I have potentially a pretty good deal in my hands. The only issue is that the house is on a crawl and the crawl is too shallow to be accessible. The crawl has had water intrusion previously, so something would have to be done.
Excavating the crawl and having it waterproofed from the inside is expensive and difficult. Waterproofing from the outside of the house would be the more realistic option. With this option, I worry about the potential risks of having an inaccessible crawl that I can't see. I don't have a lot of experience with crawlspaces. Is waterproofing around the exterior perimeter of the house a good option in my case?
@David McCracken In this case stopping the water might be the easy part........... install elbows on the down spouts and lead the water about 4 feet from the foundation; install a French drain around the foundation where the soil is the highest-usually 3 sides and lead the water away from the building. If there is a hill near the house water can run down the hill, but a French drain can eliminate that too. My concern is gaining access over time..........going through the floor of the house is very disruptive and expensive.
@Bjorn Ahlblad For the outside solution I was planning on digging a trench around the perimeter of the house, installing PVC drain pipe and a sump pump, and then backfilling.
I don't know if this is the right solution or not. Most crawlspaces are repaired from the inside. It feels like a large risk to buy a house without being able to at least see the crawlspace.
Could you maybe go in one of the closets and have a small door put in the floor for access to your crawlspace. It would be sort of like a attic latter in just reverse. I would check with a local contractor in your area and have them take a look at it for idea's. If your plumbing is under the house you will have to find some way to get to it for repairs.