My wife and I found a very nice house with a history. It was built in
2003. About a year ago, it settled and it cost them nearly 10,000 out
of pocket to fix it. It looks great and has a lifetime warranty on the
repair work for the settling.
The biggest "scar" is a huge crack in the garage foundation that was
filled in. It is very noticable.
We don't have a problem living there but I am afraid to buy it in the
mere fact it cuts our seller base in half when we go to sell it.
What is good rule of thumb when buying a home that has this kind of
Assuming the warranty is good and useful and the only lasting defect is the
crack in the garage floor I would say you are probably safe enough.
If settling is to occur it will happen in the next few years given how
quickly it happened in the first place. In 5 years, future buyers will be
unconcerned if you neven had a problem since.
As for the crack, make sure the patch is smooth and not opening back up then
use an epoxy garage floor paint and it might be virtually invisible. People
expect some cracks, they just want to know they are stable.
As time proves the repair to be reliable, the price will return to market
value and any discount this defect causes now will be gone.
If the warranty is good, this is a road to a nice below market steal. If it
only covers labor and matrials for defects, it may not be good for much. If
the repair was signed off on by a professional engineer, you are probably in
Personnally I would find another house unless a professional engineer can
explain to you why the house settled and why it will not settle any more.
The soil could be of poor quality or the house could be built on fill and it
will continue to settle. Do not guess on this. Call in a professional
engineer or find another house.
The house would have to be something very special and a hell of a great
deal for me to even get involved in considering it. There are plenty
of other houses available. Also, if it was built in 2003, it's
strange that it would have cost the owners $10K to fix it, as most new
homes have warranties that cover major structural issues like this for
a lot longer than 3 years. What you don't know is what caused this and
that it's not going to happen again to other parts of the house. And
while you can get opinions, no one is going to guarantee that it
doesn't happen again.
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