When To Walk Away from Foundation Issues When Buying a House
Potential clients usually take up a home inspection as part of the purchasing contract to find out about any existing property health issues before they buy a home. It can be anything from small cracks and structural problems to HVAC system issues.
Buying a house is probably one of the most expensive investments an average middle-class individual makes. For one, houses in the United States can develop severe foundation issues leading to major structural problems.
To help you out, we have compiled a list of signs of foundation issues that will give you a solid idea about the property’s health that you’re looking at.
Signs of Foundation Problems
The first question you have to ask when buying a house and going through a home inspection is, “should you buy a house with bowing basement walls?”
Surely, potential buyers don’t wish to go through the hassle of buying a house and then spending additional money on fixing the problem that they couldn’t find earlier.
Here are the sinking foundation signs that you should be aware of:
Cracks in the wall and doors jamming with uneven floors are common signs of foundation issues.
Different types of cracks alongside wall corners, floors, and concrete blocks around the basement are also potential signs of foundation issues.
Gradual Wall Detachment from the House
You might notice that the walls walk away from the foundation as a sign of structural integrity issues.
If the floors feel bumpy and bouncy, hire a professional to check them and find out if they’re because of foundation issues.
Foundation Cracks to Be Concerned About
Have you ever seen shrinkage cracks on walls or floors around the house of a neighbor, friend, or family member before? Well, it’s a clear indicator of foundation problems.
After a concrete block forms its shape, it requires professional handling to adjust with other blocks. Otherwise, it could lead to breakage and structural integrity issues.
Here’s a compact list of the most significant cracks that result from foundation problems:
- Horizontal Cracks: These result because of damage sustained from expanded and frozen soil with high water saturation. These cracks, along with diagonal cracks, are clear indicators that you need a fresh foundation.
- Shrinkage Cracks (L-Shape Cracks): these cracks appear where the foundation moves hillside.
- Small Cracks (Hairline Cracks): while these cracks aren’t worth worrying about, they appear between the concrete blocks of the foundation.
How to Check Foundation of House
If you’re buying a house that had previous foundation repair, checking for foundation issues is essential. Just because you see a highly decorated interior doesn’t imply a steady foundation. It could introduce severe structural integrity issues later on when you’re a permanent resident of the property.
Here’re some places you can check for hints of sinking foundation signs:
- Door frames
- Window frames
- Musty basement odors
- Floor and wall cracks
- Bowed walls
- Chimney health and structure
- Gaps between walls and windows (exterior)
- Sagging floor and ceilings
Can I Back Out of Buying a House After Inspection?
You’re probably wondering whether or not you will receive the earnest money back from the real estate agent if you back out of buying a house with foundation problems, right?
To help you understand, it’s entirely possible to back out of a home buying decision. This happens in rare cases. Usually, when there’s a transferable warranty for any repaired part of the house, it’s usually less of a concern.
You must check out the purchase contract before signing and agreeing to it. Why is that? Well, it ensures your safety and the provision of earnest money in case of a bad home inspection.
Are Foundation Issues a Deal Breaker?
Even a real estate agent might advise you to repair the foundation problems before you sell your house. If a home inspection reveals that your house has foundation problems, it could be a solid deal breaker. That’s why you must let the potential buyers know firsthand.
However, if you’re among the potential buyers, hiring the best home inspection agency can guarantee the identification of any foundation problems or structural integrity issues.
Altogether, foundation issues that come as a surprise without the knowledge of the buyer or seller can be potential property deal-breakers.
What Happens If You Don't Fix Foundation Problems?
First off, selling a house with foundation issues once you acquire it from a fraudster or acknowledged buyer can be a bit of a hassle. Potential buyers like you, don’t want to spend additional funds to fix the problem left behind and ignored by the previous owner. Hence, that’s one of the major disadvantages that you will encounter when selling a home if you haven’t repaired its foundation issues.
So, if you wish to sell your house with uneven floors or any other structural integrity issue, fix the problem beforehand by finding a reliable home contractor. Besides, it’s extremely troublesome to attract potential buyers, even with a discounted purchase price, if you have foundation problems.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix House Foundation?
So, you are thinking about buying the house of your dreams, but it has foundation issues. In that case, you have to know beforehand about how much it’ll cost to fix a house foundation.
There are quite a few ways you can approach the house foundation problems:
- A fresh foundation for nearly $40,000
- Concrete piers and helical screws underpinning for nearly $1,500 or $1,200 for one pier
- Steel braces bolts that cost up to $500- $700 per steel brace
Of course, it will depend on the type of foundation that your house has before you can decide the right solution to solve foundational issues.
Consulting the right professional home contractor for this kind of job is the right approach in most cases.
Can A House Collapse From Foundation Issues?
The first question to run through your head might be, “should I buy a house with foundation repair?” Likewise, you may have thoughts about the house collapsing due to foundation issues.
This could put you in a frantic situation and might cloud your judgment when making a decision. But, no, the foundation won’t cause the house to collapse all of a sudden. It takes time before the house caves into the foundation.
Most people do live inside houses with foundation problems, often unintentionally. Nevertheless, here are some risks most homeowners associate with foundations issues:
- Mold infestation due to water seepage
- Water damage
- Jammed window frames and doors
- Cracked walls
- Uneven floors
The risks of a house collapsing and giving in to foundation issues are higher, depending on how long the structure has faced foundation problems.
You are well aware of the many factors that revolve around a property deal involving a house with foundation issues. While you might feel the need to back out of the deal due to such issues, it’s important to run through the purchase contract that you agreed to prior to the home inspection.
In the end, you should remain cautious at all steps of purchasing a property since that’s how major issues and problems come to light.