I recommend that you hire a registered arborist to examine the tree and to educate you about its species and heritage. Some trees have shallow roots, which could mean big trouble for the home's foundation; others drop their roots straight and deep, meaning there is little risk they will migrate into the foundation. Once you know what kind of tree you are dealing with, you can make the decision as to whether you want the seller to pay for its removal.
This advice assumes that you have done your physical inspection and that inspection did not show any foundation damage. If the inspection did indicate foundation damage, you will also need to have a foundation specialist inspect the property.
Please let me know if you need an arborist referral.
Keller Williams Realty
1660 Hillhurst Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
What I learned from a client/horiculture student last week: Eucalyptus trees have a massive and very deep (although narrow) root system. Giant redwoods have only a 3-foot deep root system. Interesting.
I feel you, believe me. In my neighborhood we have many such Ficus Trees which have become huge. They have an invasive root system which has turned some areas into hazards by the lifting of the sidewalks and streets.
In one area (Sepulveda Blvd.) the city has undertaken to remove the trees and replace all the sidewalks, but it's a slow process.
I would get a good Arborist out to the property to get their adivce. Not all trees have these types of root systems. They might be able to cut the root and remove it so that it doesn't cause further damage. The dirveway can be repaved as well. Once you have the advice of a specialist,you will know what direction to take.
Foundation problems will be easy to ascertain all by themselves, regardless of the tree. When you walk inside the home, things like cracked walls around doors, sloping floors, and cracks around the exterior perimeter of the home between the foundation and the flooring are good indicators of issues. If the home is over 60 years old, the likelihood of wear and tear foundation issues goes up, anyway. If there are any of these sorts of red flags, when the work is done by a licensed contractor, they can excavate any roots (if there are any) as they are fixing and bolting the foundation.
Hire both a foundation inspector and have someone check the sewer line. If there is any damage to the property casued by the tree roots, it's most likely something to do with the sewer line over the foundation. At least that's been my experience.
Good luck and congratulations on your home purchase!
Keller Williams Realty
Once your offer is accepted, hire a home inspector to complete an inspection, You may need additional inspectors like a plumber, tree removal person, general contractor, etc., that will look at every detail pertaining to the tree, sidewalk, foundation, and anything else underneath that you can not see. They will be able to give you details as to the repairs. Then you can use the results to negotiate with the seller for repairs.
Prudential California Realty
Congratulations on buying and much success to you!
Have a great day,
Heather Paul, Realtor
As the others have said....get a good home inspection. Not a visual one...but a real thorough one and see what develops from there.
Hope this helps and good luck.
Realtor, DRE# 01891274
Notary Public, Certified Loan Signing Agent.
Century 21 All Moves
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This may not be an answer you find very attractive, but if there are questions about the foundation, then you should keep looking.
I can relate if you have really fallen in love with a home and you want some questions answered. The problem I have with an inspection is it is not infallible. An inspector can come look at "guestimate" what kind of costs you might be looking at to correct a foundation issue. An engineer would be better, but who wants to front a cost like that?
With all the inventory that is available, I think you might want to look at some other homes.
PML of Longmont, CO
Property inspection is highly recommended on such situation. Our company works with reliable, licensed and insured property inspectors, if you do need a referral please feel free to call our office and ask for one.
310-348-7878 or visit http://www.crestico.com
Hope this helps.
Realtor, DRE# 01891274
Notary Public, CNSA
Century 21 All Moves
Good luck to you,
Unwavering Commitment to Service
If it is the tree between the sidewalk and curb then you should be able to contact the city and they will cut the roots and possibly take measures to make sure it doesn't happen again.
If it's between the sidewalk and your house then it is the owners responsibility.
Another thing to consider is what type of foundation is the property on? Slab or raised.
On a slab foundation there could be more issues like plumbing leaks that come up, on a raised foundation it will more than likely be limited to isolated areas of the foundation walls.
One thing I can assure you is there is no perfect home. Every home has or will have an issue.
If it's not the tree roots then its the termites, or earthquakes.
Also, if it is a slab foundation and there are cracks in the garage, that is an indication the foundation will have cracks too. Has anyone explained that all cement cracks? that is why there are expansion gaps (or slices) in the cement, so there may be other reasons for cracking.
Ask your home inspector what he feels caused the problem, how urgent is it and what can be done to repair it. Then, weigh all your options that made you choose this house in the first place.
If you find the good outweighs the bad, move forward, if not, move on.
There are always more homes, but no 2 are alike.
Risa Liebster, RealtorÂ®
If you're concerned enough about the roots to write in, then you must address it by having an inspection, after you place an offer.
Call a qualified home inspector, and let him or her know upfront all your concerns, not just the tree roots, so that they pay extra care to those areas. See what his/her recommendations are. If you are comfortable with his/her suggestions follow them.
If you still have concerns, go to a nursery and ask them to recommend a specialist who can diagnose the problem and a solution. Also inquire, how much it will cost to remedy.
If you like the house but have reservations, think carefully before moving forward. There may be another house out there without a tree issue just right for you:)
Feel free to contact me with any further questions
You should be concerned. Tree roots could make some damages. Galvanized sewage lines often get blocked with roots. You should hire an insured home inspector to report property conditions and any material defects.