Purchasing a home is a big decision, so it’s important to know what to look for before buying a home with foundation issues. For many Americans, purchasing a house is the biggest purchase they will make in their entire lives. The last thing you want is to buy a home with a subpar or damaged foundation that requires tens of thousands of dollars worth of repair later down the road.
Fortunately, you can avoid excessive long-term costs by making smart purchases and reading the tips below.
Causes of Foundation Issues
Foundation issues can because by a wide range of root problems, including but not limited to:
- The type and quality of soil around the home. Certain types of soil are more likely to expand or contract, which can impact structural stability for a house’s foundation
- Drainage problems, which can also cause soil to expand or contract, as well as break down concrete foundations over time
- Construction quality. Some contractors produce poor quality foundations for homes, which may cost homeowners many years in the future
Because there are many different reasons a home’s foundation can be flawed or damaged, you should never purchase a new house without a detailed home foundation inspection.
The Importance of a Home Foundation Inspection
A home foundation inspection involves hiring a specialist contractor to come out and look at a house’s foundational supports before you purchase it. In many cases, a home foundation inspection is included with a broader home inspection – you can kill two birds with one stone by hiring the right professional.
This is so common that many mortgage lenders require you to have a potential property inspected before they will underwrite your loan. If this isn’t required, you should request an inspection anyway.
If a homeowner doesn’t want you to inspect the home’s foundations professionally, it could be a sign that there’s a structural issue they are trying to hide.
What if an Inspection Reveals Foundation Problems?
If a home foundation inspection reveals that there are issues with that foundation, the mortgage lender might require that the repairs be completed and inspected once again before the transaction can close. In some cases, you and your lender could work out a deal with the homeowner so that the cost of the foundation repairs is deducted from their total closing costs.
Many Foundation Repairs Come Out of Your Wallet
Unfortunately, however, home foundation repairs typically come out of the wallet of the future homeowner after they purchase a house. For example, if you buy a house and later discover that a crack has grown in the foundation, you’ll be on the hook to pay for fixing that crack and any other foundation repairs necessary.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Everything?
Sometimes, but only rarely. Homeowner’s insurance ostensibly covers problems with foundations, but it may not cover foundation damage or structural instability if it is caused by a specific issue. Depending on your policy, for example, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover a crack in your foundation if it is caused by poor drainage in the soil.
You should look over your homeowner’s insurance policy carefully before buying a home if you suspect foundation damage could be an issue in the future.
Ultimately, you should try to avoid buying a home with foundation issues unless the current homeowner repairs them before the sale closes and documents those repairs. Before buying a home with foundation issues, make sure the foundations are secure and well-constructed – and don’t forget to contact KC Pier if you do need cracks filled, your foundation restored, or any other foundation repair services!