Make sure you understand the underlying issue of the sump pump -- why it is there, how it works, how often it needs to run, any other solutions you may want to install after you are the homeowner. This can be done by the appropriate contractor recommended by your real estate agent.
Ultimately, you need to make sure you are comfortable with the information you gather and any possible long term ramifications (i.e., resale value).
I believe the only time you should have water running under your home is when you live on a Boat!
Water is the most destruction element to a home. Personally, I believe, if possible, one should not buy a home where water is entering within the foundation - even if a sum pump is installed.
In the long run, the continued introduction of water is likely to this lead to:
1) Foundation issues, which can show visually within the home in the form of foundation cracks, tree root growth under the home, sticking doors/windows, and uneven floors;
2) Providing an environment for mold and fungus to take hold, and
3) Encourage subterranean termite colonization.
Additionally, much like power lines, freeway noise and cell towers the presence of the sump pump will take a percentage of possible future buyers out of the picture. For some, the sump pump will be an issue, but for others, it will not be a major concern.
The mold must have been caused by the water seepage in the basement. If the mold has been remediated, ask for a documentation from the licensed mold remediator or specialist.
Moreover, make sure that you install a battery operated back up sump pump in case of power outage during heavy rains.
I hope this helps.
Water under an enclosed crawl space is not a good thing... ever. I just had similar circumstances with two sales and the drainage/foundation contractor strongly recommended that If it is water intrusion from the exterior which is often because the exterior grade is above the ground level under the house, then a perimeter drainage collection system that is installed outside the foundation and extends below the grade under the house is often the solution. At times this may require a sump pump to get the water out to the street. If the water is seeping up under the house from a spring or other situation then a collection system under the house may be required. My drainage contractor still recommends that any sump pump used in such a system be installed on the exterior of the home.
The other element to make sure you have is a lot of ventilation, perhaps including a fan to pull the air out.
And then monitor all systems regularly.
DRE # 350257
The bigger question is....is it working?
If the sump pump was installed AFTER damage was done, was the damage repaired?
Did you get new inspections ....and see if your inspectors can determine if any previous damage have been resolved or not, and to give you estimates if they weren't.
Most home inspectors I know ould recommend a drainage inspection when there is a sump pump in place. It is likely that standing water could indicate a drainage problem. If that is the case, a more permanent solution is generally to improve the drainage system.
If I was the buyer, I'm sure I would have a drinage inspection carried out.
Bernard Gibbons, J. Rockcliff Realtors
DRE License # 01331583
Phone (925) 997-1585 - firstname.lastname@example.org