NO Crawl Space Access on pier & beam? How is foundation assessed?

4 Replies

I'm in my option period on the purchase of a small pier and beam home, but there's no outside access to the crawl space. The home is currently occupied by seller who claims there is also no inside access to the crawl space. Realtors have gone in to assist (elderly) seller with property relocation from closets in order to look for access, but found the closet floors are all carpeted.  The seller will not allow lifting of the carpet.

The home is showing some signs of foundation trouble, but without access to look beneath, how can an accurate assessment be made?  Anyone have any ideas or suggestions for a remedy?


@Connie Guinn

You can build in risk factor to adjust offer accordingly.  I've seen some houses where the crawlspace is virtually inaccessible.  It becomes an 'el chapo' adventure and gut check for someone to do the needed digging (and in some cases cutting) to get the access needed to do work.

However, I'm confused why you can't just assess structural risks in foundation from looking at exterior?

If extensive exterior work is required, and you can assess, crawlspace access is not likely needed to for instance rebuild block walls.  It may be helpful, but not required.

@Connie Guinn if there is access inside it's almost always in a closet, or attached garage if there is one. Kinda fishy she wont let you lift the carpet. Honestly, I would of just done it with out asking. Always easier to ask for forgiveness then permission.

There is alot she could be hiding other then foundation issues. Could have some hack job plumbing, could be completely flooded,or I've seen some electrical ran in crawlspace before.

@Connie Guinn I bet she is not intentionally hiding anything, they may just think someone will "tear up" her carpet. The access is most likely in a closet someplace. The foundation issue could also be rotten beams. I would definitely want someone to inspect under the house. I don't see how you could guess as to the damage cost without knowing what the problem is caused by. 

Hopefully whoever is helping them can convince them that this is not just you wanting this, but anyone they sell to most likely will.

Thanks for all the responses!

The carpet is literally ONLY in the two bedroom closets- the rest of the house is hardwood floors or tile. So I agree, it did seem fishy- especially since the carpet is old.

That wasn't the only thing fishy. The lady asked for extra time- beyond the 30 day norm- to move out, which I agreed to. I ended up allowing 50 days.  But then, after the crawl space debacle, I asked for an extension of the option period to sort it out, and she flat refused.

Long story short, the option period was ending, and we didn't know any more about the foundation than we did before the inspection. Things just felt "off". So I ended up letting it go. It was one of those things where the deal seemed too good to be true. 

But I guess it just wasn't the one.