Making an offer on a house with foundation repairs...

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Old 10-26-15, 09:14 PM
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Making an offer on a house with foundation repairs...

Hello,

I am considering making an offer on a house. House had foundation problem. Foundation shifted soon after building. According to seller (and warranty certificate) it was fixed in 2005 and has not had any issues or warranty claims since it was fixed. It is lifetime transferable warranty.

Otherwise house is in immaculate condition and ready to move in. We walked through the house and outside, I could not see any evidence of any crack in the wall, joints, cabinet joints, bricks, ceiling, molding, etc. In other words other than seller's disclosure there is no indication of foundation repair.

Repair company either did an exceptional job repairing it or the problem was not that severe enough to manifest itself in form of cracks (or seller cleverly hid all visible signs)

I was wondering, if seller has not had any issues of warranty claims since repair (10 years ago), is it safe to assume that the issue may really be fixed?

Any words of wisdom?
 
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Old 10-27-15, 12:13 AM
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Foundation problems can either be totally fixed or the problems being very cleverly hidden. I definitely would have a home inspection done with someone who is very familiar with foundations. You can do some tests yourself though and one very basic test is to get a smooth faced rubber ball and let it run on a wood floor. The ball should not be able to move on its own and if it is your floors may be severely out of level. A very serious foundation problem can be found with just that simple test as the floor should be level.

You seem to be happy with the interior doors but are they level and square. I would take a level with you to the house and check the doors for plumb and level. Also measure the doors from corner to corner if the measurements match your door is square and if they don't the door is wracked and that too can be a sign of a bad foundation. Take the level outside does the level stay flat? If not then you have a belly in the wall and a definite foundation problem. Windows too can be checked in the same manner as the doors.

All of those simple tests you can do by yourself but make sure you bring in a professional if you really think you might like the house. It never hurts to have two sets of eyes look a house over especially when foundation problems have been admitted in a disclosure.
 
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Old 10-27-15, 04:22 AM
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You mention a lifetime warranty. Whose lifetime, and who is providing the warranty? Can you find that guarantor? Are they still in business. The warranty is only as good as the person/company providing it.
 
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Old 10-27-15, 10:06 AM
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If it was me in your position, I'd want to know exactly what type of repair work was done to the foundation. Being in Texas, the house probably sits on a prestressed, post-tensioned concrete slab, which can be susceptible to creep--no, not to be confused with the guy your teenage daughter is currently infatuated with, but concrete creep. It happens when strong tensile, prestressing forces gradually overcome the concrete's ability to resist them, and can take place over many years before becoming unmanageable.
 
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Old 10-27-15, 10:47 AM
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Thanks. I am considering on passing this property up.

I hate to do this because the house layout is unique and quite impressive.
 
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Old 10-27-15, 07:07 PM
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Before throwing the baby out with the bath water, maybe you should consider a few things.

Such as:
1. Is the house's "layout" the only thing that you like about it? If so, then yes, walk away.
2. Is it competitively priced for the neighborhood? If yes, then maybe you should hold off on walking away.
3. Have you discussed the foundation repairs with anyone who is familiar with same, in the immediate area? If not, what are you waiting for? Maybe even discussing the matter with a knowledgeable engineering firm would be in order
4. Have you contacted the AHJ to determine if the repairs meet their criteria? Have them pull a copy of the building permit for you, to help you determine more applicable details as to exactly what was done.
5. Have you walked the neighborhood, asking if any other nearby homeowners have had similar work done, and if so, how are their repairs holding up?

I'm not trying to twist your arm into doing something you don't want to do, but conversely, it sounds like your decision to not purchase the property might be somewhat premature, and could be researched a bit more before completely ruling it out.
 
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Old 10-28-15, 07:13 AM
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Thanks. I truly appreciate this community.

There were following factors in my decision:
1. There was another house $30K cheaper, and 600sqft less, but in immaculate condition and ready to move in.
2. I have been looking for houses last couple of months. every house that's on market that had some kind of foundation problem/repairs was on market for more than 3 months and with price reduced by almost $15K to $25K. Some even withdrew the listing without selling. So I imagine there is stigma associated with houses with foundation repairs.
 
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Old 10-28-15, 08:28 AM
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Perhaps the current Owner will allow you to confer with the Contractor or Structual Engineer who was credited with correcting the problem on this property . . . . and then you can draw your own conclusions based upon how confident they appear to be in what was done 10 years ago.

Has there been any seismic activity during that period ?

If it hasn't moved in 10 years, I'd think you'd be fairly safe . . . . but that doesn't address the stigmatism.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 10-28-15 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 10-30-15, 08:35 AM
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Well, my personal situation changed a bit and I am reconsidering this house again. I appreciate your feedback. I am not sure about the seismic activity. probably not...

I am going to ask seller to furnish documentation or let me talk to the repair company directly to satisfy my queries.
 
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Old 11-21-15, 08:26 AM
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Thank you all for your help. I hired professional foundation inspection service to do foundation inspection. They found that work was performed satisfactorily. I am glad I changed my mind. Thanks again for all your advice.
 
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Old 11-21-15, 08:35 AM
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Keep the documentation that you received from the Inspection.

Better yet, and if it's short (like one or two pages), go ahead and record it in the Land Records with your other Closing Documents when the time comes . . . . that you won't be sunjected to the same questioning when you become the Seller.
 
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