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Old 06-20-2012, 10:44 AM
 
80 posts, read 67,003 times
Reputation: 29

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Hi everyone,


Been looking for a place around Plano for the past couple months. Moved here from NYC in January. New to these foundation issues and Dallas real estate market in general. I'm a first time home buyer. Looking to settle down and start a family in a good school district. Been looking at 4BR+ 2,500+ sqft built post 1995.

Found a property(foreclosure) listed(280k) around 75% of tax assessment(around 360K). It's over 150 day old listing(so assume there's more room to go down). I'll try to push price down to 230-250K. 2 story house, 3,000+ square feet, under 20 years old. Also have a big pool in the back yard. Price of properties in the area are listed at 350K+


Foundation Issue:
I'm visiting the property tonight for the first time. Seller has 2 quotes on foundation repairs, one is for around 12K for 30+ Piers around the whole parameter of the house(all exterior and no interior piers) and 1 concrete breakout

Another quote for 14 piers and 2 concrete breakout priced at $6000.

The breakouts are around the garage.


Questions:

1) What should I look for when I view the house both inside and out? Should I expect damage inside the
house? Floor level? Cracks? etc? What signs should I look for?

2) If piers are put in and repaired, assuming I water the foundation properly, will the fix last? for how long?

3) There's a pool in the backyard(diving pool), would/could there be foundation problems there too? What
should I look for? what should I ask?

4) If I get it for 250K spend 15K in foundation repairs, would it be a good deal? What price would this make
this a sweet deal and the borderline of walking away?

5) Resale value? Is this repair/issue going to be a stigma on this property when it comes to selling it say
10-15 years down the road? How much of a hair cut should I expect when comparing to the exact
house that had no issues (even though its now repaired)


Guys, I would love your input on my situation. I'm not concerned about cost of repair. I 'm more concerned about:
1) If I'm getting a good deal(if not, what would be, where do you draw the line?)
2) If repairs will last
3) If I can resell with out much of a hair cut(any predictions here?)
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
9,806 posts, read 20,430,066 times
Reputation: 7179
No no no! Those are very significant foundation problems, and once you fix them, there will likely be more. The pool is most likely affected, too. If you seriously want to buy this house, spend $500 and hire a structural engineer to do a complete evaluation before signing a contract.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
1,980 posts, read 6,017,960 times
Reputation: 3307
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddavid1101 View Post
Hi everyone,

Moved here from NYC in January. New to these foundation issues

I'm a first time home buyer.

Foundation Issue:
I'm visiting the property tonight for the first time. Seller has 2 quotes on foundation repairs, one is for around 12K for 30+ Piers around the whole parameter of the house(all exterior and no interior piers) and 1 concrete breakout

Another quote for 14 piers and 2 concrete breakout priced at $6000.

The breakouts are around the garage.
What you are describing is a significant amount of piering around the home. As a first time home buyer, with no experience in the local soils/foundation issues, I would recommend that you look for something that is much less extensive a work level than this home. It is good to jump right in and cut your teeth on many different things but this is not one of them. There are to many other potential problems with this home that can wipe out any potential "Good Deal" discount you are looking at.

As ChristieP stated if you are going to still pursue this you should hire a very good Engineer to perform a full evaluation of the home's structure, pool, and any retaining walls on the property. You need to realize too that an Engineer can not see through walls, dirt, etc. Unless there have been engineering reports before on this home before the problems, and they are available now, then there is a lot the Engineer can not tell you as well. In addition to the Engineer be prepared to hire other professional tradespeople for additional checks and tests. Just to purchase this home you can easily spend a large amount of money on various inspections and evaluations just to determine if you do want to buy it.

Good luck and let us know how it progresses.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:23 AM
 
Location: North Texas
23,971 posts, read 32,680,516 times
Reputation: 27468
And where are you going to find the money to fix the drywall cracks and potential other cracks in counters, floors, etc. that will occur once the house is level?

Don't walk away. RUN AWAY.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:21 PM
 
80 posts, read 67,003 times
Reputation: 29
I just cant picture how big the issue until I see it. Assuming I can see the damage. I guess I'll see tonight.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:11 PM
 
3,029 posts, read 7,163,576 times
Reputation: 3208
Getting an engineer's report is good advice. But if it were me, I'd still consider buying the property if it can be bought below market value. I've heard that somewhere between 30% and 50% of all homes in the DFW area either have had or at some point in time will have foundation issues. I'd get the report and get a long-time reputable company with a lifetime transferrable warranty to do the repairs if I bought it. I've sold several homes that have had the foundation repaired, with warranties. I'll put it this way - would you rather have a home without any current foundation issues (but could have in the future) or one that has had them, been repaired professionally, with a lifetime warranty? Drywall cracks and brick crack repairs have typically been less than $1,000, and if you paint the interior anyway, the drywall cracks aren't a huge issue, typically. Magically, most gaping cracks and sticking doors, etc., will tend to repair themselves when the house is leveled. I've seen huge cracks close during the leveling process.

BTW - I got full market value for the homes I've sold that had the foundations repaired. Proceed cautiously, but don't let it be a total turn-off.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,948 posts, read 19,389,010 times
Reputation: 7202
Oh, I would pass on this house as a first time buyer....the whole time you live there you'll always be looking for foundation issues, even following the repair, because first time buyers are over the top paranoid anyway.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:35 PM
 
80 posts, read 67,003 times
Reputation: 29
I'm just curious, at what price would you consider this place?
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:49 PM
 
8,252 posts, read 9,004,117 times
Reputation: 6623
Some of you guys crack me up.


OP

What city is the house located?

1. I'd pay an engineer AND an expiernced technical guy to each look over the property. Two sets of trained eyes are better than one and two different perspectives are valuable in this context.

2. If you can buy the home and fix the foundation for $10k or so and fix any interior seams/cracks etc. for another few grand this could be a great deal.

3. Don't do it if you will be cash strapped at move in - just don't.

Satisfying the above I'd be a buyer assuming the spreads you mentioned are correct.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:00 PM
 
80 posts, read 67,003 times
Reputation: 29
EDS, it's in Plano

What would you estimate internal fix cost would be around?

I have seen hairlines at a some of the 15+ houses I have looked at in Plano. But I never dug deeper on the cause etc until I was looking at this house and also started to research on this forum.

Why would one company propose full parameter at 30+ piers and another at half that number? Could the damage not be that serious on sloping on one side? I understand if you do the whole parameter it would be more secure in the long run. But just wondering why such a difference?
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