Cracked Foundation! Will I Be Able to Sell My House?
Can you sell a house with a cracked foundation?
You can. It simply must be disclosed to the seller, and they can agree to buy the house on the terms that they’d be accepting the foundation “as is.” It can sometimes be hard to sell a house with a problematic foundation on the traditional market. But first, let’s look into signs and symptoms of a house with a cracked foundation.
Ever gotten that “sinking” feeling? Like, a literal sinking feeling, as if the floor you’re standing on is a little bit lower than it should be? There might be something going on in your foundation. Uneven floors are just one symptom of foundation problems. You might also notice cracks on tiles or doors sticking in their frames. These are all signs that something underfoot could be damaging your home.
Foundations naturally settle
Firstly, it’s important to remember that foundations naturally settle. It’s especially common in semi-arid climates like Texas or areas with clay-rich soils, like the Gulf Coast. A rainy spring followed by a dry summer could cause the earth underneath a home to expand and then contract, forcing the slab or piers above to deal with the movement.
The key is knowing when you’re in trouble
Cracking on the foundation isn’t cause for worry by itself. That’s just the result of your foundation settling or moving along with the soil. Instead, look for some of these signs:
- Stair-step cracks. These show up on the sides of brick and masonry homes. They’re a classic sign of structural movement.
- Vertical cracks. Some can be harmless, but others can be signifiers of a more serious problem. If you’re seeing these, it will usually require an expert to diagnose what is going on with your home.
- Cracks in drywall. These usually appear above windows and door frames and run at an angle. It is a sign that your house is literally shearing the drywall apart.
- Cracked tiles. If you notice a cracked tile — or more telling, a row of cracked tiles — grab a 4-foot level. It’ll not only help you determine the slope of the floor, but its straight edge will help you find out what caused the crack. If the straight edge shows everything to be flat, it’s likely a separation/contraction crack, which isn’t necessarily anything to worry about. If one side of the crack is sloping, it could mean that part of the home is sinking.
- Sticking doors and windows. If it’s difficult to open and close your door or, conversely, you’re noticing more daylight than usual coming through the crack above the door, the shifting foundation has begun to affect the wall and doorway.
My house has some of these symptoms. Now what?
Do-it-yourself fixes are often more trouble than they’re worth. If an epoxy even holds, it could create a wedge in your foundation when the crack flexes the opposite direction. That would make the problem even worse. Instead, smaller cracks are often caused by the soil underneath your home becoming too dry or too wet. If it’s too dry, simply moisten it. Drop some soaker hoses near the foundation or just water it as you’re watering the lawn. If it’s too wet, you’ll need to divert water away from the foundation. That can involve everything from sloping the yard toward the curb, planting trees near the home, making sure all of your rain gutters divert water away from the house or installing a French drain.
What if that doesn’t fix it?
It’s time to hire a professional. Request inspections from at least 2-3 structural engineers. Their repair quotes can vary greatly, so it’s helpful to get a number of opinions. Expect to pay at least $2,000 for foundation repair. Average costs are closer to $10,000 and they can run upwards of $50,000.
How to sell a house with foundation problems
Many buyers simply aren’t willing to take on such an expensive and involved repair task right after signing their papers. That’s why many homeowners turn to We Buy Ugly Houses. If you’re ready to just get rid of the home and start fresh, we’re prepared to make a cash offer and close in as few as three weeks, or longer, if you like. Just call 800-44-BUYER to get started.