Buying a house means compromising — at least a little. You might not find a house with the basement you really wanted, or close enough to your kids’ school, or at your budgeted price point. Ultimately, though, you might overlook any of those things because the house is just enough of what you want and need to make it worthwhile.
One feature you might not be in the mood to compromise, however, is buying a house with foundation issues. After all, foundation problems typically mean serious repair work is needed. No homebuyer wants to get stuck spending more on a house than he or she expected or wanted. If you’re in the market for a new home, there are some signs you should be aware of regarding potential foundation problems before you buy.
It’s possible that — depending on the circumstances — signs of foundation problems in a house won’t be a reason to give up on a home that’s otherwise perfect for you and your family.
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Things You Need to Do
Check It Out
It’s imperative that potential homebuyers visually inspect a home’s foundation before deciding to purchase. How do you tell if you have a foundation problem? Most homes typically have small cracks in the foundation caused by the normal settling of the house. You probably shouldn’t worry about any cracks that are smaller than a quarter of an inch. Larger cracks, however, are indications that the foundation’s condition may be more serious. Additionally, pay attention to any other signs of foundation problems around the house.
Get a Professional Opinion
If you come across any signs of more serious foundation damage when visually inspecting a home, it’s important to hire a structural engineer to assess the extent of the damage. A typical home inspector won’t be able to tell you as much about foundation damage as an engineer. Although this will cost more money, it’s worth it in the long run to know exactly what you’re getting into, before buying the home.
Get It Fixed
If the engineer comes back with bad news about the home’s foundation, it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, but you will need to make a decision. You’ll likely need to take action right away to repair the damage, so you should negotiate with the seller and ask for a lower price. Homes with foundation problems tend to sell for about 20 to 25 percent lower on average, whereas the cost to repair typically is around 10 percent of the home’s value, so the math works out in your favor.
Fixing the problems with the home’s foundation also means correcting any of the home’s issues that might have been causes of the foundation damage. That involves a bit of expense, as well. However, the good news is that many of the causes of foundation problems can be fixed so they don’t continue being a problem after moving into your home.
Know What You’re Getting Into
Buying a home with foundation problems may seem like a risky proposition, but as long as you know exactly what you’re getting into, it’s possible to have those issues resolved. You may even end up spending less than expected. Even better, working with a qualified foundation repair contractor will provide you with a home you love without having to compromise because of those foundation issues.
Foundation Repair Services, Inc. works with many engineers throughout North Carolina and South Carolina who can point you in the right direction if you suspect there are foundation issues in the home you are buying. Give us a call at 704-545-0206 and we will refer you to an engineer and help get the problem fixed sooner rather than later.