Identifying Foundation Repairs
Foundations may become damaged due to any number of reasons including water lines or tree roots growing uncontrollably. While many states require home sellers to disclose information about major foundation repairs, others do not.
During the home inspection process, the buyer may be informed that there are potential problems with the foundation. Before putting in a final offer, the buyer should request a second inspection from a contractor they have hired on their own.
Most home sellers work through a real estate agent and the inspector is agreed upon in advance between the two parties with no input from the buyer. The seller and the real estate agent have a vested interest in not having problems such as foundation repairs disclosed in the final inspection report.
Buyers should inquire with the seller prior to signing an agreement as to whether or not any foundation repairs have been made. While many states will require that a buyer disclose this, there are far more that do not have this requirement.
Asking the seller protects the buyer because they are fully aware of any repairs. Asking for the report from the inspector who approved the repairs may also be helpful.
Buyers who are informed that there have been repairs made to the foundation have several options including asking for an independent inspector whom they hire on their own, negotiating the sale to a lower price, or not placing an offer on the home.
When visiting a home that you are interested in purchasing, check for signs of possible foundation damage. Cracks can be seen visually in some cases and different colors can signal that a repair has been made. Basements should also be checked for signs of water damage and mold which could signal that damage has occurred.
Purchase and sale agreements
Remember that buyers can also include contingency clauses in their purchase and sale agreements if they suspect there may be a problem with a foundation or any other major repairs. This helps the buyer by avoiding unneeded hassles if they decide to not purchase a home based on findings in a home inspection.