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Do signs of foundation problems make it impossible to sell a house?

Will house foundation problems cost me a sale?

It’s not as scary as it sounds. Foundation issues simply must be disclosed to the buyer, who can agree to buy the house “as is” with the foundation problems detailed in the terms of the sale.

However, getting someone to make an offer on a house with a foundation that needs repair can take a long time on the traditional market—good to know there are other options. But first, let’s look into signs and symptoms of foundation problems to see if you even need to concern yourself with them.

Let’s level with you about floors.

Uneven floors can be caused by foundation problems. You can confirm your suspicions by putting a ball on what seems to be a high spot and see if it rolls away on its own. Other signs are cracks in tile floors or doors that stick in their frames. These all can be signs that your foundation is actually damaging your home.

You just have to settle for some foundation movement.

It’s natural for foundations to settle somewhat, especially in semi-arid climates like Texas or areas with clay-rich soils, like the Gulf Coast. You’ll probably notice some changes in how doors and windows open and close as rainy and dry seasons come and go. You should expect some of this as the foundation moves and adjusts in response to the soil conditions beneath them. If any of these difficulties persist, though, it could mean permanent, not temporary, issues.

Signs of serious trouble.

If you see any of these characteristics, it would be wise to consult a licensed foundation repair specialist:

Vertical cracks

Some are harmless, but they can indicate serious problems. Better to bring in an expert to diagnose what is going on with your home.

Stair-step cracks

These show up on the exteriors of brick and masonry homes. They’re a classic sign of structural movement

Sticking doors and windows

If it’s difficult to open and close any of your doors or windows, or you can see more daylight than usual between the top of a door and its frame, the shifting foundation has begun to affect the wall and these openings. If these only happen during certain seasons, it could be normal shifting. If they last longer, it’s likely you need to have a foundation inspection.

Cracks in drywall

These usually appear in a corner of window and door frames and run at an angle toward the ceiling. If this is the case, your shifting foundation is almost certainly tearing the drywall apart

Cracked floor tiles

If you see a cracked tile or a row of them, place a long straight-edge, like a four-foot framing level, across that place in the floor. If it shows everything to be level, it’s likely a simple separation or contraction crack, not necessarily anything to worry about. But if you can see slope in the floor or a high point in the crack, it could be showing part of the home is sinking.

Uh-oh. I already see some signs of foundation problems. What can I do?

Some homeowners try to fix these issues themselves, but they’re often more trouble than they’re worth. Some try epoxy to mend cracks. It may not hold at all, but it’s even worse if it becomes a wedge in the gap when the foundation flexes the opposite direction.

You may find a regular program of watering your foundation solves your problems. Hand-watering works but isn’t very convenient. If your sprinklers don’t reach the soil at the foundation, you can use soaker hoses to do the job. The soil at the foundation should slope down away from the house; if not, water will pool under your foundation or house, leading to other problems.

What does fixing house foundation problems cost?

Consult the professionals, and be ready for some expense even if no problems are detected. Request inspections from two or three structural engineers, and don’t be surprised if they have a wide range in their repair estimates. That’s why you want to compare a few companies’ reviews and reputations, along with how comfortable you feel with them and their quotes. Expect to pay at least $2,000 for foundation repair, but more likely about $4,500. However, major repairs can reach $10,000 and beyond.

Can I skip this hassle and just sell my house with its foundation problems?

Nobody would blame you for wanting to make your life easier and sell the house for your buyer to fix. Again, it can be hard to find someone willing to take on a task like that. Many homeowners turn to We Buy Ugly Houses® to buy their homes “as is,” foundation problems and all, and to give them a fresh start. We’re prepared to make a cash offer and close in as little as three weeks. Just call 800-44-BUYER or fill in our form to get started

Request a free, no-obligation consultation.