Need help! Our foundation is cracked. Is it cheaper to build a new house or fix the old one?
galvarezfonts
December 28, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We bought this house as a foreclosure. We've been fixing the inside, but the outside and the foundation are in bad shape and some of the wood columns are rotten and the floors are cracked. We wonder if it is cheaper to build a new house or to just fix the one we have?
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
collettec
You definitely need a structural engineer to advise you. We found a cracked foundation in a home we were thinking of buying at inspection. A structural engineer can tell you what the problem is, what it could mean and what could be fixed if possible. Good luck!
December 28, 2012 at 7:17pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
mikehansma
Old homes are bottomless pits. Fix one thing, next month/year there's another. Bite the bullet and build a new house and b done for years! Then you also have it the way you want it!
December 28, 2012 at 7:28pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
judianna20
i don't know your budget but have you investigated prefabricated homes in your neck of the woods? The homes are not what you may think and depending on the company, are quite a great investment. http://www.builderonline.com/modular-building/6-prefab-houses-that-could-change-home-building.aspx
December 28, 2012 at 7:34pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
mikehansma
I realize the investment. But history has always proved its a good one. I am in the process of designing a custom home. Not cheap by all means but my old house needs way to much work to save. Even if I did, I still have an old house!
December 28, 2012 at 7:39pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Linda
I would think fixing an existing house would usually be cheaper than building new. But, if you could sell the existing house for a reasonable price and let someone else deal with the foundation issues, that might be a winner. Foundation problems are chronic, not acute nor fatal. I know of many buildings where foundation issues are apparent for decades before becoming urgent. Although I wouldn't throw much money at other problems in the house before dealing with the foundation, I wouldn't object to living there and getting maximum value for the amount you have already invested.

One problem with the build new theory is most of the best places for building a house have already been found. So, you're left with less than desirable lots or have to buy an existing house and demolish the current house and neither alternative is ideal.
December 28, 2012 at 7:43pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Lauren Jacobsen Interior Design
Get a good structural out there and see what is going on.
December 28, 2012 at 7:43pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
mikehansma
Selling now in a poor market is a mistake. Invest in new now while interest rates are good and sleep well at night knowing your hard earned money is going to bat for you
December 28, 2012 at 7:47pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
collettec
Just wanted to add - did the sellers know the foundation was cracked? You might be due some redress. Do get it checked out, that way you could have all the information as to whether it is worth it for you to spend the money and save the existing house or whether it would be more cost effective to build new. Lots of expenditures to consider, including demolition and haul away of the existing home, if you want to build, so do your research - but definitely find out about the essentials of the house structurally to make a decision and before spending more money on the finishes.
December 28, 2012 at 7:51pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
jagood
I also think you need to know the extent of the problems. It could be relatively minor fixes or major problems that present a danger to you and your family. intuitively I don't see how the fixes could exceed the cost of a new home, unless you are asking about the amount of equity you have in the home? And if you sell the normal route (i.e. don't just walk away from it) it will involve a home inspection and the next buyer won't be able to get a loan until the problems are fixed - so it will end up costing you anyway.
December 28, 2012 at 7:54pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
houssaon
Usually in a foreclosure, it is purchased as is. But it doesn't hurt to check, all know problems should have been disclosed. This is one reason to have a good inpector (not recommended by any real estate agent) check the place out before buying. Look into the costs of fixting the foundation, the rotten posts and
cosmetic issues. Compare that cost to building new.
December 28, 2012 at 7:59pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
collettec
Wanted to add another reason to get the foundation checked as soon as possible is because it can cause more problems structurally cumulatively if it is not remediated. Something that might be a minor problem, and easily fixed, could become a much larger one if not dealt with. That should be the first thing you do - everything else is secondary.
December 28, 2012 at 8:11pm     
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What color should I paint this small bedroom?
Main floor is getting painted next week. Mostly SW...
Redo Coastal Living Room
I have ordered a new white slipcovered sofa and two...
Boxwoods
Is it best to put boxwoods in the shade or sun? My...
Redoing kitchen for resale--white? Which granite?
We are putting our townhome up for sale. Kitchen is...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2014 Houzz Inc.
Houzz® The new way to design your home™