Foundation Question??

9 Replies

Hello BP!
I want to purchase this home. It's on a hill and I was a bit afraid about the foundation. This is what an agent wrote to me about the property I'm interested in putting an offer on. Any advice or thoughts at how much work I could be looking at with foundation. I'm not worried about baths, windows, and doors. That I am use to rehabbing.

"It needs kitchens and baths, roof, windows, doors, flooring.
Also, there appears to have been alot of structural work done on it as part of the foundation is newer. The rear of the foundation, (fieldstone foundation) has caved in on the inside of the house, has not reached the exterior. Many of the floors are heaved and slanted."

Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks in advance!

Angie -

House is on a hill, so the first question that pops into my mind - is the hill natural, or added to the land by bulldozing the topsoil to create it?  Heaving and cracking of most foundations can be due to 1) movement of the land and house, or 2) water that freezes into the spaces around the foundation.  If it is a water issue, some careful correction of the landscaping can allow you to fix the issue.   You can see some basic info here  -

http://inspectapedia.com/structure/Concrete_Settlement_vs_Frost_Heave.php

BUT, the best way to truly know what ails the property is to get a qualified inspector to that property and have a look.  If you do that, I would also recommend that you write some language into your contract to allow you to leave the deal in the event that the problem is more money than you want to put into it. 

@Phil Brannock

Hey Phil,
Thanks for the response. It's more elevation then a steep hill. It is not man made either. I know flagstone has issues with moisture over time, hence it starting to slant or slope. But the agent did say they did a lot of work fixing up all around the homes foundation and went into foreclosure before fixing a part of the back of the house.

I think your right I'm going to get an inspector in there before anything is said and done. Although the property is being sold only for $8,900 and comps are in the low to mid 100's. its kinda a steal! it's been on the market also for 120 days so either investors haven't looked at it seeing its such a small town or the locals can't afford to fix it up. It is in a extremely rural area but near two major universities. Wish I could post a pic for you to see to get a better understanding. I'm going to check link out right now. Thanks again!

Excuse me "fieldstone" not flagstone.

Lol No not at all. It's listed at $9,800. I put an offer in at $8,900. This is in upstate NY. Like I said the comps are low to mid 100's and actually some were higher the comps are almost identical to this home. But, I have bought houses in Philly at $11,000, another one at $14,000, $7,700, etc.

The key for me finding properties at such a low asking price is having numerous RE sites send me email alerts literally all day long on my phone in my desired areas. I run a ton of comps, google map street view is my best friend and just read each it all, etc. I have to do my due diligence or I could risk a losing a lot if I didn't with such low prices.

If a listing just hit "the market" I'm notified immediately as well as price drop alerts. But all of my homes are foreclosures, short sales, and FSBO. I have very very rarely (maybe twice) bought a property through an agent.

Don't get me wrong I put in a blind offer once like I always do, first I do tons of research, and found a home listed at $5,500. I had an accepted offer within hours. The market value/comps were great. Next day took a ride to Philly to see the home, and pulled my offer out ASAP. It wasn't a block I could even get out of the car in. The street just had "get off our block" written all over after seeing the neighbors reaction. Sorry for the long rant but majority of my investments are semi to full rehabs. But for those buying prices and sale value you can't go wrong!

@Angie Williams

That's awesome!
I do a lot of foundation repairs, mostly due to poor soil conditions. They are generally in Utah Idaho and Colorado so I am sure the reasons for the failure may vary. If you would like, I could give you my opinion on it. Do you have any pictures of the house and issues? If it is easier to send, you can message me and I will give you my phone or email address so you can just text or email them.

Sounds good, and continued success to you.. I am a new investor, just signed a contract yesterday for my first rehab in Michigan, so here's mud in my eye! Lol, looks good for now pp-170 w/ contract repairs are 20k... ARV is 300k

@Angie Williams Until you get a soils report and SE, you might not make it. Foundation upgrades are expensive, sometimes more expensive than new const. So tread carefully. You might think it is a steal, when it is really just a break even deal. good luck tho.

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.