Fix Your Foundation or Sell House As-Is?
If you own a home in the Dallas Fort Worth area, you live with constant concern and anxiety that the foundation of your home can fail at any time causing extensive damage and financial loss. Even after you spend thousands to repair and level the house foundation, once a foundation has failed it will never be the same. Over time, the repaired foundation will experience additional movement and ongoing damage. Do you ask yourself “should I spend thousands to fix the foundation or sell the house as-is?”
The resale value of a home with a failed foundation, even one that has been repaired with a lifetime warranty, will be substantially less than a home that has never had a foundation issue. The reduction in resale value can be substantial, most foundation issues reduce a home’s value by 10-15 percent.
In this article, we walk you through the steps to evaluate the extent of the foundation problem and review your options so you can decide what is best for you.
First, you need to identify the problem
The best way to keep cool and not panic is to bring in a structural engineer to inspect the foundation and evaluate the extent of the problem. Foundations in North Texas are designed to move, expand, and contract without failing, so many times the problem is minor and easily fixed. To prevent a small problem from becoming a major structural failure, have the foundation inspected immediately upon the first signs of a problem, such as cracks in the walls, ceilings, brick, or doors misaligned. Unfortunately, sometimes the failure happens without warning and the structural integrity has been compromised.
You should seek the assistance of a structural engineer that specializes in foundations and foundation repairs. You can expect to pay between $300 to $1,000 for the structural inspection, report, and repair recommendations. To save money, you may be tempted to obtain a free report from a foundation repair contractor but we advise against this. Do you want a free report from an unregulated foundation repair company that is trying to sell you something or an unbiased report from a professional engineer with a license and a reputation to protect?
What is the cost to repair the foundation
Now that we know what the problem is and have a recommendation on what needs to be done to fix it, we can move forward with the needed repairs. Hopefully, the foundation problems were minor and easy to remedy by some regrading, erosion control, and other water control measures.
For those of you not so fortunate, you will need to identify how much money, effort, and time are required to complete the repairs. Although most homeowners are capable of doing some painting, patching, and minor repairs, repairing a foundation is not a do-it-yourself project. Most homeowners will need to screen and obtain bids from several different types of contractors including:
Foundation Repair: These are specialized contractors that generally just do foundation repairs. There are several different repair methods, materials, and warranties that you will need to consider. We recommend you select the contractor who has been in business for at least 10 years, has an excellent reputation, is BBB accredited, and provides a lifetime transferrable warranty.
Plumber: In almost all cases you will need to hire a plumber. Many times a foundation failure is caused by a plumbing leak under or near the foundation that will need to be repaired. It is also common for a plumbing line to get broken or damaged during the foundation repair process. At a minimum, a plumber should be hired to test the water and sewer lines for leaks after the foundation is repaired.
Carpenter: A common symptom of foundation failure is doors be misaligned or large gaps in the wood trim around doors and windows. Sometimes, the foundation leveling process will reduce the gaps and misalignment but most often a carpenter will need to be hired to repair these problems.
Painter: Another common sign of foundation failure is cracking in the walls and ceilings. As the foundation is lifted and leveled, you can expect more wall and ceiling cracks will be created. These will need to be professionally repaired or the cracks will return, that is the job of the painter.
Brick Mason: If your home has a brick façade, you most likely have cracks in the brick or broken mortar joints. Raising and leveling the foundation often causes more brick damage. You will need to engage the services of a brick mason to repair the brick walls.
Landscaper: Repairing a foundation often requires digging large holes around and under the perimeter of the foundation. This is an unavoidable messy process that will destroy areas of the lawn and planting beds around the home. A good landscaper will repair the damage and make it look like nothing ever happened.
Per Home Advisors, the national average to repair a foundation is $4,033. This does not include the cost to repair the landscaping, plumbing, wall cracks, painting, brick repair, carpentry, and many other repairs.
To help control cost and get the best work possible, you should obtain at least 3 bids from highly qualified contractors and preferably 5 or more bids for any portion of the work that will cost over $500. Getting bids is a tedious and time-consuming process, but the more bids you obtain the better prepared you will be to hire the most qualified contractor at a reasonable price.
Advantages and disadvantages of completing the repairs
With a repair plan and bids in hand, you can now start looking at your advantages and disadvantages of completing the repairs and restoration or sell the home as-is.
If the work required is minimal and you have the time and resources to get the work done, completing the repairs and restoring the property might be your best option. If a lot of work is required and the cost will be substantial, you may want to sell the home as-is versus the risk of undertaking a project of this magnitude.
Here are some of the advantages of completing the foundation repairs and home restoration work and then selling the home.
- Once the repairs are completed your pool of potential buyers becomes wider.
- You should be able to sell the home for more.
- You will ease the fear of potential buyers as you’ve already done the hard work.
- If the home does not sell, you can remain living in the home without concern that the problem will get worse.
Now let’s look at some of the risks and disadvantages of completing the foundation repairs yourself.
- You need to have the available cash to pay for the work or borrow the funds.
- There is a high risk that unforeseen conditions and problems will substantially increase the cost to complete the work. This is very common.
- There is a risk that the money spent does not increase the value of the home or give you a return on your investment.
- Even after you spend all of that money, the house may not sell for an acceptable price.
- The repair work will be very messy, time-consuming, and stressful for the entire family.
Every person and situation is unique, so you will have additional advantages and disadvantages based upon your financial resources, risk tolerance, and comfort with managing contractors. Take the time to weigh the risk and carefully evaluate your comfort level in taking on a project of this magnitude.
You have done the hard work,
now it is time to decide what is the best path forward for you.
Once a foundation has failed, time becomes the enemy. Over time the damage will continue to grow, become more severe, and costly to repair. Therefore, a timely decision needs to be made to tackle the project yourself or let it be someone else’s problem by selling as-is to a home cash buyer. For the typical homeowner, the risk, time, hassle, stress, and financial burden is too great, the “sell house as-is” will be the best option. But what is the best way to sell house as-is that has foundation failure?
You can try to sell the home with a real estate agent and list it on the MLS. The chances of success are slim with most buyers looking to purchase a home that is in tip-top condition, and with our busy lifestyles, they are not interested in an expensive and time-consuming repair project. Even if you find a willing buyer, a traditional lender will not approve a loan on a property with foundation issues. You could waste months trying to sell the traditional way only to find out that it is not feasible.
There must be a better way!
Instead of wasting all that time just to be frustrated and discouraged, why not sell house as-is to an home cash buyer, like OutFactors? Cash for home buyers like OutFactors makes it easy to sell house as-is and close in 10 days or less. Let OutFactors do the work and assume all of the risks of repairing the foundation.
To get started today all you need to do is answer 4 simple questions, it is that easy. You will get a great cash for house offer in 1 day and can close within 10 days or less. Offers are always fast and free and we put everything in writing.
539 West Commerce Street
Dallas, Texas 75208
Fix Your Foundation or Sell House As-Is? | OutFactors — Dallas Fort Worth, Texas