Should I Buy a House with Foundation Problems?
Unless you’re moving into a recently constructed home, buying a house is like buying a used car. You have to actively check for existing issues. Foundation problems in the Dallas area are especially commonplace, so getting a thorough inspection of the house foundation is a must for buyers before they commit to an offer. Generally, you shouldn’t buy a house if it has existing structural issues. Nevertheless, various factors are at play, and buying a house with foundation problems isn’t completely out of the question.
Inspect the Home
First, if any foundation problems are present, the seller is obligated to list them in a disclosure form. You should also perform a visual inspection yourself. Walk around the home interior and exterior and look for cracks along the walls and ceilings. Also, open and shut the doors and windows. Foundation problems may lurk if you can’t do this without muscling it into place.
Get a Professional Assessment
Ask to see the report if the owner already had the foundation professionally inspected. If not, don’t proceed further until the owner agrees to a professional who specializes in foundation problems and not just a general home inspector. As part of our Dallas foundation repair services, Align Foundation Repair provides a free inspection and estimate.
What to Do Next
It’s not an instant dealbreaker if the inspection turns up problems; it’s up to you. This is where negotiations really come into play. This is actually a good bargaining chip for getting the seller to lower the asking price. Homes with foundation problems can sell for up to 20% to 25% below the original price. On the other hand, foundation repair costs rarely exceed more than 10% of the property’s value. In other words, this can work out in your favor if you play your cards right. However, if you go this route, don’t just purchase the home and move right in as is. Arranging for repairs should be one of the first steps as the new homeowner.
Leaving Repairs to the Seller
Alternatively, you can agree to purchase the house at the asking price on the written stipulation that the owner has the foundation repaired out of their own pocket and have it done before the closing date. Get this agreement in writing or stipulated in the contract. If you proceed this way, make sure you and the seller agree on the repair company. The seller may choose the cheapest contractor. Unrealistically low prices often translate to shoddy workmanship.
Also, repair agreements should include damages incurred as a result of the foundation damage. This might include any ruptured pipes, cracks/separations along the wall and ceiling, etc. The costs of these also need to be factored in should you decide to buy the home as is.
Know the True Condition of the Property
As the buyer, you should fully understand the foundation’s condition. You can buy a home if foundation problems exist, but proceed with repairs right away. Call Align Foundation Repair for a zero-cost inspection and estimate. The report will give you an idea of how to proceed and negotiate.