Author Topic: Foundation Issues and Prepping to Sell House  (Read 944 times)


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Foundation Issues and Prepping to Sell House
« on: March 14, 2017, 05:47:57 PM »
Hi team MMM,

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Currently living in my first home in Colorado for about three years, where clay soil abounds. Our initial inspector (and me of course) missed some foundation issues, including minor water seepage in two of our foundation corners and some bowing in the foundation wall. The foundation is cement with a slab floor. The floor has heaved a bit in one corner (~1 inch). House was built in 1985. No sump pump.

Since we've lived here I have installed a french drain and improved the grading along the wall in question with tarp and gravel. I also injected the hairline cracks from the exterior and patched with tar after that to prevent the seepage. Then I painted the interior walls with Dry-loc.

Last year I tried to sell the house before repairing one of the exterior cracks, which I specified in the release and disclosure. This caused the buyers to back out.

After finishing the repairs on that last crack I had a structural engineer come look at the whole foundation for his two cents. He said my repairs are good, but the foundation wall has bowed in more than is acceptable by current building code (he estimated it's bowed inward about 2 inches). He said that is technically deemed structurally "unsafe" but that it is not in current danger of toppling over or anything drastic. For a permanent fix, he said he would probably have two cement piers installed on the exterior of the wall to counterbalance the bowing wall (our neighbor's house is too close to do floating piers). I've had estimates from other basement businesses that were about double of this guy. For a temporary measure, he said you could monitor the wall to make sure it isn't continuing to bow inward.

My goal is to avoid problems when I try to sell again (possibly this year) while also being honest in the release and disclosure. I'm considering two options:

1. Sell "as-is" with everything in the release and disclosure, with the contact info of the structural engineer I talked to most recently in case potential buyer wants to hear what he said in more detail.

2. Do the permanent repairs with the piers and then sell.

What do you all think? Are there any other options that make more sense?

Jon Bon

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Re: Foundation Issues and Prepping to Sell House
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2017, 05:44:41 AM »
Morning Jgs.

I guess my question to your right now is it a sellers market or a buyers market? If other homes in the area don't have basement issue and sell for close to the same your going to have a hard time selling without concessions, prices cuts, etc. If its a buyers market I'd just leave it as is. Maybe offer to throw a few thousand at the buyer at closing for it. A house built in 1985 should not have foundation issues, usually it's a drainage issue that has caused the foundation issue.

I have had the same issue myself. First buyer freaked out completely second buyer did not even mention it to me(it was disclosed). To note this was a heavy sellers market. 

IMO it sounds like you have totally done your do diligence and taken care of the issue, however even if you had completely installed piers, beams etc I feel that would still be a distraction to some buyers. Luckily you only need one. So I would say option 1, and probably offer 2-3k at closing. (or more/less depending on the price of the home and cost of beams)

Odds are most people are going to just take the money and not do the work.