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Buying a House with Foundation Problems: Do or Don’t?

Buying a House with Foundation Problems: Do or Don’t?

As a potential homebuyer, there are some salient issues that you should be wary about when negotiating for your prospective home, which include its structural integrity. The condition of every home is heavily reliant on its foundation.  Hence, you should never ignore the state of the foundation. Foundation issues are critical, and you should not downplay them when buying a new home, even if they appear minor.

Moreover, foundation cracking and settlement may lead to major structural problems if not fixed quickly. Numerous foundation problems may arise over the life of a house due to many factors like soil expansion, an excessive amount of moisture, issues involving the strength of the material used, and more.

This article is brought to you by the foundation repair OKC experts. If you’d like to learn more about foundation repairs or schedule a foundation inspection for a potential home, click here.

Carrying out a thorough inspection before making a choice is of utmost importance. It’s essential to hire a structural engineer to perform testing and other specific analysis to unravel the depth of the underlying structural flaws before you finalize a deal. A home inspector will diligently examine the structural integrity of the home you want to buy. He will lookout for cracks, water damage, moisture, window and door problems which are subtle ways of knowing whether the foundation is in need of repairs.

However, foundation problems don’t necessarily mean that a home is unsafe to inhabit, but it can have some added consequences that can make you feel uncomfortable. For instance, a faulty foundation can make a home vulnerable to problems that moisture causes or aggravates, like pests and mold.

What are the signs of a faulty foundation?

Foundation problems, if not detected early, can be costly to fix. Many signs can help you spot a faulty foundation when searching for a potential home. Some of the signals are highlighted here.

Cracks

Cracks on the walls, ceiling, or other exterior parts of the home may indicate a significant structural issue. Obvious cracks show that the foundation is undergoing a substantial shift and can cost a lot to fix. Moreover, sizable cracks will permit water to penetrate your home easily and further cause severe damages. Cracked and sinking flooring might be warning signs that a home’s foundation is no longer intact. The cost of repairing a foundation leak, according to HomeAdvisor, is between $2,000-$7,000.

Moisture

If there’re signs of water in the crawl spaces or basements, it may mean that the foundation is faulty. However, not all water damage in a house means there’s a structural problem. It will help if you contact a home inspector to probe further.

Separation of door frames and window frames from the wall

An obvious sign that the foundation of a home is problematic is windows and doors frames pulling away from the wall. When a foundation starts shifting, it impacts the home’s doors and windows, thereby making them hard to open or close properly.

Gaps

Another salient sign that a home has a foundation problem is gaps between walls and ceilings.

Bowing and sinking

Sloping floors or bowing walls are significant indicators that a home has severe structural defects and may cost handsomely to repair.

Should I buy a house that has a foundation problem?

Many additional repairs are associated with settling for a home with foundation issues. You should seek counsel from a certified structural engineer before finally making a choice. Buying a house with a faulty foundation implies that you’ll have more household repairs to fix down the line. For instance, a home with a problematic foundation tends to have cracked walls, broken tiles, crooked windows and doors, and more. In other words, when you embark on improving your foundation, you’ll either have to fix these issues as well or live with them, depending on your budget.

However, foundation repair can be expensive, and faulty foundations that are not fixed quickly can cause irreparable damages down the line. In addition, an unsafe home could be condemned. HomeAdvisor posits that homeowners will typically pay around $4,641 to repair foundation problems, and major repairs involving hydraulic can cost $10,000 and above. Moreover, one of the significant challenges with a home that has foundation issues is that you’ll find it difficult or impossible to resell your home.

How is a foundation inspection done?

Having a home inspector examine the home you intend to buy before closing the deal will save you a lot of potential costs. Professionals will use some specialized methods to check your foundation elevations. They will also perform a visual inspection to ascertain the overall structural integrity of your potential home. The processes entail carrying out specific tasks that include looking out for cracked walls and flooring, signs of water in the crawl spaces or basements, and more.

Then again, depending on the type of foundation the house has, the procedures for evaluation will be slightly different. For instance, if the house has a pier and beam foundation, the inspector will enter the crawlspace under the structure and diligently assess it to determine if it’s wet or has mold growth. Moreover, they will also examine the condition of the house piers, beams, and joists to know if any wooden parts are moist and rotten. On the other hand, if it has a slab foundation, the process will entail going around the perimeter of the building to ascertain if there are cracks on the slab, fascia board, brick veneer, and more.

Furthermore, the home inspectors will enter the house to check how level the foundation is by taking measurements. They will also determine the scope of interior damages by looking for cracks on the walls, floors, ceilings, and others. Subsequently, they’ll make recommendations concerning their findings and provide you with a quote.

Buying a Home with Foundation Problems? Here’s Our Take.

The structural integrity of every house is majorly important. Homes with foundation problems don’t only have lower resale value but are also costly to fix. Significant foundation issues don’t occur overnight; they start small and gradually become worse.

The danger of buying a house whose foundation is faulty is that it will have some ripple effects on the overall home. A problematic foundation can set off a chain of other damages in a house. Cracked flooring, bowing walls, and more are some of the salient signs that a home’s foundation is faulty.

It will help if you have professionals that’ll inspect your potential home in order to find out if it has some underlying structural issues. That way, you can make an informed decision about your potential new home.


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by Rebecca Jones // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.