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Old 02-29-2012, 01:55 PM
 
4 posts, read 14,098 times
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Hello,

My wife and I are looking to buy a house in Carrollton and we are first-time homebuyers in our mid 20s. The house was built in 1977 with a slab foundation. Everything is ready to go and we just had the inspection and a separate foundation inspection done. The inspection came out fine but on the foundation inspection he told us that the house has some drainage problems, especially in the back (there are no gutters on the house and only a couple of drain pipes toward the front of the house that look relatively new).

This caused the front of the house to shift downward. He said he saw that piers were installed under the front of the house to correct this at some point in the past. Unfortunately, the house is now level at the back and front but the middle is lower or "bowed". He said the house does appear to be stable but there is likely to be more shifting, especially if the drainage problems are not resolved. The house is a foreclosure owned by the HUD program so we are not sure about the warranty on the foundation work that has been done, but our realtor said he would do some digging to try to find out.

The foundation inspector said that the house may need foundation work done, specifically putting pier beams underneath the middle. My wife and I are now wondering if this is something we should walk away from or if we should take it and fix the drainage problem and be ok with possibly having to do a foundation repair at some point. We definitely love the house and could see ourselves being there for 10 years and possibly even renting it out after we move. I know foundation problems are common in this area, so do any of you more experienced homebuyers or professionals have any advice?

Last edited by Knuxson; 02-29-2012 at 02:37 PM..
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
9,511 posts, read 19,520,907 times
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BTDT, and we walked away. You have probably found why the previous owners went into foreclosure.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,639 posts, read 53,524,973 times
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Middle of the house means drilling through the floor in the middle of rooms, through the concrete slab, to install piers. Unless this place is the steal of the century, I would walk away. Think of the dust and noise while that is being done.

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 02-29-2012 at 08:01 PM..
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:06 PM
 
Location: RV Park
7,543 posts, read 11,555,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
Think of the dust and noise while that is being done.
When we had ours done, the company tunneled around and under the house - of course, we weren't paying for it.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:38 PM
 
4 posts, read 14,098 times
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Originally Posted by little elmer View Post
When we had ours done, the company tunneled around and under the house - of course, we weren't paying for it.
Yeah, he said they would dig underneath, not through the floor. He also did not say it should be something we have to do right now as there is only 1-2 inches of difference. However, he could not predict for us what it might do in the future.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:44 PM
 
766 posts, read 1,302,472 times
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If you really, really love the house, I'd spend a little effort and get at least 2-3 bids on the foundation repair. When the work is done in a few years, at least you'll know the ballpark and can save accordingly (10k, 20k, 40k, etc.)
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:00 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
29,949 posts, read 34,553,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuxson View Post
Yeah, he said they would dig underneath, not through the floor. He also did not say it should be something we have to do right now as there is only 1-2 inches of difference. However, he could not predict for us what it might do in the future.
No one can predict the future, you need to learn how to maintain your foundation and what "even moisture" means. So many foundation problems are due to owner neglect and this house being a foreclosure probably had much (last summer was extreme). It could be fixed by improvement in drainage if you have flat spots in the yard.

Carrrollton is well know for it's foundation movement & problems. I've not seen many of the older homes in that area that did not have movement.

Do a search here on CD, I remember some very good information posted here in years past. Also you might contact either Structured Foundation or Arch Foundation and get one of them out to evaluate also.

I assume your inspection was by a Foundation engineer not just a general inspector ?
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:25 PM
 
4 posts, read 14,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakin View Post
No one can predict the future, you need to learn how to maintain your foundation and what "even moisture" means. So many foundation problems are due to owner neglect and this house being a foreclosure probably had much (last summer was extreme). It could be fixed by improvement in drainage if you have flat spots in the yard.

Carrrollton is well know for it's foundation movement & problems. I've not seen many of the older homes in that area that did not have movement.

Do a search here on CD, I remember some very good information posted here in years past. Also you might contact either Structured Foundation or Arch Foundation and get one of them out to evaluate also.

I assume your inspection was by a Foundation engineer not just a general inspector ?
Thanks for the advice. Yeah, our inspector recommended him to us, although he is a foundation repair guy who would actually do the work, not an engineer. We went that route as it was free. We were wondering if we should shell out the money to have an engineer look at it but it would be frustrating to spend another $400 if he tells us the same thing the foundation repair guy told us. I believe he worked for Perma-Pier, I think that was the name, my wife currently has the business card he gave us.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:32 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
29,949 posts, read 34,553,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuxson View Post
Thanks for the advice. Yeah, our inspector recommended him to us, although he is a foundation repair guy who would actually do the work, not an engineer. We went that route as it was free. We were wondering if we should shell out the money to have an engineer look at it but it would be frustrating to spend another $400 if he tells us the same thing the foundation repair guy told us. I believe he worked for Perma-Pier, I think that was the name, my wife currently has the business card he gave us.
Perma Pier is a good company and he may be right on target about just needing to improve drainage. Call one of the other guys I've mentioned and get a 2nd opinion for free.

Did I mention our extreme hot & dry summer last year ? Many. many homes had problems that never did in the past.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:37 AM
 
Location: North Texas
2,487 posts, read 5,579,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakin View Post
Did I mention our extreme hot & dry summer last year ? Many. many homes had problems that never did in the past.
Yes- my 1979built home was one of them. We are looking into foundation work and hope to get it done before summer hits.

I would get some good reliable quotes for the repairs and present them to the HUB reps and counter offer if in fact this home is "the one". Foundation issue will be here before, during and after you purchase most homes in the DFW area. Some are lucky and find homes that have work already done and warranty. Some don't- wish you the best choice.
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