Are you in the process of home buying in Tangipahoa Parish? This can be an exciting but stressful undertaking. There are many factors to consider, as well as others that may seem outside of your control. Depending on the complications thrown your way by banks, title companies, and realtors—the details can make your head spin. Besides the financial aspects of home buying, you must also consider important factors for your family, such as the length of your daily commute and the available schools and amenities around your new home.
One of the most important factors to be aware of is the health of the home you are considering purchasing. Foundation damage can be a major problem, even for young homes in the area. Here are five tips to help ensure that your potential new home has a safe and stable foundation.
1. Always Use an Independent Home Inspector
When it comes to getting a professional opinion on the health of your foundation, we advise against using a home inspector recommended by the realtor. While there may not be anything underhanded happening, this creates a situation where both of those parties benefit from the same outcome. This benefits your realtor and the inspection company—but you could be the one left with an expensive headache. Instead, reach out to an independent home inspector with positive, trustworthy reviews. Their inspection can help ease the stress of home buying or steer you away from a poor investment.
2. Never Take a Realtor’s Assessment of the Foundation
If you are looking at an older home, a realtor or seller may try and express that the foundation “has finished settling.” The fact is that this time can vary. By some sources, foundations finish settling in one to three years. For others, it can take up to ten years to settle. Factors such as the soil, the local weather, and other environmental factors can affect the solidity of a home’s foundation. If there are underlying problems or no corrections have ever been made, then some signs of foundation damage can be present and should be a cause for concern. Instead of taking your realtor’s assessment at face value, get the professional second opinion of an independent inspector.
3. Be Mindful of a Home that has Been Recently Redecorated
When purchasing a home, a fresh coat of paint, new flooring, or a manicured lawn can undoubtedly be attractive. But don’t let this camouflage other issues! If you notice or suspect that major cosmetic renovations have been done, ask for disclosures that there were no cracks in the walls or other areas of the structure. Disguising the results of foundation damage with fresh drywall and paint can be a band-aid that hides the actual problem. Get a professional inspection before closing on the home to ensure that no distressing issues are hiding beneath paint or drywall.
4. If There is Foundation Damage, Do Not Depend on the Seller
While it is a good idea to purchase the home contingent upon the foundation being repaired, you need to be heavily involved in the repair. The seller can be easily motivated to find the quickest and cheapest option to satisfy this demand. Many companies are notorious for delivering a quote for only part of the repair. This will be much cheaper initially but won’t fix the problem. And, this can and will leave you with more repairs and expenses in the future. If you are in the home buying process in Tangipahoa Parish, have the home inspected to ensure that issues have been thoroughly addressed and repaired before purchase.
5. Be Aware of Any Prior Foundation Repairs and Corresponding Warranties
A seller is legally required to disclose any known foundation problems as well as any prior repairs. If you discover that any partial work has been done, it is important to budget for or make a purchase contingent upon having that repair completed. The warranty, assuming one exists, is also important to understand. Will it transfer to a new owner to cover existing work? Are there any fees involved? Many times the stipulations that accompany a foundation repair warranty can be easily violated, especially when it comes to transferring ownership.
When Home Buying in Tangipahoa Parish, Work With a Trusted Foundation Inspector
It is important to be mindful and vigilant when it comes to selecting a home for you and your family. There are other features such as the layout and yard that make the house attractive, of course. But, understanding the potential dangers and costs of foundation repair is vital.
If you are in the market for a home, use a trusted, local structural engineer to inspect the house. And if there is a need for foundation repair, trust a local company that understands the natural impacts of Tangipahoa Parish as well as how to make the necessary repairs! For over 30 years, WCK Foundation Repair has been helping homeowners and buyers restore the value and safety of their homes. You can trust the quality of our repairs, and we offer a fully transferrable lifetime warranty with our service.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with WCK Foundation Repair, give us a call at 225-664-5956. You can also send us a message through our website to let us know the best time to reach you. Home buying doesn’t have to be a daunting process. Let us help make it easier with service you can trust!