Foundation issues are one of the most common causes of structural damage to homes, which is why they’re so important for home sellers to be aware of before listing their property on the market. A house with foundation issues can be a real pain. It’s not always an easy fix, and it’s usually pretty expensive too. If you’re thinking about selling your house with foundation problems, here are some things you should know first!
How Do I Know If I Have Foundation Issues?
Foundation problems can be a very scary topic. Not only can foundation repairs be very costly, but there is also a lot of information available, making approaching the issue very confusing. We will cover your best options for diagnosing the condition of your home’s foundation.
Visible Signs of Foundation Problems
There are a few tell-tale signs of foundation issues. Knowing these things to look for will make it easier for you to decide if you have a foundation problem or not.
Cracks in the bricks on a home’s exterior are one of the most common signs of a crumbling foundation. However, this doesn’t mean that every crack you see is evidence of significant foundation problems. You would be hard-pressed to find a house that doesn’t have a few minor hairline cracks. But large cracks that are 1/4″ or greater should definitely cause concern. Also, “stairstep” cracks such as in the picture above typically indicate foundation damage.
In our time as house flippers, we’ve seen some houses with very uneven floors. Nearly all of these were due to foundation problems. The issue is that the support underneath the floor has moved or begun sagging, so the floor sinks to the new position.
Cracked drywall does not always mean that you have foundation problems. Almost every house will experience cracks in its drywall at some point from simple foundation settling.
However, large cracks are not normal and could indicate that there is a deeper issue. If you have cracks in your drywall like this image, there is a high possibility that some foundation issues need to be addressed.
Drywall cracks around the corners of windows and doors often indicate foundation movement. Cracks can be relatively easy to patch, however, if you see cracks reappear after patching, it is likely that there are foundation issues. If you are not the original owner of the house and you see cracks starting to appear, take a look around the general area. You may be able to see bumps or a rough area where the crack has been patched before.
Doors Stick Shut
Generally, when foundation problems arise, your home begins twisting and moving. This is what causes all of the cracks in brick and drywall. Another symptom of your house shifting from foundation issues is that your doors will stick shut. This happens because shifting causes door frames to become out of square, so the door catches on one of the corners.
An easy way to help determine whether sticking doors are a foundation issue or typical settling is by placing a level on top of the frame. If your door frame is level, it is probably not a foundation issue, but an issue with the door itself.
Should You Repair Foundation Issues Before You Sell?
If you plan to sell your house by going the traditional route of using a real estate agent, it is best to complete the foundation repair before listing it. This is because most potential buyers will be scared off by foundation issues and not even make an offer on your home.
The first step to repair your house with foundation problems is to contact a structural engineer and have your foundation inspected. They will assess how extensive the issues are and give you a detailed plan to resolve them.
How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost?
Foundation repair is one of the most challenging home repair tasks to estimate. This is because there is such a large range of causes and solutions.
Get the Opinion of a Structural Engineer
While all of the interior and exterior signs of foundation issues listed above can be helpful for self-diagnosis, sometimes the only way to truly know if you have an issue is to consult an engineer. A structural engineer specializes in foundation inspection, and they can let you know if your home is settling or needs significant repairs.
Discussing your home’s foundation with a professional is the best way to clarify what is going on with your house. Even if there are foundation repairs needed, they may not be too extensive and will revitalize the structural integrity of your home.
Working with a Structural Engineer
Although getting a detailed plan from a structural engineer will cost you money, it will save you money in the long run because the engineer will tell you what repairs are necessary and which ones are not.
This route is a slight alternative to contacting a foundation repair company first. Since this type of company specializes in performing the work to fix foundation problems, they may recommend making repairs that an engineer would deem unnecessary. Although a foundation contractor will be great for performing your foundation repair, it will likely save you money to get an engineer’s opinion first.
How Much Do Foundation Problems Affect Resale Value?
Assessing the value of a house with foundation problems can be quite tricky. And to be honest, “value” is an arbitrary idea sometimes because a traditional buyer might not even want to buy a house with foundation problems no matter what the price is.
The best way to determine the value of your home with foundation issues is to subtract the cost of repairs from the retail value. However, this doesn’t tell the whole story because it doesn’t account for the fact that it won’t have as many potential buyers interested in it.
Skip the Repairs and Sell the House As-Is
If your home has significant foundation damage, selling with a real estate agent may not be your best option. Instead, you can sell to a cash buyer specializing in repairing and renovating houses.
Calculating an Offer for Your Home
A professional home buyer’s formula for assessing the value of homes is very similar to the method listed above. However, you will not have to worry that no one will make an offer on your house or back out after the inspection report. They will buy your house as-is, regardless of the amount of foundation damage.
We Will Buy Your House With Foundation Damage!
We are professional home buyers, and we buy houses in Decatur and all of the surrounding areas. If you are facing major repairs but want to sell your house, don’t worry! We will buy your house as-is, even if it has a foundation issue.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by problems with your house or the process of selling it, know that it doesn’t have to be that way. Contact us today to see how simple selling your house can be!