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Should I Buy A House With Foundation Problems?

Buying a house is a major life investment. A home is one of the most expensive and important purchase one can make. As such, it only makes sense to ensure that you make a good purchase.

At the end of the day, you don’t want to compromise your entire investment. Finding the perfect house is a lengthy process that can take several months or even years. But what happens when after picking the house you’d want to spend the rest of your life, you discover it has a foundation problem? Foundation problems come in all shapes and sizes. Some may cost a few hundred dollars to fix while others may run the gamut.

For most people, this is upsetting news but the good news is, if the house has everything you want, consider proceeding with the purchase. Before deciding to buy a house with foundation issues, there are a couple of things that you need to do and think about before buying.

The decision depends on the extent of the damage and whether it will be reasonable to put your money into foundation repairs versus looking for another home without any problem. It’s important to understand what you’re up against before you seal the deal. Jim Oursler from told us more about what things to consider when buying a house with foundation problems.

Financing a home requiring structural repair may be challenging.

Even for a buyer willing to buy a home with foundation problems, getting financing may prove daunting. Traditional lenders like VA and HUD often require that a home be structurally sound to qualify for financing.

In most cases, traditional lenders may not agree to finance the purchase of houses with foundation issues except under very special circumstances. Stricter lenders will often decline to offer any form of financing.

For instance, to reduce the risk, the interest rate will be much higher, and you will be required to pay a higher initial deposit. Additionally, lenders may insist on a shorter loan repayment period. If you find yourself in such a situation and you’re willing to look for alternative financing under special arrangements, then you’re good to go.

Understand the Cost of Repairing the Foundation

According to Home Advisor, most homeowners will pay around $5,838 to repair foundation issues. Minor cracks can cost as low as $500, and major repairs involving hydraulic piers may cost north of $10,000.

Before buying a house with foundation issues, you need to have the damage inspected by a specialist. They will provide a comprehensive and accurate estimate and report of the damage and cost. Before deciding whether to buy a house with foundation problems, it is important that you have a good understanding of how much the repairs will cost.

Get a qualified and reputable foundation expert to do the inspection, report, and quotation otherwise, you may be presented with an inaccurate quote. Small issues such as cracks less ¼ inch wide usually do not require repair, but any crack wider than that must be attended to.

If your cracks only require patching, you won’t need to spend on repairs but it will be wise to find out what has caused the cracking. Smaller repairs including replacing and fitting gutters and downspouts as well as ensuring the ground slopes away from the foundation. Major repairs include rebuilding part or the entire foundation which will set you back tens of thousands of dollars. For instance, a new foundation costs a minimum of $100,000.

The Damage Could Extend Beyond the Foundation

Foundation issues are known to cause a ripple effect that could extend to other parts of the house. Before buying a house with a foundation problem, a thorough investigation needs to be done to determine what could have triggered a faulty foundation.

In some cases, the cause of a foundation problem could be as a result of poor construction techniques. On the other hand, if the construction was done correctly, there is a possibility that the soil beneath could have shifted. Prior to construction, contractors are required to do a soil test to see whether the foundation will remain in place. Failure to do this means that when a house is constructed, it will have perennial foundation problems that will end up costing you a lot of money to repair.

Cost of Repairing Other Damages

When the foundation has issues, chances are high that a house will develop associated complications. If you choose to purchase a house with foundation repairs, be ready to contend with extra issues in the house after occupying the house. Some of the issues that are likely to happen include crooked windows and doors, broken tiles, uneven floors, and numerous cracks in the walls and floor.

All these issues will demand extra for repairs, which could prove to be expensive. Cracks on the foundation, for instance, are inexpensive to fix. Those wider than ¼” only need some patching. But patching is only temporary. It doesn’t solve the underlying issue. A shifting foundation, on the other hand, is costly to fix. This is because fixing it might require rebuilding the whole foundation.

Before deciding, always involve experts like a foundation specialist to help you decide. Buying a home with foundation issues can be done. You only need to do your due diligence and understand the risks involved. Paired with a bit of luck, this article has may prove d insightful in this regard.

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Jennifer Summers

Jennifer Summers has an extensive background in Real Estate and new construction. She started her real estate career in 1996 in her families’ Real Estate brokerage and new construction companies, shortly after graduating with a BA in Business Marketing from UNT. Throughout Jennifer’s career, she has navigated a wide range of real estate transactions, including residential and investment properties. She has worked with a diverse clientele, from first time homebuyers to seasoned investors, and has built a strong network of industry professionals to ensure smooth and successful transactions. As a team leader, Jennifer is committed to fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous learning among her team members. She believes that building strong relationships with clients and colleagues is key to achieving success in the competitive real estate industry. Jennifer’s comprehensive understanding of local market conditions, property values, and emerging opportunities empowers clients to make informed decisions. We understand that buying or selling a property is a significant milestone in your life. With Jennifer’s extensive expertise, unwavering commitment, and unmatched dedication, you can trust that your real estate journey will be guided by a true professional.

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