Buying a home is an exciting, but frightening process. You want to be sure you buy the perfect home for yourself and your family, but you also often encounter homes that seem perfect at first – until you begin to uncover past problems that may have been covered up. For example, it’s absolutely crucial to know whether the home you are buying has had foundation repair work done. And if it has, here’s what you can do to ensure that it’s still the right home for your needs.
1) Get an Inspection
Really, you should get a home inspection regardless of how great the home looks at first sight. Home inspectors are not likely to be experts in foundation matters, as they are generally all-around specialists. But when inspecting the house, they’ll know enough to tell you whether your potential future home has had work done on its foundation. If it has, they can give you an idea of how well that work has been completed. Of course, you shouldn’t rely on your home inspector’s opinion as the only validation.
2) Ask the Homeowners
Next, if your home has had foundation work done, it’s probably a good idea to talk to the homeowners and get their story. This can be more tricky than it seems at first, as most of your contact is likely to come through your realtor. In fact, it may be surprising to you just how little direct contact you have with the people from whom you purchase the home. Still, this is a good opportunity for you to insist on a personal conversation where you can ask about the exact nature of the foundation repair, how they realized it was that repair was needed, and so on.
At the same time, always remember that homeowners may withhold potentially important information that could keep you from buying the house. So while it’s important to get their side of the story, take it with a grain of salt, and move on to the next step.
3) Get all the Documents
If a foundation repair company has worked on your home, there is a paper trail. Try to get your hands on the documents related to the repair, which should indicate exactly what the problem was, what type of work has been done, and how much money the project took to complete. That information is crucial to understanding everything you should know about the foundation repair work.
4) Find out about a Warranty
One part of getting the documents is so important, it deserves its own step: find out if the repair came with a warranty. Reputable foundation repair companies will offer a warranty for their work, ensuring that it’s not just a lipstick repair but it actually fixed the problem. Knowing the details of the warranty ensures that you know whether you’re covered if the repair work does not last.
5) Inspect Again
But even with a warranty, you’re not completely in the clear. Remember, we’re literally talking about the foundation of your home here. Other than the roof, it’s the one part of your home that you’ll want to be safe and in good condition at all times. And even the health of your roof depends on your foundation. So following all of the above steps, from getting a home inspection and talking to the current homeowners to getting all necessary documents and finding out about a warranty for the repair, is not enough. Once you’ve gone through the process, it’s time for one final, crucial step.
We’re talking, of course, about getting a specialist to inspect your foundation. Foundation repair companies like us will be happy to look over the general health of your foundation and the quality of repair work done, letting you know honestly where you stand and whether you should buy the home. So if you’re looking into a home that has had foundation repair done, contact us – for peace of mind and future safety.