Whether you just got the keys to your forever home or you’re putting your house on the market tomorrow, every homeowner should pay attention to their home’s value over time. Your home’s main structures and systems, foundation included, have a direct impact on your property value, so it’s important to be aware of your home’s issues.
Foundation Problems and Resale Value
Although the question, “how much will this affect my home’s value?” sounds like a simple one, there’s really no straightforward answer. There is a wide range of severity in foundation issues, so the effect on your home and its resale value can vary. The damage could be from cracks in poured concrete, inward bowing of a block wall, or even upward heaving in slab flooring—until you know what’s wrong, there’s no way to know how much damage could affect your home’s value.
Most foundation issues, however, reduce a home’s value by 10-15%. This means that a home worth $300,000 could lose between $30,000 and $45,000 in value. Again, this depends on the specific damage, but this is a rough estimate to start with. There are also multiple ways in which foundation damage could affect your home’s resale value.
If there’s serious structural damage, the simple fact is that someone will have to pay for it. Unfortunately, whether it’s you or the future buyer writing the check, you’ll end up paying. You’ll either hire a contractor to fix it before selling it, or you’ll have to reduce the sale price to offset the expense of the buyer hiring the contractor.
Minor cracking can cost as little as $500 to fix, but major foundation problems involving hydraulic piers can cost more than $10,000. The average homeowner spends somewhere between $1,763 and $5,880 on foundation repairs.
First impressions are important in life, but they’re especially important to a prospective buyer of your home—people want a home that not only looks great, but feels safe. This means that sagging floors, ceiling cracks or visible foundation cracks, or even the knowledge that the home has had foundation repairs in the past can color a person’s view of your entire property, and its overall value.
The current market you’re trying to sell in will affect your home’s value as well. If you’re selling in a buyer’s market, you’ll most likely have to lower your price, and your home will probably sit on the market for a while. In a seller’s market, however, you may not have to deal with many negative consequences at all. It’s important to remember that everything is variable, but decreased curb appeal will certainly impact your home’s value in some way.
One of the worst things you can do for foundation problems in your home is ignore them—they don’t just go away and, what’s worse, they lead to other costly issues. Like health issues, “referred” symptoms are problems that aren’t directly related to the core problem, but are a result of it. This includes things like sagging floors, roof issues, cracks in the walls and ceilings, compromised insulation, broken or cracked windows, and much more. Foundation repairs, while typically pricey, aren’t something you should put off.
Preventing Future Damage
If your home has experienced some damage already, the last thing you want is that resulting in even more damage for you to fix. There are some small things, however, that you can do aside from addressing the root cause of your current problem—which is certainly the most important.
Make sure you’re looking out for water. Most foundation issues are caused by water, and all foundation issues are made worse by water. If you can prevent water from accumulating around your foundation, you can save yourself a lot of headaches. This is easier said than done, of course, but make sure you’re regularly on the lookout with pooling water around your house.
Be careful when you’re landscaping—you can easily compromise your home’s foundation by planting trees too close to your home. If you’ll be planting around your house, make sure you know how large the plant’s roots are supposed to be before you plant them right next to your foundation.
Beware of sloping. Try to avoid water pooling around your foundation as much as possible—this means ensuring that your yard’s grade slopes away from your house, and making sure downspouts and gutters are pointed in the appropriate direction.
Of course, it’s impossible to avoid every risk, and some foundation problems simply aren’t preventable no matter what you do. These tips, however, will help you avoid the ones you can and will help you stop existing foundation damage from getting worse!
Need a quote or an inspection? Contact Southern Home Structural Specialists today!