Buying a House with Foundation Issues, What you Need to Know
Foundation issues are generally one of the biggest red flags when it comes to purchasing a house. Contrary to what many people believe, you can purchase a home with foundation issues and still be “safe.”
As with any property purchase, it's important to carefully consider the condition of the foundation before making a final decision. South Carolina, like many states, has a diverse range of soil types, and some areas are more prone to foundation issues than others. Here are a few things that you should know prior to placing an offer on a home with foundation issues and damages.
Consider the soil type: South Carolina has a variety of soil types, including clay, sand, and silt. Clay soils, in particular, can expand and contract with changes in moisture levels, which can cause foundation problems. If the property is located on clay soil, be sure to have a foundation inspection done by a qualified professional.
Age of the Home
Older homes in South Carolina may be more likely to have foundation problems due to age-related wear and tear. If you're considering an older property, it's important to have a thorough inspection done by a qualified professional.
If repairs have been made to the foundation already it is important that you have documentation of the work so that you know the severity of the crack, the repairs that were made, and any potential damages that could be caused by the repairs in the future.
Many lenders will not approve a loan if there are any sort of structural damages or defects on the property. Because of this, you may need to provide proof of repairs or have repairs inspected prior to closing your loan to provide proof to the lender that the property is currently free of any active damages.
Check for signs of foundation problems: Look for signs of cracks in the walls or ceilings, uneven floors, doors and windows that stick, or gaps between the walls and floors. These can all be signs of foundation issues.
If there are current cracks within the foundation, it is important to have it inspected thoroughly as repairs on cracks can range drastically in price. Some minor cracks may be as little as $500 to repair, whereas larger cracks can reach upward of $10,000 which can cause a pretty good dent in your budget.
If the cracks appear minor, moving forward with the purchase of the sale could still be a good option, however, should the cracks and damages be extensive then it is vital that you discuss the damage in-depth with a professional assessor so that you are fully aware of the needed funds for repairs as well as any potential damages that may arise down the line due to the cracks. Additionally, as mentioned above, should the damages be severe, you may have a hard time securing funds from a lender.
South Carolina law requires sellers to disclose any known defects, including foundation issues, to potential buyers. Be sure to review the disclosure statement carefully and ask questions if you have any concerns.
While many buyers run at the thought of any type of foundation issues, as long as the proper repairs either have been made or you plan to do so, there really isn’t as much danger in purchasing a home with either a foundation crack or repair. As long as you work closely with your agent, discuss damages and repairs in-depth, and ensure to hire a reputable assessor, you can decide to either purchase a home with current or previous foundation damages and repairs, or decide to continue your home search elsewhere.
For more information on home buying in South Carolina contact Move South Today - We know the houses along the coast, questions to ask when buying condos and all South and North Carolina coastal real estate.