Foundation issues concern buyers and sellers alike. Buying a home that needs foundation repair may be a costly move. There also might be challenges involved with getting financing for the home.
Sellers have difficulties making a successful transaction when their home has foundation problems. Keyrenter Oklahoma Management team warns many prospective buyers could fail to show up after the owner mentions the need for foundation repair.
In this article, we’ll focus on buying and selling houses that require foundation repair. You’ll learn about the things to do before deciding on the next steps as a buyer or seller of a home with foundation trouble.
How to spot foundation issues?
Foundation problems have many recognizable signs. Sometimes people ignore the early warning signs. They aren’t connecting what they see with the realization that the foundation is failing. That’s why it’s best to hire professionals to inspect the foundation.
And surely, there are cases when it’s difficult to spot whether you face a foundation issue, or the home is generally aging. For example, sticky doors and windows may be a sign of foundation problems. But the signs could indicate that the house is old as well.
Here are the top signs of foundation damage:
- Tilting chimney. The tilt starts to form when the chimney’s foundation won’t support its weight anymore. As a result, you might spot a tilt that becomes more prominent over time.
- Cracked walls. You can see cracked walls in many older buildings. Tiny cracks shouldn’t cause any worry, though. But bigger cracks are tell-tale signs that you might be facing either damaged or sinking foundation.
- Uneven floors. Did you know that uneven floors rarely have anything to do with the floors? Most likely, your floors are uneven because of settlement or shift taking place.
- Musty smells. Any musty smell coming from the basement should warrant further investigation. As this odor forms usually due to mildew, you have to solve a plumbing leak or a foundation problem. The latter results from moisture enter through the cracks in your foundation.
- Nail pops. Nails popping out of drywall may notify you about serious foundation issues that cause wall movement. You’ll see popped nails in the form of cracks that are round and small. In these spots, nails start to retreat from the sheetrock.
What buyers need to know about foundation repair?
The home inspection may uncover foundation issues. In such a case, you have two main approaches at your disposal. One, walk away and find another home that doesn’t have any trouble with its foundation. Two, you can have a proactive attitude and take practical steps to repair the foundation.
It’s vital to understand that foundation issues come in degrees of severity. Not all foundation trouble should be a complete deal breaker. Sometimes all you have to do is repair a few simple cracks in the concrete.
If you really love the house and the foundation repair isn’t too expensive, you have the opportunity to fix it yourself. Most sellers would agree to give you a discount to account for the circumstances.
However, there are potential foundation situations that call for huge expenses. Usually, this depends on how long the owner has ignored the first warning signs. Repairing extensive foundation damage runs into tens of thousands of dollars.
What sellers need to know about foundation repair?
Does the home you are selling have foundation problems? You have two potential ways to handle this. Sell your home on “as is” principle with the hope that someone accepts the foundation trouble. Or, repair any foundation issues completely, so that your home won’t carry a red flag anymore.
The first option entails a risk that most prospective buyers will turn down the offer. This is very likely because foundation problems are often vaguely understood. People prefer not to take any chance with damages in their home’s supporting structures.
The latter means an investment that could be anything from under a thousand dollars to very substantial expenses. Even if you fix the foundation issue, this fact is reflected in the repair history. Some people could be discouraged from showing further interest after having a look at the property records.
The bottom line: buying or selling a home with foundation issues
Foundation issues come in various forms. Some problems regarding foundation are easier to fix than others. It’s always a good idea to consult an expert before making any final decisions.
Buyers need to be aware that major foundation problems result in formidable expenses. Sellers should weigh the options of selling the house as it is or fixing the underlying problems.