Every time you open or close a door, does something seem off? Does it keep sticking or jamming? Have you noticed any cracks in the drywall or a large gap in the concrete around the outside of the home? Well, those are all signs of a possible foundation problem.
It’s a sinking feeling when you suspect you have a foundation problem. Your home’s foundation is supposed to be a strong base that your residence was built on, making it very important to maintain. When that support is in question, it can cause some major issues in the home.
And, of course, you would notice these issues right around the time you’re thinking about selling your home. Selling a house with foundation problems will be a big red flag to potential buyers, so you will have your work cut out for you. To get you started, we’ll cover some helpful information on identifying foundation issues, selling a house with foundation problems, whether you should repair the foundation problem before selling or sell as-is and what kind of costs you’re looking at. So let’s begin!
Sell A House With Foundation Problems In Virginia
Identifying Foundation Issues
To start, let’s make sure you really do have a foundation problem. So before you get too worried, you may have something else going on besides an issue with your foundation. It’s a common misunderstanding that foundation cracks and issues are truly the foundation itself. Unless your home was built in the 1900s with the typical water and salty sand materials used in that day, you shouldn’t experience deteriorating concrete.
The explanation is usually settling or mainly the ground soil that is creating noticeable damage. This occurs because of changes in the weather and other factors that cause the soil to expand and retract, resulting in shifting underneath your house. Movement is normal and anticipated; it shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. Although a little bit of expansion and foundation shifting is expected, it can still affect your home. Now that you realize cracks in concrete and block foundations are normal, the important thing to determine is which ones are harmless and which ones are more serious.
Signs of Foundation Problems:
- Gaps between the ceiling and wall, drywall cracks.
- Cracks are starting to show in vinyl or ceramic tile.
- Hardwood planks in flooring become ajar.
- The window or door alignment is off.
- Doors jam shut or stick.
- Windows are hard to close or have cracks in the glass.
- Sloping in the floor or staircase.
- Noticeable large gaps in the concrete around the outside of the home.
- Foundation water damage in the crawl space or basement.
How To Figure Out The Severity Of The Foundation Problem
After learning about why foundation problems happen and signs to look for, here are some ways to figure out the severity of the problem.
- If the crack is small-less than ¼ inch, these are normal and happen as the house settles. You shouldn’t worry about these too much yet.
- If it is a hairline crack, usually seen between the mortar and concrete, these are not to lose sleepover.
- If it is in an L shaped area, these are likely shrinking cracks from a step in the foundation. This usually doesn’t mean there is a structural problem, but the cracks should be taken care of and sealed to prevent leaking.
- If it is a “stair-step” or a masonry crack, these are a bit more serious. If the crack extends more than ¼ inch and you notice the wall bulging out or having an unnatural shape, be advised to get this looked at.
- If you see horizontal cracks, take those seriously. This indicates the foundation is cracked by the soil, requiring a new foundation for support and preventing further damage.
At this point, hopefully, you know which type of foundation issue you are dealing with, but the question remains if you should repair the foundation before you sell your Virginia property or if you should sell the home as-is?
Selling a House With Foundation Problems
When it comes to selling a home with a foundation or structural issues, it is good to consider all your options. Generally, there are three options to sell a house with a foundation problem in Virginia. Let’s look over each to help you decide what your next step should be.
Option 1: Repair Foundation Issues Before You Sell
If you choose this option and assume you have a serious foundation problem, start by hiring a structural engineer to evaluate your property if you intend to repair the issues before selling. This is a job for a structural specialist, not a home inspector. Getting a knowledgeable assessment from a foundation engineer is important in situations like this because it is hard to examine foundation issues. This will also give you an idea of what the foundation repair costs look like.
Foundation Repair Costs:
An expert assessment will cost between $300-$800 in Virginia.
If the foundation needs a new support pier beneath the foundation or anchor bolts, this can cost between $5k-$10k.
Fixing foundation water damage or leaks can cost $2,000 to $7,000. Also, to correct this issue, you will need to consult with a professional about waterproofing techniques to safeguard the structure better. Usually, that is done by sealing the foundation.
However, if issues need significant repairs or replacement, costs can quickly increase to $20,000-$40,000 depending on the extent of work and size of your property.
If you can manage to put in the work, prospective buyers may be less hesitant to put an offer on your house since they know all the heavy lifting, tough renovations, and expensive repairs have already been done. Making the necessary repairs may be a good idea but could cost you thousands of dollars.
Option 2: Sell The House As-Is With The Foundation Issues
If you know your property needs major repairs, potential buyers looking for an investment might see this as an opportunity to provide some value. On the other hand, other prospective buyers will see the words “foundation issues” and instantly think “money pit.” If a buyer isn’t bothered by renovations, just remember that it doesn’t mean their mortgage lender is ok with it. Lenders like the HUD and VA have strict guidelines that require the property to be structurally sound. Buyers can be denied financing from lenders or be at the mercy of unfavorable loan conditions, which usually turns people away from your listing. That being said, if you do decide to sell the home as-is, just understand that many prospective buyers will not be able to qualify for the loan to buy it easily.
What If I Don’t Mention the Foundation Problem?
Some people out there try to do this; they are aware of the foundation problem but try to hide it. Hiding any known issue in your house when trying to sell is not morally or ethically right. Besides that, usually, it is common practice to provide a signed disclosure to the buyer before accepting the purchase offer. Virginia disclosures are not as extensive as other states, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get away with hiding the foundation problem. Your buyer will read this form and realize you have revealed hardly any information about the property and then require, as a contract condition to closing, the chance to investigate further and inspect the property. Or during the buyer’s lender’s due diligence period, which involves a home inspection, the foundation problem will be revealed. And you will likely need to allow these inspections and negotiate the details about them with the buyer. So hiding the foundation issues won’t be possible.
Option 3: Sell Your House Directly To An Investor
The last option is to leave the foundation problem as it is and sell the home to a local investor like Avante Home Buyers, who are prepared to make the necessary renovations. Because foundation issues can cost a lot of money, it is not always realistic to expect a homeowner to fix the foundation before selling. It really shouldn’t be expected of the buyers either. Foundation problems in Virginia will require repairs with expert advice and construction work because it isn’t a project to take lightly,
Sadly there have been situations where homeowners hired someone to fix the foundation problems, and it turned out that they made the issue worse.
If you were to sell your home directly to Avante Home Buyers, you could skip all the hassle and commitment of fixing your foundation problems in Virginia. Besides scary foundation or structural problems, Avante Home Buyers can handle other troublesome property issues like leaky roofs, termite damage, unfinished renovations, and many more. So if you would like to sell your house as-is without worrying about the repairs and expense – Avante Home Buyers is here to help!
Avante Home Buyers pays in cash, so no lending problems here. They can close when it’s convenient for you as fast or as slow as you would like.
Avante Home Buyers is a real estate solutions company that works with homeowners all over Virginia. They don’t charge commissions or fees and will even pay your closing costs. They have an easy 3 step home buying process and can make you a cash offer on your home within 24 hours. They provide win-win solutions for homeowners in the Virginia area dealing with tricky situations, such as bankruptcy, foreclosure, title issues, hoarder houses, and code violations. For more information about their buying process and their company, please visit their website or contact them at (757) 530-5353 today!