Buying a new home is an exciting time. But with any real estate purchase comes the need for due diligence and research to ensure you’re making the best decision possible.
Foundation repair experts understand how important it is to ensure a house is in good shape before taking ownership, and that’s why we’ve compiled this guide of 23 tips to help you along during your home-buying journey.
From checking the foundation to looking out for potential problems, this guide will give you the information you need to ensure your new home will be safe and secure for years.
1. Start your search by researching the area, including local average home prices and information about any foundation repair and maintenance performed in the past. Knowing this information can help you decide on a potential property.
2. Ask to see the house’s full inspection report before making an offer—this is especially important if there are signs of foundation damage or previous flooding. It’s better to be fully informed than to purchase a home with unknown issues that could be costly.
3. Look for signs of water damage outside and inside the home, such as discoloration, peeling paint, wet spots, mold growth, or musty smells throughout the house. These clues can be indicators of a larger problem.
4. Check the basement for signs of flooding and any existing cracks in the foundation or bowing walls that may require professional repair.
5. Get an estimate from a professional contractor for how much it would cost to repair any damage found during your inspection and factor this into your decision-making process.
6. Keep an eye out for uneven concrete flooring around exterior doors—a sign of settling soil beneath the slab that could create problems in the future. Check for the most suitable size of concrete reinforcement for your home. There are suppliers like Heaton Manufacturing that can help you with this.
7. Request proof from the seller that all building permits were obtained before construction began, as well as confirmation that any previous foundation repairs were completed according to the code.
8. Schedule a soil study to check for any problems with the land, such as excess moisture or drainage issues that could lead to foundation damage down the line.
9. Contact local utility companies to find out if any underground lines are on the property and the potential costs for installing new service lines.
10. Verify that the house complies with local ordinances and is up-to-date on all building codes before making an offer.
11. Check windows and doors for signs of air infiltration or drafts, as these are common signs of foundation settling which can be costly to repair later on.
12. Look for large trees around the home’s perimeter, as their roots can cause serious damage to a home’s foundation over time if not properly maintained.
13. Have a contractor inspect the condition of the roof and gutters for any signs of deterioration or damage that could lead to further repair expenses.
14. Check the grade around the home and ensure it slopes away from the house, as this helps with drainage and reduces potential water damage to foundations and foundation walls.
15. Investigate whether there are any easements present on the property before making an offer—these can restrict what you can do with your land in certain areas and may require additional maintenance costs down the line.
16. Look at signs of mold or mildew either outside or inside of the home, and ask the seller if any mold remediation has been done in the past.
17. Ask to see energy efficiency ratings for appliances and systems throughout the house—these can be a great indicator of potential maintenance issues down the line.
18. Have a contractor check for signs of termite damage, as these pests can cause serious structural problems over time if left untreated.
19. Ask about zoning regulations before making an offer on a property. You must know some areas’ restrictions or limitations before looking at houses there.
20. Check for signs of settling along door frames or window frames—a sign of soil movement beneath the foundation that could create problems.
21. Look closely at the age of any HVAC system, as older systems can be costly to repair and may require replacement shortly.
22. Have a contractor inspect any electrical wiring or plumbing to assess if they’re up-to-code—these repairs could be costly if not done correctly from the start.
23. Ask for proof that any previous foundation work was completed correctly, such as permits or warranties from a licensed contractor. Knowing that your new home will be safe and secure for years will give you peace of mind.
This expert guide gives you all the information you need when looking for a new home. When in doubt, it is always best to consult with a foundation repair professional to ensure that your purchase has been inspected properly and that you can confidently move forward. These tips allow you to find the perfect home without any future foundation worries!