Is It a Deal Breaker?
Every Home Improvement and HGTV show wants you to think that buying a home is a smooth process full of smiling couples finding their dream home. However, the number of unexpected issues that can come up during the homebuying process is HUGE and can lead to a property buying nightmare.
While most homebuyers don’t pick a home based on foundation support, it is a critical property element and should be given the respect it deserves. From small cracks to settling problems, your entire home depends on a sound foundation. If a home is built incorrectly or certain conditions are present, foundation problems can be a deal-breaker. Insert picture of previously smiling couple with angry faces and stress lines.
Normal Settling -vs- Foundation Damage
When purchasing a property, it is essential to remember that every home will have some element of settling and minor cracks. Cracks less than ¼ inch are a normal occurrence and sign of settling. However, large cracks in the interior/exterior walls, doors, and windows that are stuck or have significant gaps and a foundation pulling away from the wall should never be overlooked. These are signs of potential foundation damage that may lead to a severe problem.
Reasons for Foundational Damage
In North Carolina, the most significant cause for foundation cracks and settling is the clay and expansive soil. When the clay dries out, the ground shrinks and hardens. When moisture is added during cooler and wetter months, the soil expands and swells. This cycle can cause permanent damage and serious foundational concerns. Drainage problems, freezing temperatures, and poor construction can also lead to settling issues and cause stress to the home’s foundation.
Peace of Mind
At Oak City Properties, we believe that every homeowner should feel confident in their purchase. If you find your dream home, but there are signs of foundation damage, hiring a professional foundation inspection is a smart idea. By hiring a foundation inspector or structural engineer to fully inspect the foundation, you can assess the level of damage and recommendations for repairs.
If the home needs foundation repairs, it is possible to negotiate a lower asking price for the home or ask the seller to make the repairs themselves. With any home purchase, you want to have peace of mind knowing that you are not compromising on safety.
If you consider a home with foundation issues, be aware that it may be a costly endeavor to remedy. Foundation issues can cost as little as $500 but go up to $40,000 for major repairs. A foundation replacement can range from $300-$1,000 per linear foot and is a major construction project. While a foundation issue doesn’t necessarily render a home “unsafe,” it does make the home vulnerable and susceptible to future problems.
To Answer the Question
So, is foundation damage a dealbreaker? The decision is yours to make once you get a professional opinion of the situation. Foundation issues don’t have to “soil” a deal, but they have to be taken seriously and should never be ignored. Make sure to hire the right people to help you make the best decision for your home and you.
At Oak City Properties, we have been helping those in the Raleigh area purchase and sell homes for years! We approach each property from both a professional and personal perspective, whether you are a first-time property owner or a seasoned investor.
We are intimately familiar with Raleigh’s real estate market, so we’re uniquely positioned to guide you through every aspect of the home buying and selling experience. If you are interested in learning more about our services or speak to our listing agents, give us a call at 919-232-9222 or send us a message.
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