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Demetria Thr…, Home Buyer in

My father owns 3 homes in a great area of phildelphia. He just recieved word that 1 of his homes foundation is not so good! the home in which im

Asked by Demetria Throckmorton, Sun Oct 4, 2009

speaking of has been in our family for 30 years and i dont want my dad to sell it.and with the foundation issues i know that the wont get what the home true value is. What should he do? I know part of the answer. but the home has dirt walls and a dirt basement! I keep telling thim that he needs to rebuild this one, and he cant do just patch work on this one. the home has not had any renovations in over 30yrs. I just need some sound advice.

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Speak with a mason. Perhaps the home can be jacked up a new foundation put in and the house reset. This is done all the time. You will want to use a contractor that has plenty of experience with this kind of work.
Good Luck!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 13, 2009
Hi Demetria,

Well the first step is knowing more, so that he can truly make an informed decision. I do agree that selling it right now is NOT a good idea. A big known issue like that is the ultimate in "sales prevention". Any offers will be very very low indeed. In PA, the seller needs to provide the buyer with a CO (certificate of occupancy), so I'm afraid that a major foundation issue may prohibit this from being a possibility.

He should get a few good masons to come out and take a look at the situation. Some of them will be full of BS and try and give him all sorts of high estimates etc. But he'll get a much better understanding of what's wrong, and various options to take care of things. If you get a good mason (and many of them are either out of work or not fully employed right now) - then you both might be surprised what might be possible with even only $5K - $10K. The materials really aren't all that pricey. Even the labor cost should be reasonable. But you need one person that leads the project and really knows their stuff, to supervise installing new footings, then very CAREFULLY jack in new supports between the new footings and the above structure. It CAN be done and it need not be overly expensive.

My next door neighbor happens to be an excellent and skilled mason - I'm only in Bristol, so just North of Philliy. He's pretty busy, but perhaps he might be able to come out and give his professional opinion as to what options your father really has, or if he's too busy to recommend someone for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 13, 2009
If the object is to get money from the house you have to replace the foundation. If the object is to live in the house you need to replace the foundation. If the object is to rent it out without having the city come down on you for code violations you need to replace the foundation. When you replace a foundation ($$$) you can and should have a waterproofed cement replacement put in. (Look online. I saw one company that offered a lifetime warranty on their waterproofing product.) One with a cement floor. It always looks good to have that with a warranty for x many years to a new buyer. Plus it is nice for the homeowner who lives there as the basement is safe for storage.

If I saw a house for sale with a bad foundation I would not pay for the house period. I would offer about what the lot was worth maybe taking some off for the cost of house removal.

To replace the foundation you have to jack the house up., Then yes, spend lots of money. Often when the house is jacked up ( read almost always without a great company doing the job) the walls will shift and the drywall will break or crack. So if the house has many problems now it is almost certainly better to tear it down and start over.

Since the house has had nothing done since 1978 I wonder... does it have any insulation, is anything rotted, is the plumbing ready to break, is the wiring anywhere near up to code? Are the windows anything close to energy efficient? To sell it now for a good price would it need a whole new kitchen and bathroom? Those are the most expensive to change over.

It always costs more to fix up a real bad house than to build new. Labor is just that way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 4, 2009
If you plan on keeping the home and making it habitable then you are going to need to replace the foundation. If the house is in dire need of repairs besides the foundation, then it may not be worth the money to do the foundation. You need to decide what is the best use for the house and land.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 4, 2009
This is what I was going to say. It sounds like the house is sound other than the foundation. Has your father considered removing the entire home to a different part of the property? If the house is in good condition, it could save a fair amount of money rather than trying a foundation repair.
Flag Thu Nov 13, 2014
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