5 Things Buyers and Sellers Need to Know about Foundation Repair
Our friends at Granite Foundation Repair have written a great blog post to help us all understand the nature of foundation repairs. With some education and the right professionals on your side, this prickly issue can be overcome without killing the deal!
Are you buying or selling a home? When it comes to foundation issues, it doesn't matter which one you are. Both are in the same bucket. Sellers worry whether foundation repair may become a deal breaker and buyers might think whether they should ignore houses needing foundation work. In this article by Granite Foundation Repair, you'll learn more about foundation repair and the five main things that are crucial to understanding what you need to know before getting any repair work done.
1. What problems are present?
Not all foundation issues are equal. Some minor problems are easier to fix, potentially costing you a few hundred dollars. Don't be fooled by looks, though. There are times when even the tiniest cracks can hide flaws that run deep into the foundation which supports the whole building.
A good rule to follow is if the foundation cracks are less than 1/4 inch wide, any serious repairs don’t need to be done. Some wider cracks may be repaired with simple patching, but don’t forget that this may not address the root cause of the foundation problem.
What if the structural problems run deeper than the foundation? While you may imagine that the foundation as being the ultimate framework structure for the house, it's actually also the ground beneath the foundation that's offering the real support.
A soil test is usually done before constructing a house, but there are exceptions. The tests also aren’t a fool-proof way to forecast the future movements of the house. Ideally, the test should show whether the foundation will properly stay in place.
Improperly conducted soil tests may end up as surprises for the owners. Admittedly, it’s complicated to predict and control any soil shifting processes. Factor in other changes to the ecosystem surrounding the house as well and you will have soil movements.
Most of the time, you will need to manage the effects of these movements.
3. How to analyze the situation better
It is recommended to obtain a professional assessment for any foundation issues. Have an inspection done by someone who has expert and experienced knowledge.
While you may spot obvious signs of foundation issues such as windows that are hard to open or improperly shutting doors, a deeper analysis is needed to make any decisions about the repair work as well as calculate the final costs.
Home inspectors are specialists who can definitely spot foundation issues. But you'll need someone who also in the know about foundation repair. Consult with a structural engineer to get a detailed report on the particular issues affecting the house.
Both buyers and sellers need to have this report. The buyers need to know how much investment they are going to make in order to fix the problems. The seller, in turn, does not have to worry about potential buyers being driven away because they can't make an informed decision.
4. When to buy a home with foundation issues
It’s important not to make any decisions before you have all the numbers needed to calculate the potential costs of fixing the foundation. Foundation repair comes in many forms: Cheaper epoxy injections, more expensive pier solutions, and really costly work involving the partial or complete rebuilding of the foundation.
Whatever option you decide, don't accept any offers from the seller. There's a high possibility that they would choose the cheapest solution and alternatives from a less than reputable foundation repair company.
Having substandard work done on your home’s foundation means that you'll have to plan for heavy expenses down the line.
But do you know when to walk away? Buying a home that needs foundation repair should be out of the question. Don’t buy a house that needs repairs when you have to put in so much money that the value earned in the original transaction is hopelessly lost.
5. How to sell a home with foundation issues
Many sellers wonder whether they should fix the foundation problems before listing their home. There are two major drawbacks to getting the work done. Namely, fixing the issues might cost you a lot of money and the property's record would then show any foundation repairs in its history section.
Some buyers will see the latter as an instant red flag and will ignore your property and move on to the next. So, you might then bethinking what the best option is.
One of the smartest solutions is to be open about the foundation problems in your listing and get the price adjusted alongside the disclosure. You might raise your chances of finding a good buyer as this strategy could attract people who are looking for a fixer-upper.
What do buyers and sellers need to know about foundation repair?
All foundation issues need professional evaluation. You can start by ordering a report from a structural engineer who will inspect the whole property, uncovering the potential problems and informing you about the repair work that needs to be done.
Then you can start contacting the foundation repair companies to understand the exact costs involved in restoring the structural integrity. Don't fall for the lowest prices as the work done can be only partial repairs or even result in a low-quality outcome. Shop around and compare prices and options as different foundation repair companies may offer alternatives.
For sellers, they should focus on presenting the most accurate information about the property while adjusting the price accordingly based on the severity of the foundation issues.
And buyers are better off walking away when the foundation issues require major repairs and expenses that aren't sustainable when compared to your income and savings plan.
There you have it: foundation issues can be costly, so we need the pros to come in and give us the lowdown. By employing creative negotiating techniques, your Austin Craft Realty agent will be able to help you as a buyer get the seller to pay for most of these repairs, or secure value in the purchase price. Luckily, we have the right connections to trusted pros to help make everything transparent!
about the author
Owner + Broker
Originally from Ft. Worth, Texas, Drew fell in love with the city of Austin as a kid when he was captivated by its eclectically progressive lifestyle and music scene. Drew spent four years at Trinity University earning his degree in Business Marketing, during which time he spent a semester abroad in Sevilla, Spain.
Upon landing in Austin in 2010, Drew hit the ground running by becoming a top apartment locator in Austin before leveling-up to be a Realtor to help folks with buying homes. But being just a Realtor wasn't enough, and Drew had a vision for a brokerage that did both sales and apartment locating at a high level. With this dual expertise, Drew founded Austin Craft Realty in early 2016.
In late 2019, Drew decided to pivot his company towards the fast-paced, fun, and opportunity-friendly apartment locating industry. Already experts in the field, ACR was re-branded to Craft Apartment Locators in October and is no longer be associated with the Austin Board of Realtors. Drew is very excited for the opportunities that come with focusing on what his company does best: helping Austinites find fantastic deals on Austin apartments.
While Drew is no longer a Realtor himself, he has excellent connections in real estate and is happy to recommend a great Realtor to you.
When Drew isn’t working hard to constantly improve Craft Apartment Locators, you might find him bicycling around town, serving on the board of the Young Men’s Business League, playing saxophone at some of Austin's best venues, and enjoying the latest craft brews. He is a proud homeowner in the exciting and vibrant East Austin 78702.