In Texas, foundation problems are very common due to the type of soils found here. Because of this, many homes across the state develop foundation issues that are usually addressed when buying or selling a home. Often, a mortgage company won’t lend money to a borrower to purchase a home with a damaged foundation. In these instances, the foundation has to be repaired before the loan is granted.
If you are buying a house and the seller discloses that the foundation was just recently repaired, should you purchase the home? There are many factors to consider when buying a house with recent foundation work:
1. Who did the repairs?
Get a copy of the repair work documentation from the seller. By reading through the reports, you will be able to gauge how reputable the repair company is. Do some basic online research to gauge the reviews and reputation for the repair company. If you can’t find the company online, chances are they are not experienced and you may want to start looking at other houses instead.
2. What was the scope of the project?
Next, you will want to find out just how bad the foundation problems were. Foundation repair ranges from just a few piers in one area of a house to a complete foundation overhaul with piers all around and inside the house. In cases of more substantial repair projects, you may want to be more cautious, unless the products used are high quality steel.
3. What is the warranty?
Find out whether the foundation repair comes with a transferrable warranty. Some foundation repair companies will void a warranty as soon as a new owner buys the house, and others will honor the warranty after a sale. Warranties are different from company to company, so make sure to ask.
4. When are you going to sell the house?
If you are asking these questions about foundation repair when buying the home, chances are the person to whom you sell the house will do the same. Are you planning on living in this house into retirement, or are you going to sell in a few years? You and your realtor may end up having to answer the other side of the questions when you sell the home.
As you can see, there are many factors when deciding whether to buy a home with a recently repaired foundation. At the end of the day, it all comes down to whether or not you are confident in the work of the repair contractor. If you trust the company that did the repair work, then you can move forward in buying your new home confidently. But, if the seller went with the cheapest contractor and didn’t use a trusted company, you might want to walk away.
If you still can’t decide, then it might be time to get a second opinion from a structural engineer. They have the expertise to judge the quality of the foundation repair work and advise you on what your next steps should be.