Buying a home can be an exciting and stressful undertaking. There are so many things to consider and many others that appear to be out your control. Depending on banks, title companies and realtors can make your head spin. In addition you have to consider schools, commutes and amenities around your new home. One of the most important things 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 Tangipahoa Parish.
Here are a few tips to help you ensure that your potential new home has a safe and stable foundation:
- Always use an independent home inspector
Never use a home inspector recommended by the realtor. Not that there is necessarily anything underhanded happening, but that creates a situation where both of those parties benefit from the same outcome, and you could be the one left with an expensive headache.
- 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 settlement never actually “ends”. If there are underlying problems or no corrections have ever been made, then some signs of foundation damage can definitely be present and should be a cause for concern.
- Be mindful of a home that has been recently redecorated
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.
- If there is known foundation damage, do not depend on the seller fix the problem
While it is a good idea to make the purchase of 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. Meaning this will be much cheaper, but won’t actually fix the problem. This can and will leave you with more repairs and expenses in the near future.
- 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 piering has been done, it is important to budget for or make a purchase contingent upon have 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, if that is even an option.
It is important to be mindful and vigilant when it comes to selecting a home for you and your family. Of course the layout, yard and different things that make this house a home are vital, but so is understanding the potential dangers and costs of foundation repair. If you are in the market for a home, use a trusted, local structural engineer to inspect the house. 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 and offers a fully transferrable lifetime warranty. For over 30 years, WCK Foundation Repair has been helping homeowners and buyers restore the value and safety of their homes. For more information, click here.