Knowing that you are about to be a homeowner can be a very exciting feeling and in some instances it can even cloud your judgement.
A lot of thought and careful planning has to go into the whole house hunting process because a house is usually the most expensive purchase that you can ever make. With the house foundation being one of the most important parts of the house, there are 5 things you need to know about foundations or foundation damage before buying a house.
Foundation damage will greatly reduce the value of a house.The main reason foundation damage is considered to be the worst kind of damage a house can have is because of how greatly it can decrease the value of a house. Foundation damage tends to decrease the value of a house not just because the damage is extensive or foundation repairs are expensive but because they also mean that there are other underlying problems such as bad soil types, poor drainage, plumbing problems or inferior materials and practices were used to build the house and the foundation.
Spotting Foundation issues
The foundation is one of the most important parts of a house, therefore as a prospective buyer you should be able to spot the signs of foundation damage during your hunt for a house. The following are the most common signs of a damaged foundation:
- Cracks on the interior and exterior walls
- Slanting floors
- Sticking doors and windows
- Cracks on floors and foundations
- Spaces between walls and floors or roof
- Chimneys pulling away from the house
Drainage effect on the foundation
Poor drainage and uncontrolled runoff is usually the main cause of foundation damage. A bad drainage system will let water seep into the foundation which will cause damage. Even if the foundation doesn’t show any signs of damage, it’s only a matter of time before the bad drainage starts damaging the foundation. You should also be on the lookout for signs of bad drainage such as pooling water, the absence of gutters and downspouts and signs of soil erosion.
Foundation damage disclosure
Foundation damage can be expensive to repair depending on the extent of the damage. A seller is required by law to disclose if the house has any foundation damages and is liable. Even though the seller is liable, it is wise to get the house inspected by a professional before you buy it.
Homeowners insurance doesn’t usually cover the foundation, it covers the structure of the house and the contents. One way of dealing with this problem is by purchasing separate policies for earthquake insurance and flood insurance to cover the cost of foundation repair.
Related: Foundation Repair And Insurance
Hire a foundation inspector
It is wise to hire your own foundation inspector instead of the one recommended by the seller. The foundation inspector will check for any signs that might indicate that the foundation is compromised. To get a free* foundation inspection and estimate call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239.