Getting the perfect home isn’t that easy nowadays and it’s quite tricky to get a home which meets up to your expectations.
In most cases, some compromising may be necessary. It may not fall within your budget or it may not be close enough to your kids’ school. Another reason perhaps is that it may not have the cool basement you really wished for.
In the end, though, you might overlook these nits because you really love the house.
Be that as it may, there is one feature that most homebuyers will likely not compromise on – a home with structural issues. Specifically, a home with foundation problems. “Foundation problems” – these are two words that are enough to make homeowners quiver and home buyers run screaming.
After all, the foundation of a home is as essential as it sounds.
However, does this mean that you shouldn’t buy a house with foundation problems? The short answer is, of course, not! It mostly depends on the individual circumstances. Some signs of foundation damage may not be worthwhile giving up on a house that’s otherwise perfect for you and your family.
To help you make that crucial decision, let’s dig deeper into the concept of buying houses with structural concerns. Jim Oursler of Granite Foundation Repair, a Dallas foundation repair company, shared some of his advice with us on the topic.
Things that You Should Be Aware of
You’ve fallen in love with the house. It has everything you wanted in your dream home. However, there is only one thing holding you back from buying it. The foundation has a problem – It’s cracked!
What are you going to do? Should you continue the search or try to remedy the problem?
Well, finding the perfect home can take months or even years. As such, your best bet would be to see whether it would be possible to fix the issues.
The following are a few things you need to prepare for:
- The cost of buying the home.
One obvious benefit of buying a home with foundation problems is you get to enjoy significant cost savings. If you purchase a house that requires structural repair, you can often purchase it for a fraction of the cost of buying a structurally sound home.
- The cost of repair.
The second thing you need to consider is the cost of repair. Repairing a damaged foundation is, without a doubt, a huge financial undertaking. As such, it’s in your best interest to assess the cost of the repair beforehand.
- Getting financing.
In many cases, private lenders like banks won’t approve conventional mortgage loans on structurally unsound homes. Your best bet would be to get a Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured rehabilitation mortgage.
However, unlike the average loan, the closing process for this type of loan takes a little longer. Also, the competition for these loans is high.
- The problem could go deeper than the foundation itself.
Foundation settlement is a good example of this. This is especially common in areas that have expansive clay soils like Texas. While it can be fixed, excessive settling can be extremely costly. In some cases, the entire foundation may need to be replaced.
Now that you’ve done your homework on foundation repair, are you still interested in buying the home? If your answer is “yes,” then here is what you must do.
- Inspect the damage.
You don’t need to be an expert on foundation issues to check for signs of damage. A keen eye is usually the only requirement. Here’s what to be in the lookout for:
- Counters and cabinets separating from the wall
- Sagging or uneven floors
- Gaps around window frames or exterior doors
- Sticky doors and windows
- A sinking, settling, or heaving foundation
- Cracks in the foundation, walls, or floors
- Get a professional’s opinion.
While your eyes are good at detecting signs of foundation damage, the only way to know the extent of the problem is by seeking professional help.
A good foundation repair expert can determine the severity of the issue and the best solution to the problem. When you get a professional assessment, decide whether it would be worthwhile for you to fix the issues.
- Get the problem fixed.
If you decide buying the home is still worthwhile, then the only thing left is to find a reputable foundation repair company. Good ones will even give you a foundation warranty cover.
For all practical purposes, that includes the materials and labor required to perform the job. In most cases, these policies offer a lifetime, transferable protection. A lifetime protection means the foundation repair company will cover any future repairs for the lifetime of the home.
So, should you buy a house with foundation problems? Of course, that is a question that only you can answer. If you really like the home and have the budget, then by all means, go for it! But if you don’t have the budget, your best bet would be to walk away.