A house is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. And as such, you’d want to make sure that it is worth every penny.
Your home’s foundation is one of the most vital structural pieces of your home. Having a strong, solid one is the best way to get the longest life out of your structure. So, if there are foundation issues, you should get this fixed.
Foundation damage is more common than you might think. In fact, a study in 2012 by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that nearly 25% of US homes have foundation issues.
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, read on if you want to know how to solve your foundation issue. Jim Oursler from Granite Foundation Repair, a local expert here in Dallas, compiled the top five things you need to know about home foundation repairs.
1. Our house inspection discovered foundation damage
First, don’t panic. We all know foundation issues can affect the value of the property. Signs of damage can include cracking, bulging, water penetration and shifting in alignment.
Minor repairs such as bolting on steel braces may cost less than $1000, but bigger repairs can easily spiral out of control. It depends on the level of damage, and whether you have a raised or slab foundation.
The most important thing at this stage is to gather repair quotes from reputable companies. Remember, that the cheapest quote may not be the best, but you also don’t want to be unwittingly handed a receipt for $30,000 or more.
2. Who is responsible for foundation repairs?
Unfortunately, Homeowners’ Insurance Liability normally excludes foundation problems. So, who will bear the financial burden of repair?
The simple answer is that it varies according to the stage of the contractual agreement. For the sake of this article, we’re assuming that any issues have been previously disclosed before purchase.
If you have discovered undisclosed foundation damage, that is a whole different ball game.
3. Buyers taking on the responsibility
If you have already agreed and signed a contract in full knowledge of foundation damage, then you are 100% responsible. You cannot try to hold the seller accountable.
Buyers Pro Tip: Make sure you get the property inspected by a trusted professional prior to purchasing the property.
Also, you may find yourself unqualified for government financial loan support. Many require that the home be structurally sound. On the plus side, you can use this element as a bargaining tool for the final sale price.
Once the issue has been resolved, be sure to keep full documentation as you might need this at a later stage, particularly if you want to sell the property again.
4. Sellers taking on the responsibility
As a seller, be prepared that if you discover foundation damage, many potential buyers may choose to simply walk away. You then have two options upon discovering the issue. First, repair the damage and have it on record, or second, disclose the information to the buyers and be ready to negotiate on the price.
We know that at this point you might be asking yourself if anyone would actually buy a property with foundation damage.
Well, the answer is yes.
In fact, many potential buyers are searching for ‘fixer-upper’ properties; ones that they can get for a good price, repair and then sell later for a profit. As long as you have the stability to be flexible on the price you should still be able to find a buyer no problem.
5. Financial support
So, you’ve come to the agreement that you are responsible, as a buyer or seller, for getting the repairs completed. The question is, where exactly are you going to find the extra dollars? Most traditional lenders will quite simply refuse to finance a home with foundation issues.
As such, you need to cast your net further and look to other institutions.
For example, by using the equity in your home, you could take out a loan. Then pay it back over a given time period, at a rate agreed by your bank. Fannie May HomeStyle Mortgage allows you to buy and renovate your home with one loan.
Alternatively, federal government grants such as the FHA 203(k) Mortgage are also an option.
Don’t let a cracked foundation cause your contract to crumble. A damaged foundation is not an easy case to deal with when buying or selling a property. Luckily, it doesn’t have to mean the end of negotiations. Simply follow these five points and have clear communication and you should be able to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
Should I Try to Sell My Dallas Home with Foundation Repairs?
Selling your home involves many factors–one of the biggest being time. If you need to sell your home quickly or don’t have the money to invest in the work to repair your foundation, selling your home as-is may be the best option.
With years of experience, we’ve seen just about every situation and understand each selling scenario is unique. Talk to a Dallas home-buying speacialist to find the best options for your situation today!