Should I Buy a House With Foundation Repair? (Quick Guide)

November 1, 2021

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Are you on the hunt for your dream property and wondering, "should I buy a house with foundation repair work or needs?" Many people are not aware that it’s possible to purchase a first-time home if there has been foundation repair done. Buying a home can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. But don't let the previous repairs deter you from buying your own place; most areas susceptible to foundation issues mean that most homes will have repairs that have been completed.

The good news for prospective homeowners is that it will not affect your ability to qualify for financing on a loan. As long as the repairs were completed by licensed contractors and the previous homeowner can prove this with documentation.

Should I Buy a House With Foundation Repair?

home with foundation repair

However, you've thought about buying a house BUT it requires a foundation repair. You might be asking yourself, "should I buy a house with foundation repair work done?" In our opinion, the answer is yes. Here are a few reasons why:

  • You can save money on repairs since it has already been done
  • It will show better in the future because it has already been repaired from wear and tear
  • It will be better able to “weather the storm” and stand up to any external elements

Buying a House with Previous Foundation Repair - First Step: Foundation Inspection

A foundation inspection can be an easy and inexpensive way to find out if everything is in good shape. As most homeowners know, many homes are prone to foundation damages. It's normal for most homes to have some degree of foundation issues. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get a home inspection before moving forward with your purchase. This way, you will know with certainty the condition of the property you are purchasing.

A home inspection is typically done by an inspector who has extensive experience with inspecting homes for flaws like this. They will check each room in the house and determine whether or not there is any damage that may be causing the house to sink. If there does happen to be some type of damage, it is usually minor and can be fixed. However, the inspection will also help you determine some of the work that has been done to correct any foundation sinking problems.

If a licensed inspector discovers a problem with your new home, they usually will be able to complete the repairs themself or recommend a company that can. They are often able to get the ball rolling immediately, especially if it is serious damage. Sometimes you might even meet with the previous homeowner before closing on the house. They can give you information about what was done to correct the damage; ask them if they know who completed the repairs and get their contact information.

SOS! There are More Foundation Issues That Weren’t Repaired Previously

home requiring foundation repair

If there happen to be damages that were not repaired yet, never fear! These repairs can be made before the closing date. In most cases, these repairs will not decrease the overall price of the house. The closing costs are already negotiated and agreed upon by both parties.

It is important to ask if any other work was done that may have caused damage to your home or foundation. If there were additional problems that caused additional damage, you will want to find out if they can be fixed before purchasing the home.

You can also talk with your realtor about your concerns. If it's a reputable foundation repair company, they should have some type of warranty for these repairs. They are there to help you so do not hesitate to ask them questions about what they know.

If the previous homeowner was not willing to put any money toward repair satisfaction, do not take this personally. It is simply business for them. In some cases, the previous owner may have been unable to complete the repairs due to lack of financing or other reasons. In this case, it is acceptable for you to request either a significant discount on the house or a lower purchase price so that you can have repairs done before moving in. If this is something you don't want to do, the house may need to sit on the back burner while you look at other houses.

Do foundation problems affect appraisal?

The damage caused to the foundation could very well affect the value of the home. It's possible that the "drive-by" appraiser may not be able to detect all the damage. It may not even be known that a problem exists. That's why receiving a foundation inspection from a reputable local company is of utmost importance.

The Permanence of Foundation Repairs

There are a number of factors that would determine the lifespan of a foundation repair. These include the extent to which the repairs were carried out, whether or not there was any additional damage to other parts of the home and the type of materials used in the repairs.

house needing foundation services

Typically, foundation crack repairs last for a period of twenty years. If the foundation repair was only partial, then a smaller amount of time. Foundation crack repairs done with epoxy instead of polyurethane often wear down more quickly as well and may need to be redone within ten years. This is due to the fact that epoxy damages easily from harsh weather elements.

When steel pilings are installed, they can last up to fifty years because the steel piling is protected from the outdoor elements. House leveling can last anywhere from five to twenty-five years. How long the foundation repair lasts closely depends on the damage that was done to the foundation in addition to how well it's been repaired. Foundation repair companies can better advise you on what kind of timeframe they expect their repairs to last based on your specific home.

All in all, permanent foundation repairs are not common, but it depends on the extent of the repairs. You can say yes to should I buy a house with foundation repair work or needs. However, a homeowner should find a qualified contractor who has experience with high-quality foundation repairs for longer-lasting repairs.

