Considering a Property that Needs Foundation Repair?
Any serious structural issue with the home that you’re looking to purchase will require serious consideration and thought. This is because if structural problems are not addressed in time, they could cause serious problems in the future. Common signs of foundation problems include cracks in dry walls, improper opening and closing of doors, and so on. You need to call a professional to come and evaluate the condition of the home before you close on the deal. If you’ve been working in real estate for a while, you may feel comfortable assessing the damage yourself, but I always recommend any new investors consult with a foundation repair company before they move forward on any property with foundation issues.
To buy or not to buy?
Several people get confused about whether or not they should purchase a house that has previously undergone foundation repair. The truth is that all homes will settle over time. Homes in areas such as North Texas are more susceptible to foundation damage because this region has clay soil. Also, North Texas has an extreme climate; there is intense heat in the summer followed by very cold winter months. So soil shifting is going to be an issue with just about any home for sale in Dallas/Fort Worth.
As compared to other soils, clay soils contract and expand more, which causes shifting of the ground. Hence, it’s natural for home foundations to move a little each year. Since all the foundation piers do not sink at the same time, your house will not stay leveled in the long run.
If you’re planning to purchase a property that has a history of foundation issues and repair, then a professional evaluation will be necessary to know the details about the repair work done, and whether buying the property is a safe proposition.
Here is what needs to be done.
- Go through the repair work documentation if repairs have already been made.
- The contractor for foundation repair would have clearly sketched a diagram showing the placement/position of the installed piers.
- Look out for a transferable lifetime guarantee in the documents (this is a huge selling point in North Texas, and will come in handy when you are ready to list the property).
- Ensure that you undertake some due diligence with regards to the company that did the repair work. This will give you peace of mind about the quality of repair work.
- It might be a good idea to consult another professional, such as a structural engineer to make sure the repair work was done correctly.
Benefits of buying a property with foundation repairs
This might sound strange but purchasing a home that has undergone foundation repairs just recently might not be such a bad idea. Why? Well, the intense soil shifting and sinking has already taken place. So if you install a new pier, it will get embedded into a more solid, load-bearing soil. Also, a home with foundation repair work can often be a steal. Many buyers will be hesitant to buy a home that needs foundation repair, or one that has recently undergone repair. Especially if the home needs additional work. These properties can be great for investors.
It’s just a matter of due diligence. You know that the house has already sunken into the ground. Hence, it would not really sink a lot in the years to come since the ground has become more stable now. However, this is only applicable if an experienced company did repair work correctly. This is why asking for a guarantee from the foundation repair contractor is very important before buying the house.
Things to remember
When buying a property in North Texas, you must ensure that there’s proper foundation drainage around the house. It is vital to consistently maintain the moisture level around the foundation of your home. This can be done by regularly watering your yard during summer and making sure that water is draining properly during heavy spring rains. Even if you’re water conscious and don’t want to pay an inflated water bill during the summer, use a soaker hose a few times a week to make sure your foundation stays moist.
If you find existing problems in the foundation of the home you choose, use it to your advantage. In some cases, foundation repair can be expensive. This is a great opportunity to close a deal with a seller who doesn’t want to mess with paying for repairs. Be careful with this approach though, you’ll need to take the foundation repairs into consideration before you make your offer. It’s always worthwhile for investors to have a trusted network of contractors in their area, and a good foundation repair company should be at the top of this list.