Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

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Cruise
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Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

Post by Cruise »

The home I've lived in for the past 25+ years has showed a few small internal drywall cracks that appeared over the past five years. Originally, I was going to fix these cracks when we repainted. However, awhile ago, while walking around my home, I found a beam that appeared severely warped.

I contacted a highly respected structural engineer and showed him the beam and drywall cracks. His assessment was that I had a foundation stabilization problem, and has called for a remedy that will cost around $30K for this ~$1M home. Let us assume for a moment that the engineer's assessment is correct, that his solution is sound, and that a contractor can competently stabilize the foundation.

Pre-COVID, my wife and I were thinking of moving into a condo and selling our home. Now, we don't see that that scenario our near-term future.

For those with real estate experience, I'm wondering what will be the impact of making or not making this structural engineering fix on the sales price of my home?

Many thanks.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

Post by cheese_breath »

If I was a buyer I'd walk away from any home with known structural issues. But maybe that's just me.
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adamthesmythe
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Re: Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

Post by adamthesmythe »

Sometimes it's best not to look.

To be honest, if I saw a few drywall cracks I would just fix them and paint. Now I don't know what you mean by a beam that is severely warped. But I've lived in a couple of old houses, and I can say that old houses always have cracks somewhere and they always show signs of settlement. Maybe I have been sanguine about this because they were old houses, and most of the time old houses are pretty much done settling.

So now that you have an opinion from an expert- you're going to have to mention this in the disclosures. And you're probably going to have to mention it even if you get it fixed.

Hard to say what the impact is, because all the other competing houses when you sell will probably have some sort of issues. If you do get it fixed, I suppose you should do it sooner rather than later, so by the time you sell the buyer can figure it worked if there are no further cracks.
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galawdawg
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Re: Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

Post by galawdawg »

Cruise wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:42 pm The home I've lived in for the past 25+ years has showed a few small internal drywall cracks that appeared over the past five years. Originally, I was going to fix these cracks when we repainted. However, awhile ago, while walking around my home, I found a beam that appeared severely warped.

I contacted a highly respected structural engineer and showed him the beam and drywall cracks. His assessment was that I had a foundation stabilization problem, and has called for a remedy that will cost around $30K for this ~$1M home. Let us assume for a moment that the engineer's assessment is correct, that his solution is sound, and that a contractor can competently stabilize the foundation.

Pre-COVID, my wife and I were thinking of moving into a condo and selling our home. Now, we don't see that that scenario our near-term future.

For those with real estate experience, I'm wondering what will be the impact of making or not making this structural engineering fix on the sales price of my home?

Many thanks.
How about the impact of NOT making this fix upon the structural integrity of your home?

If you don't fix it, your home will be discounted by significantly more than the cost to fix and as pointed out by cheese_breath, many buyers won't even consider your home once they see that on the disclosure. In addition to the obvious issues, failing to correct that issue before listing the house would lead an informed buyer to question how well you have maintained the house and be concerned about other unresolved or deferred maintenance issues that could crop up in the future.

Spending $30k to fix a structural issue on a $1m plus home is, IMHO, a must. The problem won't solve itself and left unresolved, will get worse.

Good luck.
alfaspider
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Re: Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

Post by alfaspider »

cheese_breath wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:46 pm If I was a buyer I'd walk away from any home with known structural issues. But maybe that's just me.
I bought a house with a known issue last year (on a subsidence fault). However, I bought it because it was priced 30-40% less than I could have bought a house of similar size for in the neighborhood (or any house for that matter- it was priced below lot value), and I went in with the assumption that there would be significant repair work. Structural issues typically aren't that expensive to address, but you typically end up tearing up stuff that is. We ended up putting in 8 piers below the subsidence level. Those weren't too bad (under $1,000 each), but required putting in new floors (which became new floors throughout the house at a much higher cost).

As for OPs issue: I'm afraid that the genie may be hard to put back in the bottle. Most states have a standard disclosure form, and if you know there's an issue such as this, you are required to disclose it. If it comes up on inspection, an undisclosed defect would be an accepted reason to pull out of the sale. Alternatively, if it is caught later, it could lead to litigation if it appears you tried to sweep it under the rug. Personally, I'd fix it properly.
Last edited by alfaspider on Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bobby206
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Re: Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

Post by Bobby206 »

Seems to me you have to fix it.