Warning Signs You Can Look for as a Home Buyer

The foundation of a home may be compromised in a number of ways. For example, cracks in the foundation stones, sinking windowsill, an uneven brick surface, and bulging along the wall.

A few other issues include water leaks, water seeping from windows or doors, damp floors near the foundation, and ceilings that slant due to a sagging foundation. The homeowner will have their own opinion on whether these are red flags or not. However, it is important to note that serious damage to foundations usually means that there is also significant damage to other parts of a house that may not be seen.

walls cracked in house

When you're doing a walk-through of the home, look for obvious signs of foundation damage. The cracks are the most obvious sign that can be seen from the outside if you know what to look for.

Top signs a home requires foundation repair

There are a number of signs that can indicate if your home needs foundation repair. These include:

  • Walls and ceilings that slope or bow inwards, which might be caused by uneven settlement on the foundation
  • The floor of your basement feels bumpy when you walk on it
  • There are cracks on the walls of your basement or exterior walls; this may be caused by water intrusion into the foundation and it has led to spalling of the masonry
  • You notice that there is movement like active soil settlement when you walk around your house.
  • There are gaps and noise coming from under the house. This could also be caused by an uneven settlement on the foundation.
  • The walls of rooms like the kitchen and bathrooms feel warmer than the rest of your home
  • You hear noises coming from under the house, which could be caused by expanding soil with moisture or by the movement of pipes and foundations.
  • If you live in a newly built subdivision and there is the settling of lots and houses, then your foundation may have been affected
  • The exterior wall of your home is leaning inwards

Notice Any of These Signs? Time to Call a Professional

If you see any of these signs, it is best to call a foundation repair contractor who can conduct an inspection on your property. The inspector will determine if there has been any foundation settlement and will determine whether or not your home is safe to live in.

cracks indicate foundation problems

A history of foundation repairs might indicate an ongoing structural problem or even a defective design. Only qualified contractors should be allowed to do the repairs, otherwise, the problem will never go away. This is because a small crack in the foundation may be hidden and only appear later on, which means that the repair was not done properly, to begin with.

Does foundation repair affect resale?

The resale value of a home is independent of the foundation repair work, however, it can deter some buyers who don’t want to take a chance on the lifespan of those repairs.

Does foundation repair increase home value?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Some people believe that a well-done foundation repair will increase the value of a home, while others believe that it may have a negative effect. Ultimately, it will depend on the individual circumstances of each home and the quality of the repair work that is done.

Foundation repair and increases in insurance premiums

Insurance premiums are usually unaffected by foundation repairs, however, some companies may factor in the value of your home when determining future premiums so it is possible for this to change.

Should I Buy a House with Foundation Repair?

A properly repaired foundation makes the house more valuable to live in. A poorly done repair can actually reduce resale value by weakening the structure permanently. The best thing that an owner can do, then, is to hire an independent professional inspector who does not have a stake in the repairs that are done.

Many factors affect the resale value of a home including paint, landscaping, heat and electrical systems, appliances (such as refrigerators), bathrooms, kitchens, roofs, windows, and other components. Foundation repair is usually not seen by buyers unless it's needed to maintain safety or is a result of a structural issue.

Getting a mortgage on a house with foundation problems

Yes, you can be eligible for a mortgage on your house if you have foundation problems. However, it may be a good idea to negotiate this into the cost with the homeowner. If you need foundation repairs or other remodeling provided before selling, it may affect the resale value.

Will a bank finance a house with foundation problems?

The answer to this question depends on the severity of the foundation problems. If the foundation is only slightly cracked or has a few small holes, a bank may be willing to finance the home. However, if the foundation is severely damaged and needs extensive repairs, a bank is likely to refuse to finance the home. In this case, the buyer would need to pay for the repairs out of pocket or find another source of financing.

A Word from Our Foundation Repair Team

Louisville Foundation Repair Pros has been providing foundation repair services for over 20 years. We are the most trusted professionals in the industry because of our dedication to quality, professionalism, and expertise. One of the most important things that you can do to avoid costly repairs is to make sure your home is properly inspected every year.  

foundation repair company

If you're buying a new home, and you're wondering, 'should I buy a house with foundation repair work or needs," make sure to invest in a foundation inspection before purchasing. We will crawl under your home and walk the perimeter of the foundation. During the inspection, we will look for cracks in the foundation and check for any signs of shifting or bowing. If we find anything abnormal, we'll provide you with a detailed proposal and estimate depending on your needs. Our technicians are highly trained professionals who take great pride in everything they do.

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