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How important is it to check the foundation of a house?

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I would greatly appreciate opinions/information on whether or not I should have the foundation for a house, that I might buy, checked. My grandmother is telling me it is a waste of, very limited, money and that I can worry about it later after personalizing the house. However, I feel the foundation, walls, and roof integrity should be a huge factor on even purchasing the home in the first place. I believe the foundation type is a pier & beam as it has a crawl space but do not know too much on this subject so possibly wrong. The wood floor and laminate floors are soft in parts of the house, especially the bathroom, and dip somewhat. (Not terribly bad) Also about how much would this cost?

Thank you for any and all information as well as your time.

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asked Aug 3 in Home and Garden by Rodney

4 Answers

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It is customary in my area to have an inspection done by a house inspection company prior to buying a house. Usually they are paid for by the seller. Make sure one is included and let that company know you are specifically interested in knowing if the foundation is sound.
answered Aug 3 by Nosehair
0 votes
You can do it yourself with a visual inspection. Start with the outside and look for diagonal cracks often starting at the corners of window frames. Cracks over entrances are also suspect. With the inside look for uneven floor levels, diagonal cracks and gaps in corners and below windows. It should be borne in mind that all new houses settle and shrink to some extent and minor cracks are unimportant. Older houses should have settled and there should be no cracks as described.
answered Aug 3 by Barnes
0 votes
An inspection is cheaper than having to replace all the floors and underlayment, possibly the joists, and God only knows what else. You already mention soft floors... unless you are buying the house to flip and have the cash in hand to fix this sort of problem before you sell it, I'd walk away now.

Grandma is very wrong in this case.
answered Aug 3 by Caoedhen
0 votes
Typically a house for sale has to undergo a home inspection by a professional. Every mortgage company that I have heard of requires the home inspection as part of the loan process! A "good" home inspector will do that as part of his inspection! If he/she doesn't, then that inspector is not worth their salt!
It is VERY important that all of this is resolved before a sale is concluded. The findings can give the buyer the basis for a sale price reduction or even a demand to the seller to fix it before the sale is completed!
answered Aug 3 by mermeliz

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