I imagine in your state you would have to disclose that when you go to sell if you don't fix it. As a buyer I would never buy a house with such an issue not fixed.

I'd fix it and move on. The hidden costs of home ownership.
interwebopinion
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Re: Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

Post by interwebopinion »

alfaspider wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:09 pm As for OPs issue: I'm afraid that the genie may be hard to put back in the bottle. Most states have a standard disclosure form, and if you know there's an issue such as this, you are required to disclose it. If it comes up on inspection, an undisclosed defect would be an accepted reason to pull out of the sale. Alternatively, if it is caught later, it could lead to litigation if it appears you tried to sweep it under the rug. Personally, I'd fix it properly.
+1 Could be a major legal problem now that you know about it, and not disclose. Damages can double if it was wilful - i.e. you knew you should have disclosed but did it anyway.

Also, as a buyer, if I saw this on the listing, my first thought would be: what else is wrong with this house?
delamer
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Re: Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

Post by delamer »

galawdawg wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:04 pm
Cruise wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:42 pm The home I've lived in for the past 25+ years has showed a few small internal drywall cracks that appeared over the past five years. Originally, I was going to fix these cracks when we repainted. However, awhile ago, while walking around my home, I found a beam that appeared severely warped.

I contacted a highly respected structural engineer and showed him the beam and drywall cracks. His assessment was that I had a foundation stabilization problem, and has called for a remedy that will cost around $30K for this ~$1M home. Let us assume for a moment that the engineer's assessment is correct, that his solution is sound, and that a contractor can competently stabilize the foundation.

Pre-COVID, my wife and I were thinking of moving into a condo and selling our home. Now, we don't see that that scenario our near-term future.

For those with real estate experience, I'm wondering what will be the impact of making or not making this structural engineering fix on the sales price of my home?

Many thanks.
How about the impact of NOT making this fix upon the structural integrity of your home?

If you don't fix it, your home will be discounted by significantly more than the cost to fix and as pointed out by cheese_breath, many buyers won't even consider your home once they see that on the disclosure. In addition to the obvious issues, failing to correct that issue before listing the house would lead an informed buyer to question how well you have maintained the house and be concerned about other unresolved or deferred maintenance issues that could crop up in the future.

Spending $30k to fix a structural issue on a $1m plus home is, IMHO, a must. The problem won't solve itself and left unresolved, will get worse.

Good luck.
This was my thought too. This isn’t a “pink tile in the bathroom” problem.

How could you be comfortable living in a house with a known structural problem that is very likely going to continue to deteriorate?
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sergeant
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Re: Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

Post by sergeant »

I'm not a real estate agent but agree with others that this needs to be fixed. I helped a handyman friend repair a similar issue a few years ago at my neighbor's home.
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DrakeSRT
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Re: Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

Post by DrakeSRT »

Get a 2nd opinion for starters.
What was his remedy?
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Watty
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Re: Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

Post by Watty »

Some things;

1) Problems NEVER get cheaper to repair if you ignore them.

2) Repairing a problem when you are in no hurry is likely also a lot less expensive than trying to get them repaired with something like a 30 day deadline before the scheduled closing date. You can take your time and get several bids and it is OK if the best contractor cannot schedule you for several months.

3) I don't really know how this would work but I would suspect that a future buyer may not be able to get a conventional mortgage for a house with a known structural problem like that.
Carefreeap
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Re: Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

Post by Carefreeap »

DrakeSRT wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:57 pm Get a 2nd opinion for starters.
What was his remedy?
+1

And maybe a third.

The house we bought 25 years ago had a structural problem. It was disclosed to us and supposedly fixed. However after a careful reading of the seller's engineering report showed a different fix than what was recommended. We hired our own structural engineer who provided an analysis of what was the problem. He agreed with the fix; helical screws as mentioned in an above post. He also recommended installing French drains which we did the following year. 25 years later, no signs of additional movement.

Good luck OP.
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Topic Author
Cruise
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Re: Real Estate Agents: Advice Wanted

Post by Cruise »

Watty wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:37 am
2) Repairing a problem when you are in no hurry is likely also a lot less expensive than trying to get them repaired with something like a 30 day deadline before the scheduled closing date. You can take your time and get several bids and it is OK if the best contractor cannot schedule you for several months.
Great point.

To all, thanks for the feedback!
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