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Matan Farhi
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First Time Home Buyer: Foundation Questions

Matan Farhi
Posted May 12 2023, 16:35

Hello Biggerpockets community, was recommended to try this forum out for some guidance. My fiance and I are interested in a home in the Baker area. We placed an offer for 10k under asking and it was accepted same day. 

Home details: The home was built in 1890. Is completely renovated and fits all the things we are looking for. 3 bd, 2 ba, 1742 sqft (including unfinished basement, aprox 1450 without). Really nicely landscaped back yard with fairly new 2 car garage. Ideal walkable location for us. Really, couldn't be a better fit. 

However, once we got the inspection report back, there were a few concerns about the foundation. There was an official report from 2007 requesting improvements to the foundation and the letter explaining the repairs pretty carefully did not mention that the repairs that had been done were to code. I have attached some photos below to show the added structural supports/columns. There is a retention wall in the basement that shows signs of degredation as well as many of the supports were simply done with 2x4's. Some of the old wood work looks like there are signs of deterioration as well. All of the additional supports do not have any foundational component and are either wood sitting dirrectly on the concrete slab or using these little cinderblock stabilizers. Nothing is stabilized below the frost line. In those back areas, there is very low height for access. On the side of the house with the failing retaining wall in the basement, there is about 2 ft of clearance between our house's wall and the neighbors with extremely limited access. There are signs of water damage to the foundation as well which makes sense as there was not an affective water runnoff system. 

I know it is extremely difficult without being able to see the area for yourselves, but what is a reasonable expectation of costs to replace/repair the retention wall, reinforce the foundation supports, excavate and stabilize the other supports as needed. The only access to the basement is through a tiny door in the kitchen and due to the extremely low height of these areas, I'm assuming cost of labor would be expensive. We had an engineer come in and are waiting for his official report but he explained that it would likely be a premium cost for the foundational repairs needed. 

I attached photos from the inspection report as well as some that I took personally along with some of the quotes from the inspector. The engineer just came through today and re-iterated the same issues but I will not have his report until Monday. I asked him what a general quote would be and he said for sure in the 5 figures. 


If there is any information that would help clarify the situation/make more sense I am happy to edit and add. Thank you for your time/consideration. 

"Moisture and dirt are entering the basement near the stairwell"

"Additional support columns/beams lack visible hardward securing them into place"

Engineer noted there is no structural component dug below freezing level on any of these supports which would need to be done to get the foundation supports to code

"Signs of water penetration noted on the basement walls"

Picture showing proximity of nextdoor house

"The soil slopes towards the foundation, or is flat, and must be corrected to prevent water from finding its way to the foundation" (This is the side of the house with the failing retention wall in the basement and has extremely limited access) The engineer recommended potentially just paving cement between the houses to seal it and recommended against a french drain as installing it would go below the level of the foundation already.  

Runoff drains with no extensions away from house

"Noticeable bulging of faux brick covering foundation"

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