Basement looks bad...but how bad?


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Old 08-20-14, 01:04 PM
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Basement looks bad...but how bad?

Hello people. My wife and I are about to buy our first house. The one we liked has everything going for it, but the basement is a little scary. I dont have many pictures here (we dont officially own it yet), but can someone give me an opinion on whether or not this would be too much of an issue for a young family with a modest income?

My main goal is to make it a usable space for laundry. A fully finished basement is not on my list yet.

Things I have noticed:
- This house is in Delaware County in PA, so flooding is nearly unavoidable. But I saw like rust down there. Im not a pro, but I can guess that there was some major water issue at some point. It looks like a room from that Silent Hill movie.

- For some reason, the beam in one of the photos is painted only halfway up...hiding something maybe?

This is a bank owned property so there is no seller that can disclose anything about the history of this place. Any help is welcome. I have no friend that know about this stuff, so Internet, I turn to you.
 
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Old 08-20-14, 02:43 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I certainly would not buy it unless you are prepared for the likelihood it does leak quite a bit down there.
 
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Old 08-20-14, 02:49 PM
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Has far as finishing not a big issue but it there is water there could be a BIG problem
 
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Old 08-20-14, 04:24 PM
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go talk to the neighbours on each side of the house....houses with basements...ask them if their basements flood......they might know if this basement floods and how deep



look in the outlet boxes and conduit fittings at about 4 ft AFF.....
you should be able to tell if it has had standing water in the boxes or pipes

many basements need a sump pump 24/7.

do the neighbours have sump pumps

is their an outlet..location for a sump pump

looking out the basement window.............does the ground slope down or up............is the house in a hole.......does the water around you come to you or does it go away from you.

you do not want a house where surface water from a heavy rain comes to the wall of your basement. all water needs to drain away from the house..(.the basement wall.)


call your insurance agent and get a price for flood insurance at this address...............they can find out where this is on the flood maps.

if the cost is high...you need it..........they will pay over and over

if the cost is low.............the price is low..get it

if they say you do not need it.......the price will be real low......buy it for sure!!!!!

all said and done...............i wish i had a basement
 

Last edited by johnsc; 08-20-14 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 08-20-14, 05:34 PM
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Thanks for the responses everyone. I will take another look and use some of the suggestions. My plan is gingerly step forward anyway with the purchase and have the inspector check it out, then get my contractor friend in there to poke around.
 
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Old 08-20-14, 05:38 PM
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There is a sort of hill near the house so I would say the water comes right to the basement. But there are enough drains (I think there are anyway) to catch the street water if thats what you mean. Excellenet idea about the flood insurance agent Im going to give them a call tonight.
 
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Old 08-20-14, 05:44 PM
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look at the bottom of the stairs and that post for water or bug damage.
 
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Old 08-20-14, 05:51 PM
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My main goal is to make it a usable space for laundry. A fully finished basement is not on my list yet.
Probably do-able for a laundry area. As far as a finished basement... doubtful.

The walls were painted... kind of hard to tell if it was underwater. Look at, and inside, the furnace. Much harder to hide the flood line there. Check for major rust. Same for water heater.
 
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Old 08-21-14, 03:01 AM
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ed reiff ( now deceased ) owned dr. desert dry ( bsmt waterproofing co ) in a philly suburb & always ran a good shop,,, think his daughter's running it the last i heard,,, i don't expect the apple fell far from the tree - why not get a pro onsite inspection & evaluation ? the only caution i'd offer is you don't own it &, obviously, they have to make a living so there may be reluctance to inspect w/o a chance of selling,,, here's a quik 'n' easy way to tell IF there's a sump pump either now OR previously,,, LOOK FOR THE HOLE IN THE FLOOR our of which should come some pvc pipes

1 more thing - IF i liked the house, it wouldn't bother me to own it even IF it has the issues you note,,, after all, this house has already withstood the test of time from your pics - GOOD LUCK ! ! !

ps - i would NOT call mid-atlantic but you do what you want,,, bear in mind ALL pricing is negotiable even IF your ' inspector ' [ salesman ] says ' this is our final price ! '
 
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Old 08-21-14, 05:32 AM
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@stadry

I am signing the paperwork today for the house so there wont be any reluctance from Dr. Desert Dry. I will DEFINATELY give them a call as soon as I can. Thank you very much!
 
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Old 08-26-14, 06:27 AM
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Re: the paint - my bet is that is drilok, and the guy that was doing it was super lazy/cheap and didn't see any point in painting all the way up the board...
 
 

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