Foundation Problems

I know I’ve harped on this before but I never cease to be amazed at how the term “foundation problem” brings utter terror into the hearts of some buyers. I mean, Foster City is the poster child for foundation related issues and tons of work has been done correcting problems but some buyers just have a hard time with the notion of a foundation problem. I had a listing like this recently in San Mateo that has identical soil (it’s on fill) as Foster City does and the house has an issues like the one pictured above. I handed out a bunch of disclosure packets and sure enough I get calls from agents who have freaked out clients who want to know 1.) How it’s going to be fixed, 2.) When it’s going to be fixed and 3.) Is the seller prepared to pay for it. The house had a $9500 bid for the fix. The rest of the house was immaculate. New kitchen, bathroom, roof, windows, furnace, landscape. You name it…except the foundation.

Call me zany, but if these buyers saw the house with no foundation problem but in need of a roof they wouldn’t utter a peep. Even if there’s a large pest problem they typically wouldn’t have a problem. It’s just that foundation thing…it bugs them! One buyer wanted to write an offer asking for the seller to repair the foundation and have a contingency to re-inspect the fixed foundation with someone of his choosing. OK, I said…write it up and let’s see what happens. He didn’t of course. Too scary.

At the end of the day, since this is still the 2013 market we’re in, I got 4 offers…and NONE of them asked for the foundation work to be done. All of them “As Is”. A couple were well over asking as well. I guess I just look at it this way…everything can be fixed. If you find another place that needs updating in the kitchen or bathroom you’ll spend at least as much as the $$9500 foundation bill. Why not buy the house and fix the foundation? They can be fixed. But again…I’m zany.

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