issues reduce a home’s value by 10-15 percent. In other words, if the home you are selling is worth $400,000, you could potentially lose between $40,000 and $60,000 in value.
5. Buyers will likely have financing challenges