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Should I Buy a Home Needing Foundation Repairs?

by Andy B. on Jan 29, 2021

It can be disappointing to hear that a home you love and are considering buying needs foundation repairs! Foundation fixes are not always cheap, and potential homebuyers might wonder how long foundation repairs last so they know what to expect if they should decide to buy that home and invest in needed repairs.

As with any home on the market needing repairs, it’s vital that homebuyers ask the right questions and understand the risks involved in purchasing that property, including potential repair costs. If you’re thinking of buying a home needing foundation repairs, or one that had foundation repairs previously, check out a few of those important questions to ask and what to consider before making your decision.

Why It Can Be Okay to Buy a Home Needing Foundation Repairs

Buying a home needing foundation repairs can be a sound financial decision if you know the extent of needed repairs and their overall costs. Along with a full home inspection, have a foundation repair contractor inspect the home inside and out, to evaluate that damage and provide you with a repair quote.

Once you have a solid quote for foundation repair costs, you can decide if that home is a viable option for you, based on its price, overall condition, and other such factors. If the homeowner’s asking price is well below market value and you’re willing to pay those foundation repair costs, the home might be a sound financial decision.

On the other hand, if the seller is not willing to lower their asking price enough to compensate for your foundation repair costs, you might need to move on to another home on the market! You can also ask yourself if other factors make the home worth that added repair costs, such as its location, size, and other such details.

How a Weak Foundation Affects a Home

To ensure you know all your potential repair costs, consider that a weak foundation is not always the only thing needing patching! A cracked foundation allows a home to sink lower along one side or another, and the home’s overall framework then pulls on all building materials and surfaces. Note how this can affect the house so you schedule needed inspections and get all the quotes needed for repairs:

  • Inside the home, you might notice cracked walls and ceiling tiles as well as buckled floors.
  • Crown molding and baseboards might pull away from the walls.
  • Walls tend to pull away from each other, creating gaps in corners of rooms.
  • Door and window frames might also pull away from the wall, creating gaps and cracks.
  • As a home pulls in a certain direction, it takes plumbing pipes with it. This can mean water leaks around connectors and cracked pipes.
  • Outside the home, a weak foundation can mean exterior wall cracks, a damaged roof, and even a cracked, crumbling chimney.
  • Foundation cracks let in water which leads to mold growth, structural wood rot, and insect infestation.

This might sound like an exhaustive list of repairs but note that a cracked and damaged foundation doesn’t automatically mean a home will have plumbing issues, roof damage, and everything else listed here. Inspections for these risks can alert you to your potential repair costs; as with foundation damage, you can then evaluate if the home’s asking price is low enough to compensate for these costs.

Should You Buy a Home That Has Had Foundation Repairs?

As with any other repair project, a home that has had foundation repairs is not necessarily a poor investment; in some cases, those repairs can actually make that home a better purchase than others on the market! First, note if the repairs were performed by a reputable contractor, so you know they will last for years.

Next, consider how long ago those repairs were made, and how long certain repair materials should last. Epoxy injections, for example, might last some 5 to 7 years. If these materials were used to patch foundation cracks just a year or two ago, those repairs should last several more years after you buy that home! Foundation Repair Experts, a leading provider of foundation repairs typically recommends steel piers for their customers, as these can last for decades if not indefinitely.

Since many foundation repair methods should last for years if not even decades, a home with foundation repairs can be a great choice for any buyer. Those repairs and added services such as basement waterproofing or crawlspace encapsulation can keep that foundation in good repair for many years to come.

Can a House Collapse from Foundation Issues?

It’s unlikely that an entire house will collapse from foundation issues, but note that individual walls including basement walls might collapse if you ignore needed foundation repairs. Not only are collapsed walls dangerous but they’re also costly to repair! If you are considering purchasing a home needing foundation repairs, note that it’s best if you schedule those repairs right away rather than assuming they can wait indefinitely.

A homeowner or potential homebuyer might also consult with a repair contractor about homes needing foundation repairs. He or she can note the extent of that damage and the best repair method, so you know your home is always safe for occupation.

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