Structural / Foundation Damage

5 Replies

Hello All,

I have found a property that has structural / foundation damage. It is an REO and the listing agent is not giving a lot of information about the damage other than it exists. I was hoping someone could give me advice on who would be a good source for finding out what exactly the damage is and how much it would cost to fix. Thank you...

A lot of foundation companies will give free bids (I would recommend getting at least 2). Or if its really bad you could have a structural engineer look at it, although that will cost money and they wont give you a quote to repair it either.

Is the property in an area with any known soils issues (liguefiable soils, expansive clay, etc.)? Have other properties in the area had similar problems? As a structural engineer, those are the first questions that come to my mind. Getting those questions answered may help you narrow down whether it's a soils issue (soils moving and damaging the structure) versus an engineering/construction issue (soils are fine, but building was not properly engineered or constructed).

I second the idea of getting some foundation contractors or an SE in there to look at it, if you think it's worth pursuing.

Thank you Andrew... And to answer your question Kimberly, the place is in Long Beach, but I'm not sure if it is common in the area to have soil issues. The property is over 100 yrs old and again the listing agent has not been very helpful. He just said there are "foundation issues". So, I am trying to get advice on how to find out who to contact for the lowest price to find out if it is worth flipping... Thank you guys for your responses.....

Bill, Long Beach is known for having some pretty bad soils. Organic matter in it, decomposing and leading to settlement issues, lots of low quality old fill material. Some pretty bad stuff there. A lot of buildings in LB are built on piles now to get down past the bad soils. My brother does geotechnical engineering, and I have heard him talk about just how terrible the soils are in LB. I would not want to deal with a 100+ year old property in LB with foundation issues, but if you want to pursue it, you can look up some local SE's to come check it out for you.

Thank you Kimberly for your advice, I greatly appreciate it. I was not aware of these issues in the LB area. This is why this site is so valuable.... Thanks again.