Author Topic: Fixer Upper to Rent: water under house. Sell or Rent?  (Read 3100 times)

TheMexicanOkie

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Fixer Upper to Rent: water under house. Sell or Rent?
« on: March 16, 2014, 07:42:24 PM »
My husband and I bought a fixer upper to rent, and we are fixing it ourselves.  Currently we paid to get an new roof, and we are replacing the floor.  Under the house here is lots of water that gathers.  We have added a French drain and that did not help much.   A friend told us that if we add guttering to our house it should fix the problem.  Is this reasonable?  Is there something else we should look at? 

We have spent 20 grand on the house so far, and similar houses around the neighborhood sell around 45 so we are not sure if we will rent for $450 to $500 or sell.

That is another question I have.  Should we sell to finish paying our mortgage off faster, or rent?

Thanks!

the fixer

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Re: Fixer Upper to Rent: water under house. Sell or Rent?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2014, 08:01:17 PM »
Yes, try adding gutters and making sure the property grade is correct. I don't know the exact number, but the lawn should be graded so it slopes slightly downhill from the building. This helps to keep water from getting into the foundation.

Make sure the gutters have long downspouts to get water as far away from the house as possible before it hits the ground.

Jmoody10

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Re: Fixer Upper to Rent: water under house. Sell or Rent?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2014, 08:50:07 AM »
A common grade is around 6" for every 10'. Is the house on a crawl space? If so, you could install a sump pump under it for around $400. It would pump the water out and into the yard.

phred

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Re: Fixer Upper to Rent: water under house. Sell or Rent?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2014, 11:39:07 AM »
Advice given so far is good. If house is at bottom of a hill or slope you will need to add some swales on the uphill side to deflect the runoff rain water away and around the house.

mollyjade

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Re: Fixer Upper to Rent: water under house. Sell or Rent?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2014, 12:26:47 PM »
We have a similar fixer-upper with drainage issues. The short answer based on our experience is that gutters might help substantially and they're relatively inexpensive.

However, if you have major problems with the slope of your yard (i.e., it slopes toward the house instead of away from it), gutters probably won't be enough. They only redirect the water that falls on your roof, not the water that falls on the rest of your property. All the water falling on your lawn may be flowing straight toward the house. The first thing I would do is take a walk around your property the next time you get heavy rain to get an idea of where the water flows on your property.

You should ask your sell vs. rent question elsewhere (and provide more info) if you want good answers for that.

lentilman

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Re: Fixer Upper to Rent: water under house. Sell or Rent?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2014, 12:39:04 PM »
A rain garden might also help.

phred

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Re: Fixer Upper to Rent: water under house. Sell or Rent?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2014, 01:41:59 PM »
borrow a three foot carpenter's level, and obtain a very straight eight foot 2x4.  Plot your entire yard using the level resting on top of the 2x4, and the 2x4 lying on the grass.  Indicate on your sketch where the land slopes toward the house and where away from.  If you want to get fancier, measure how much and which end you need to raise the 2x4 to center the bubble.
  For some reason, people install French drains on the downhill side of a house which does nothing to stop the water from getting to the house in the first place.  Uphill swales are simpler and cheaper

TheMexicanOkie

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Re: Fixer Upper to Rent: water under house. Sell or Rent?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2014, 06:36:35 AM »
I would like to say thank you!  Going to try all of these things, and we did place the French drain on the wrong side of the house!  Not sure how to answer to each individual post, but we will try the guttering first and I will let you know the results.

TheMexicanOkie

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Re: Fixer Upper to Rent: water under house. Sell or Rent?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2014, 07:00:08 AM »
Update:

We added the gutters and while it helped a bit it was not enough.  this is our 2nd rent house so we are new to this, and we have learned a major overlook!  Get under the house and see exactly what is going on before buying. 

We realized after we had a thunderstorm 2 days ago, that there is tons of water running through the bottom through the fireplace, and one side of the house for which a cement slate was built.  That cement slate (kind of like a DIY driveway)  had like little tunnels underneath sending the water under the house.  I think the previous owners thought the cement slate (not sure of proper term)would help the water issue. 

We (when I say we I mean my husband) are taking that apart and are going to dig and build a cement wall properly.   

We have also decided on a sumpter pump to be safe.  Once this is fixed we are installing the floor and never want to deal with this issue again.

I pass by other houses that were more on the way to the house and realize how much cheaper they actually were. 

Next time I go I will take pictures to post.