Scared of Your Foundation Issues? What You Can do to Repair Damage or Sell the House As Is

by | Jan 16, 2018

Just How Bad Are Your Foundation Issues?

If you have foundation issues, don’t feel as though your home will be impossible to sell. While foundation problems are scary, they can be corrected. Many buyers will be worried about potential foundation repair costs, which is expected, but you can also price your home to account for those needed repairs. Depending on the extent of your foundation damage, buyers will be less or more willing to purchase the home as it is.

Without hiring a structural engineer to look at your property, you can begin assessing the damage by looking at the following items:

  • Do doors jam? Are windows misaligned or have cracks in them?
  • Do your floors or staircases slope at all?
  • Can you see physical cracks in your drywall?
  • Are there gaps between the wall and ceiling?
  • Does the exterior concrete show large cracks?

All of the things mentioned above should serve as “warning signs” that you may have a foundation issue on your hands. But, not all foundation damage or cracks are created equal. The size of the crack says a lot about the damage (and cost to repair) – here’s more on what your foundation cracks may be telling you.

Interested in Repairing Foundation Issues Before You Sell?

If you know that your foundation problems are bad enough to scare away a large pool of buyers, you may be considering fixing the issues before you go to the list. And, you’re not wrong in making this decision. Buying a home with foundation problems is scary, so a home with less costly repairs will certainly bring in a larger buyer pool. One of the first things you should do is consult with a structural engineer or experienced contractor in your area who can look at the damage and provide you with an estimate of time, labor, and cost.

If your problem requires better support piers under your foundation or new anchor bolts, you could be looking at $5,000-$10,000 in cost for repairs. If you have a larger issue at hand, and maybe your foundation needs extensive repairs, then you’re looking at costs in the tens of thousands (upward depending on the size of your home).

Will Insurance Cover Your Foundation Issues?

– Speak with an agent regarding your policy to see if foundation damage is covered. Usually, small cracks that form over time from settling aren’t, but there are some damages that will be.

– If foundation, issues are covered by your insurance, take a close look at the policy to determine when that’s applicable. Some tips to look for in your coverage: ground cover collapse coverage (from a sinkhole, for example), flood insurance (damage from water intrusion), or earth movement coverage related to an earthquake. The latter is probably most applicable when it comes to California residents.

Unfortunately, as mentioned above, the typical culprit of foundation damage (the normal changes that will take place over time) will not be covered by your insurance company and instead will need to be repaired out of pocket.

Want to Avoid Paying for Foundation Repairs?

If your insurance won’t cover the damage, and you don’t want to fork the money out of your own pocket, then your best solution would be to sell the home as it is. If you’re going to do this, you will need to understand that you’ll have to reduce your asking price to account for these potential costs. Not only will your future buyer have to make these repairs, but they take on the added risk of buying a home that may have further damage than what’s being seen. Many additional problems can be uncovered as repair takes place (once the floors are taken up etc.).

So, you can either: a) list the home on the market as it is and hope to find a buyer who’s not afraid of the damage and can still secure financing or b) sell to a cash buyer who has an in-house team to tackle construction issues just like yours.

Whichever route you choose to take, we can help. Most often, if the repairs are grand enough, a cash buyer is exactly who will be interested in your property. Even if you do choose to sell through a real estate agent, it’s very likely that he or she will be reaching out to a network of buyers who look for “problem properties.” By selling directly to a buyer like us, you avoid all of the repair costs AND all of the traditional fees associated with listing and closing a property.

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