If you’re getting ready to join the ranks of the 65.1% of Americans that call themselves homeowners, you’re probably wondering: what if I find my dream home but it has structural problems?
The answer to this question depends on a lot of different factors.
That’s why here, we’re going to take a look into whether or not buying a house with foundation issues is worth it! Read on to learn when you should and shouldn’t take the leap.
Questions to Ask Yourself
When thinking about buying a house with structural issues, there are a few questions that you’ll need to ask yourself in order to determine whether it’s worth it. Read on to get started thinking about these questions!
What Sorts of Problems Are There?
There are a lot of possible structural problems that your home might have. The first step towards figuring out if you can deal with these issues is to identify what you’re dealing with.
You may be facing a minor issue, like doors that stick or cabinets/counters that are separating from the wall. While technically structural issues with your home, these problems can be solved by simply replacing the problematic fixture.
There are also issues that are slightly more severe but still quite manageable, like gaps around window frames and exterior doors. This is a pretty common issue that can be solved by adding in new molding or readapting the existing doorframe’s size.
Other sorts of moderately annoying issues include damp crawl spaces, where you’ll need to hire someone to come in and clean it. Wall fractures and cracks, too, can indicate trouble, but they might be nothing. You’ll just need to call someone in to fix it.
There are also major foundational issues in a home that you may struggle a bit more with. The crooked flooring in Marshall and Lily’s How I Met Your Mother home isn’t just a sitcom gag — it’s a very real issue in many homes. Sagging or crooked flooring could cause your home to cave in if you don’t get it fixed.
Other major foundational issues like settling/sinking foundation and slab upheaval could cause you major issues in the future, too. If you see any of these issues, you may want to think twice about buying the property (unless you’re reasonably sure you can deal with it promptly.)
How Much Will This Bother Me?
If you only need to deal with a minor or medium issue, then it may not bother you all that much. You could probably just go for it, buy the home, and deal with fixing it as soon as you can. You’ll want to fix up crawl space settlement cracks sooner rather than later to keep mold out of your home and lungs, but that’s about it.
If you determine that you have a minor foundation issue, you might as well just buy the house and fix it up. No property comes perfect, after all!
However, you’ll want to give a bit more thought about purchasing a house that has major foundational problems. If your floor is crooked or your foundation is sinking entirely, you may need to repair the entire foundation of your home.
This means that you may need to wait a while before your home is even liveable.
Beyond that, changing the entire foundation of your house may be a process so expensive that you may as well look into other properties!
How Much Will Repairs Cost?
If you have major foundational problems, you’ll need to weigh whether or not repairing the house is within your budget and worth the amount that you’ll be spending.
If the house is truly your dream home and you plan to live in it for the rest of your life, it may be a worthwhile purchase. This is especially the case if you feel like it’s possible to fix up without upheaving the entire home.
However, in many cases, you’ll need to pay a small fortune to fix up a house with foundational problems. Ask yourself whether or not the enjoyment that you’ll get out of this specific house is worth the amount that you’ll spend on repairs. If the answer is ‘no,’ cut your losses and go with another house.
Are You Getting a Deal?
However, a small wrench is thrown into the works when you’re being given a discount on a home specifically because it has structural issues. This happens a lot since people are generally unwilling to pay full price for a house that they need to repair fully.
If you’re getting a deal on a house with structural problems, look into how much the initial cost plus repairs will be. Then, compare and contrast this to the amount that another similar property with no issues would cost.
Sometimes, it’s possible that the problem property will cost less overall!
If this is the case, you’ll just need to decide whether or not the money you’re saving is worth the inconvenience of having home repairs done for a while. More likely than not, the answer is ‘yes!’ Repairs generally don’t take too long, and they’re usually pretty manageable.
So, Should You Buy a House With Structural Problems?
In deciding whether or not the benefits outweigh the costs of a structurally unsound home, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons. Here’s a quick summary:
- You’re likely to get a deal on the home initially because of the structural issues.
- Even with repairs, this deal is likely to still make your home cost less than another house that’s in perfect condition.
- You’ll be able to fix the house up and make it match your vision of a perfect house.
- Many structural problems are easy to fix- only a few are truly problematic.
- You’ll need to put time and money into repairs.
- If you can’t repair structural issues right away, they could be annoying.
What you decide is ultimately up to you, but we think that buying a house with structural issues can be well worth it.
More Home Ownership Tips
While there are a lot of factors that go into whether or not you should buy a home with structural problems, you usually can take the leap.
Check out the search function on our web page and type any keywords you can think of related to real estate. It’s here that you’ll get the best tips and tricks for renovating every room of your new dream home so that it can be as magical as you’ve dreamed of it being.