Home Buyer Help: Options When the Home Inspection Reveals Foundation Issues

Posted by Shawn Clayton on Friday, April 20th, 2018 at 12:37pm.

What Can Home Buyers Do About Foundation Damage? Every homeowner fears foundation trouble, and the same goes for home buyers. Foundation trouble can be expensive to repair and a hazard if left unchecked. If you've recently made an offer on a luxury or waterfront house only to have the home inspection reveal problems, it's important to know the details of foundation repair, and what can be done during the selling process to fix the problem.

How Serious Are Foundation Problems?

A bad foundation is a very serious problem for a home to have. A bad foundation can negatively affect a home's overall value. Without a good foundation, making repairs or remodeling the home may be very difficult. If the problem is serious enough and if it goes on for long enough, the home could even face collapse. The cost of foundation repair depends on the extent of the problem, size of the house and what's involved in the repair process.

If An Offer Has Been Made, What Are The Options?

If a buyer has already made an offer on a house and have since discovered it has foundation problems, they have a variety of options, depending on their offer and where they are in the home buying process.

Negotiate Repairs

Unless the home sellers have stated in the contract that the home will be sold "as is," or unless the repair contingencies have already been lifted, buyers may choose to negotiate repairs to be made by the home sellers. Having a good real estate professional on their side during this part of the home buying process can help with the negotiation.

The advantages of negotiating repairs with the home seller is that the home will be move-in ready at the close of escrow. Unfortunately, the disadvantages of negotiating repairs with the home seller is that it's difficult to judge whether or not the repairs have been made by capable, competent professional.

Negotiate a Lower Price

Negotiating a lower price may give buyers enough money and resources to finance the repairs themselves. This gives them a chance to pick the contractor and will give them more control over the quality of the work. In addition, foundation problems are serious enough problem that the discount on a house with this defect might be much greater than the cost of the repairs. Ironically, foundation problems can actually save home buyers money if they have knowledge or experience with negotiating for fixer-uppers.

Any homeowner who is thinking about negotiating a lower price to compensate for the money to pay for foundation repair should meet with contractors at the home to get quotes and ensure that any negotiated discount on the house is enough to cover the cost of repair (and then some).

Cancel the Contract

If no agreement can be reached when trying to negotiate repairs or a better price, buyers may want to walk away from the purchase. Talk to with a real estate professional before making any final decision.

What Are the Signs of Foundation Trouble?

Being able to recognize the signs of foundation trouble can help buyers avoid making an offer on a property that has foundation problems. These warning signs are a common indication that a home has foundation trouble.

  • Stair stepping cracks in the foundation.
  • Horizontal cracks in the foundation.
  • Bowing exterior walls.
  • Jammed doors and windows.
  • Cracks more than 1/4 of an inch thick over the doors and windows of the home.

Rumson homes about to be purchased that display any of these symptoms should cause homebuyers to consider having them inspected before making making an offer on such a property.

Work With Your Real Estate Professional

A capable real estate professional can help you manage a complex situation like purchase of a house that has foundation problems. To find out more about your options, talk to a real estate agent today.

Meta Title: What Can Home Buyers Do About Foundation Damage? Meta Keywords: foundation damage, home foundations, home inspection issues, repair foundation, home repair Meta Description: When foundation damage is discovered during an initial home inspection, some homebuyers may initially show great concern. However, there are several options at a buyer's disposal to mitigate further risk.

Shawn Clayton, Owner/Broker, REALTORĀ®

Jersey Shores Luxury Home Expert

Contact Shawn

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