Updated: Mar 22
On today’s post, Higher Elevation Home Inspections LLC, I got the chance to inspect a home and provide a check list to prevent homebuyers from being blindsided by some easy-to-spot home inspection defects. Most of the time homebuyers do not know what to look for or can not see what is hiding behind the walls or in this case on top of the home. Today we tackle FOUNDATION!
Buying a home is both exciting and stressful. After all, you want to find a place that suits your living needs and is in great condition. One of the biggest concerns is that the property you purchase is structurally sound, and this often starts with the foundation. Consider these tips about how to spot potential issues when viewing homes with your real estate agent
When touring a home, keep an eye out for the following signs of foundation problems. Pay extra attention if you’re looking at homes built more than a decade ago or in an area with clay soil.
Here is what to look for on the outside:
* Horizontal cracks in the foundation itself
* Stair-step cracking in exterior bricks
* A chimney that leans away from the house
* Gaps above windows and doors or around the garage door
* Sunken porches or stairs
What to look for on the inside:
* Cracks in the drywall
* Misaligned windows or doors that are hard to open and close
* Sloping floors or cracked tiles
* Cracks in the ceiling
* Any separation between walls and ceiling
* Moisture in crawl spaces or the basement
WHAT DO I DO IF I SEE THESE SIGNS?:
Many buyers run for the hills when they think a home’s foundation isn’t structurally sound, but you don’t need to immediately rule out a house if you believe it has foundation problems. Don’t worry take a minute and breathe, investigate the issues - the more you know, the better decisions you can make. Just keep in mind that some situations will only require minor repairs, while others well let’s just say its a little more complex.
Let’s start here with some pros and cons:
• Ask the seller if they’ve had foundation repair work or an inspection done. In most cases, sellers are required by law to disclose foundation issues.
• A routine home inspection may not be enough, so have a specialized foundation company, like um hello did we just meet for the first time ha! Me come out and check.
• Research the potential cost of repairs to help you determine a fair price.
• Find out if the issues will affect your financing. Often, houses with unresolved foundation problems can only be purchased with cash or a special type of mortgage.
Now what happens when you find a home that you want to purchase and the foundation has been repaired?
Many buyers would like at this as a positive, especially if the repairs were done by a reputable contractor who offers a warranty. The best foundation repair companies offer a lifetime warranty that is transferable when the home sells. Just be sure that all the proper permits were pulled at the time of the repair and that there hasn’t been any trouble since. If the foundation has been stabilized, any remaining cosmetic issues can be resolved easily and quickly.
What if I’d like to make an offer but don’t want to end up with a nightmare on my hands? Make sure your offer is written up with contingencies that protect you if things turn out differently than expected. A contingency will make your offer dependent on specific conditions, such as inspections or repairs. Discuss your options with your real estate agent.
Should I ask the seller to fix the foundation as part of the sale? You can ask the seller to make the repairs, but it’s common for them to reduce the price of the home and sell it “as is.” If you aren’t up for making the repairs yourself, you may need to look for a different house. Additionally, some buyers worry that if the seller is held responsible, they will choose the most affordable option, not the most thorough one.
I hope these tips help you when purchasing a home. If you hire us we will make sure to view all those “foundational problems” as mentioned above. Lets leave this here for now and if you have any questions or concerns always feel free to contact us at the number listed on our website.
This is Rob signing off on today’s hot topic.
Higher Elevation Home Inspections LLC