The most common house issues I see in my business is poorly graded properties. I’m not talking about about marks! Most important part of a house staying dry and standing for decades into the future has to do with the surroundings. Your house lot is the first point of defence from dangerous long term effects of water from the outside getting in. When I take my clients to view a house, I first take a few minutes to do a walk around of the house paying attention to the exterior of the house and the lot. It won’t take me long to grade the condition of the property so to speak. It is critical to get the water away from the house. Water in the form of albeit rain/snow, spring melt, or even high water table soil. Getting that water away from the house as efficiently and effectively as possible is key.
I will look at gutters and downspouts, window wells, and most importantly, ground grade. What I mean is that the grade of the surrounding land, could be soil, concrete/asphalt, decking, allow for gravity to pull the water away from the house. If you have a slop directing water in towards the house, you pose a high risk for encouraging water to make it’s way into the house. How you ask? Through the window framing, imperfections in the concrete foundation, and most commonly from the concrete wall and footing junction. Concrete is the most common material used for house foundations. Prior to concrete we would build houses with stone and even wood foundations. Concrete is not waterproof. Concrete is porous and needs to breath and for that reason it is a good material for foundations if water is not putting pressure on the outsides. We call that pressure we pressure.
Remember, water that enters into the house does not have to be a deal breaker. Everything can be fixed and often very simply using common sense and tried and tested methods. I can help you with assessing a house from all aspects of it’s health. Below I have two cases of houses that I showed to two separate clients of mine. These things that I’m about to show you I could not have assessed from online photos, I can only assess these things in person.
This house is in Fort Richmond, built in the late 60s. House was listed $30K over fair value in my opinion based on my research. I found huge buckling crack in the basement floor spanning from the front to the back of the house due to water pressure on the foundation over decades of neglect. Vendor decided to cover that up with putting a thick cushy underlay and then a thick shag style carpet. My clients didn’t notice the slope from the huge crack and first. Once I pointed it out that they saw with their own eyes and felt with their own feet the problem; it was clear to them that this was a cover up. Vendor put in a sump pump which clearly ceased the water getting into the house. Problem is that that’s merely a bandaid fix. Next step that was missed was to correct the negative grading issues on the outside.
My client and I put an offer on this house and the vendor outright rejected it. Expectations were set far too high and the vendor expected to sell this house over list price utilizing an offer date. No success and now the house has been pulled off the market after a month of effort. Anyway, you can see here from this front external corner how the asphalt has sagged and depressed to create a negative grade.
Here you can see the negative grade of the asphalt driveway.
In the backyard you can see how the soil is higher in that back right corner. The basement crack was on that right side of the house.
This next house was a house I showed to my other client who was looking in River Park South. When you have a negative grade with a hard service like concrete the water issue is much bigger of a problem. Water is simply tipped into the exterior of the basement walls and voila, you have hydraulic pressure. These photos don’t need an explanation; you get the idea.
The listing Realtor called me and asked how my clients liked the house. I asked, do you want the truth? They didn’t even want to see the inside so we left. Shortly after, the house sold, another buying Realtor sold the house to her/his clients. Am I saying they made a huge mistake? I’m saying they made a foolish decision in my opinion. In this market there are lots of houses to chose from. In fact I sold my clients a brand new house after showing them over a hundred houses. It was worth the effort from my clients and myself. Why? I want my clients to be lifetime clients. Buying a house needs to be the decision you put the most research and effort into. Click on the link below to read more about their success story.
Who’s in your corner with this house buying journey of yours? Did you know people spend more time researching the next car they are going to buy than their next house? Don’t be average! Don’t go in unprepared and unequipped. Contact me at 204-228-0588 email@example.com and I will be sure to give you fantastic Fouad for thought.