August 17, 2006,
C.W. asks from Dallas, TX on August 15, 2006
Buy a House That Needs Foundation Repair?? Need Advice!
We have a contract on a 10 yr old house in Frisco, and the structural engineer has determined that it needs minor foundation repair that the seller is going to pay for. I haven't read the full report yet, but I'm from Missouri originally and we don't have foundation issues like Texas does. My realtor keeps reassuring me that this is a normal thing and that a lot of houses have this problem. We have until 5pm tomorrow (Wed. 8/16) to back out of the contract with buyer's remorse. This is our first house and we are really confused about whether to buy this house or move on and start the search again (I've looked at over 30 houses). We are typical working middle-class folks that can't afford a money pit. I'm looking for advice on resale value of a home that has foundation repair. Does anyone own a home that has had foundation repair? Do you feel it hasn't ruined the value of the home or caused any other damage? What would you do?
So What Happened?™
Thank you for all your comments! The best part about this website is just needing to air out a huge worry to many other ears instead of repeating it 1000 times to my husband! haha! Anyway, we decided to go ahead with the purchase of the house. After doing A LOT of research, we determined that resale value would be fine and we could live with what may happen in the future. The seller is paying for all the repair and it is being done by a reputable company. Bottom line, the house is in a great neighborhood, and its not like they're going to condemn the house and bulldoze it - someone was going to buy that house, might as well be us. And someone will buy it from us in 5 or 6 years when we upgrade to a bigger house. So thanks so much for all your input! We're homeowners!
A. answers from Dallas on August 15, 2006
One of my neighbor paid $20.000 for foundation repair on his house that is a little older than 10 years. If you really like the house and you can afford the repair, go ahead with closing, otherwise, start your search allover.
T.D. answers from Dallas on August 16, 2006
I do not think this is a common issue in Texas. I would get away from that as quickly as possible.
I have lived in Texas all my life and owned two houses, personally. The only house that I have experience with that had foundation issues was not disclosed at closing and my dad was able to get out of the contract. We lived in the house for a month with the foundation issues and it was really obvious. Windows would crack before your eyes and the pool would lose several inches a day.
I would go with your second choice.
S.H. answers from Dallas on August 16, 2006
I would say DON'T DO IT!! It can be a real money pit. A police officer in my neighborhood just spend $30,000 to repair their foundation and it still has problems. The problem started because they didn't take heed to the warning that you MUST water your foundation. Having a home costly enough with all the unexpected expenses, but knowing that you may be spending tens of thousands of dollars on the one problem you want to avoid would be really frightening to me.
We moved here one year ago and purchased a wonderful home. I never expected to have $500 electric bills, but as the temperature climbs and the electric rates soar, the average of $200 in the summer for electric bills soon soared to $500 with no additional use. That's just one of the unexpected costs we've experienced. Although now we are about to put our house on the market and sell it, and I'm moving to Ohio, I can't imagine trying to sell our home if it had foundation problems.
I wish you well!! Best Wishes.
M. answers from Dallas on August 15, 2006
I can tell you from experience that you will be ok buying the house if you negotiate the cost in fixing it into the purchase price. If you can get an allowance of at least 75% of the cost to fix the foundation, and you will fix it, then purchase the house. Now that there is an engineer's report of a foundation issue, the sellers will be legally obligated to present the findings to any potential buyers if you back out. The fact that if they don't get you the allowance and let you walk away...that maybe everyone else will be scared off by it and the house will sit for awhile may lure the sellers into giving you what you want. Get the money, or don't buy it. As far as reselling a home that has had the foundation repaired, you won't have a problem. Especially in a sought after area right now in Frisco. But really anywhere...as long as there is a warranty on work and the work is done well, anyone will buy the house later. Hope this helps a bit and keep me posted on how it goes!
T.T. answers from Dallas on August 16, 2006
I would advise against this. If you like the house, simply have them put it in the contract that they will make the foundation repairs with a company that gives a "transferrable" warranty. You will surely be responsible for several thousand $ and will unlikely find another buyer for this house with out repairing it. I would also be weary of the realtor who said it was not that big of a deal and didn't advise you to have the seller repair it. I assume he/she is the realtor for both you and the seller?
K.M. answers from Dallas on August 15, 2006
Basically in Texas....if you don't have foundation work, you will! Texas has expansive soils that will and many, many times do cause these problems.I am a native Texan, and this is very typical. If it is only minor and the seller is willing to pay for this, and have the work done before you take posession of the home providing you with a lifetime transferrable warranty by a reputable company, then if you love the home, you should definitely do it! I am a realtor, and I personally live in a home that has had foundation work....with a lifetime warranty,and while you do have to disclose it should you decide to sell...I have yet to see a buyer(interested party) back out because a home has had foundation repair. Having the work already done is usually a plus. You will just need to take care in watering/soaker hoses etc.... as any homeowner with our without foundation repair should do.
Best of Luck to you
M.R. answers from Dallas on August 15, 2006
I'm with the other moms. In fact,few days ago, I was talking with a man who purchased his home with fundation problems, was told it would cost him $7000, after all was done it came to $17000. That's not counting all the other cosmetic jobs after fundation(cracks on walls, ceilings, etc.).Good thing about his situation is, he bought the house well below the market value. It is one of the biggest investment of your life, so keep on serching.Good luck.
L.K. answers from Dallas on August 15, 2006
I personally would not be comfortable buying a home that needed foundation repair, especially one that was only ten years old. There's no way to know ahead of time exactly how much it will cost to get it fixed, and I'd worry that we'd end up spending way more money on the house than we ever intended to. Not to mention just the hassle of getting it done. I guess it would just depend on how much you loved the house, and how sure you were that you could get it fixed for an amount you were willing to pay. Good luck!