Foundation issue advice

7 Replies

Good morning Birmingham investors!

I am new to RE, and as a potential starting point, I am looking at a live-in-flip that may likely have some foundation issues (Bessemer area).

Any recommendations on who I could get to come assess the property? Would a contractor or PM work or will I need to seek out someone who actually does foundation work?
I would love to have a referral!
Or advice if you think such a house isn’t even worth a look.

Unless it is very minor, I would advise against buying a house with a foundation issue for your first deal.  You need more experience before tackling that type of project - mainly because you don't know what you don't know.  Foundation repair company bids can be tens of thousands of dollars apart. 

But if you do decide to pursue it, definitely have foundation repair specialists (not just regular GC's/contractors) look at it and give you bids.  Make sure you get referrals to them from other investors so that you don't get robbed blind.

Hey Adam, I'd recommend the guys at Southern Home Structural Repair.

Thank you both for your thoughts! 

@Owen D. That is exactly the suggestion I feel is most popular from my questioning so far! I didn't realize it could be THAT much cost though.  Heck, the house itself is only selling for like 60k.  That could potentially reduce my offer to 1/3 the price to cover such a repair anyway! And thanks for the tip.  Being robbed blind for a house that is falling apart as my first deal would be quite ... disappointing. 

@Mark Byers Thank you for that reference!  I'll have to see if they can come check it out.  Anything more than a minor fix and I may have to run the other way. 

Hi Adam! I reccomend Alabama Foundation Specialist (AFS) if you want a contractor to check the foundation out.

However, I agree with Owen D in that it may be worth taking a look elsewhere as foundation repairs can get real expensive!

Adam, I would walk away. All the foundation folks will do is guarantee that it will not get worse. That's it. I almost bought a house last year with foundation problem. Estimate costs were over 30k. I got lucky when I found the guy from AFS that did an estimate of repair. My $250 inspection was the best money I ever spent. Good luck. JP


Bruce Montgomery with Ritchie & Montgomery is a structural engineer and has been in the business around 40 years. He can recommend the work that is needed and will possible recommend a few names for you to call who can do the work. Also, he would be the one to write the letter stating all is well with the foundation for future sell.

Let me know if I can help.


Wow, thank you all for the excellent thoughts! 

@Johnny Lynum Thank you for that! Sticking them on my contractor list. Ironic that these guys work on problems nobody wants to even deal with! 

@John Patton I'm certainly starting to feel that same way. 30k in costs for a 50k house ... funny if it wasn't so sad! Not that your property is only 50k but the same issue on this cheapo house would be comical. 

@Bryan Miles Excellent, thank you!  Your name has come up in some other conversations on BP. I may end up talking with you again before all is said and done! 

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