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Things to Know When Buying a Home With Foundation Issues

December 26, 2018

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Are foundation repair issues enough to keep you from buying your dream home? Imagine - you have just spent the last three months looking for your perfect home. Finally, after all these months, you walk into your new house. Everything about this house was made for you and your family. When you look at this home all you see is large walk-in closets and a big backyard for the kids. Making a repair to the foundation is not even on your radar.

This is because foundations, good or bad, do not sell houses. The realtor is not going to point out any cracks in the walls or they type of soil your home sits on. Your brain is telling you to wait until the inspections are done and the papers are signed before making plans for those closets. However, there is nothing like that feeling of coming home to your perfect house. You have probably already started decorating and imagining your family living there.

The phone rings and your heart starts to break for what might have been. The inspector has discovered foundation issues with your dream home. Anticipation becomes apprehension with this news. How much will a foundation repair cost in Houston? Are the closets really as great as you thought they were before the call? Do you have it in you to entertain the thought of buying this otherwise perfect home? How can you be sure what the right move for your family will be?

This is a choice that is best made after you have gathered all of the information necessary for making the right decision for your family. You can buy a house with foundation issues and have it be a smart choice. However, there are certain things you need to know when buying a home with foundation issues. You need to educate yourself before making the commitment to do a foundation repair or look for another home.

1. Call an expert and know the foundation repair costs

The first thing you need to do is talk to the inspector that found the foundation problem. You need to find out his qualifications and whether he can tell you how bad the foundation repair issue is. You might want to contact a structural engineer to have them inspect the foundation. The cost of a foundation repair can run the gamut.

Once you know the extent of the damage you will be able to make an informed decision. You can decide whether or not you will move to the next step in this home buying process, or look for another option.  However, if the sellers are willing to negotiate on cost, you can use the foundation repair cost as a great bargaining tool.

2. Be aware of underlying costs

Be aware that foundation repair issues might not be the end of your problems. Once the engineer has inspected the home's foundation and given you the results then you can start making an informed decision. However, there may be underlying issues that have caused the foundation problems. For example, you may have a leak that has caused the foundation to falter and there may be mold as a result.

Make sure that the structural engineer and any other inspectors you hire have considered all the hidden problems that go along with the foundation issues. You may have a small foundation repair that will cost a few thousand dollars to fix. The underlying problems may cost much more than the foundation itself does. Having knowledge of foundation problems and the underlying causes that sometimes come with them can help you determine whether you should move forward or back away.

3. Plan on having the foundation repair done yourself.

The homeowners tell you they are willing to have the foundation repair done before you purchase the home. This may not be the good news that you think it is. Do not rely on the homeowner to fix your home's foundation before you buy the home. The homeowner has one goal. They are trying to sell their house. They want to sell for the most money and as quick as possible.

The homeowners will want the foundation repair done quickly and for the least amount of money. They have no interest in how well the foundation repair is done. They are not going to be living in the house any longer. Whether or not the foundation issue is fixed will become your problem as soon as the closing papers are signed.

4. Foundation repair issues may affect your financing

Your home loan is not a guarantee just because you have been pre-approved. You need to be aware that many traditional lenders will make the loan contingent on a home that passes an inspection without foundation repair issues. Therefore, if you are set on making an offer, you may need to explore alternative means of financing.

You may be faced with higher interest rates whether you go with the alternative loan or choose a traditional lending institution. This is something you will need to discuss with your lender and real estate agent before making an offer on the home.

Buying a home with foundation repair issues can be a sound financial decision or cost you everything. It is important to make the decision with your head and not your heart. You can make any house into your dream home. You can not always make your dream home work with foundation issues. Making the choice to buy a home with foundation concerns will require some effort on your part. Educating yourself will ensure you have the tools needed to make your choice.

Only you and your family can decide if the home is worth the effort you will put into the foundation repair needed. Do not forget that walking away needs to be an option for you and your family as well. Sometimes walking away from your dream home will prevent you from living a nightmare.

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Mark Jacobs

Written by Mark Jacobs

Customer Service Manager Mark developed a passion for foundation repair in his formative years. Growing up in the family business has shaped the way he looks at homes and his ability to solve problems - from the ground up! He loves to read and keep up with the new technology that is constantly developing in the foundation repair industry. Outside of work, he loves adventuring with his family, spending time by the water, and has a passion for cooking.

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