Please help! Big decision!

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Active Member
Aug 4, 2020
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Hi all,

brand new here! I am considering buying a family members house. It has been disclosed that in the basement when it rains there is leakage. I am unsure I want an inspection at this time. What do you guys think of this?


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These are the picture in a small room in the basement. The house is brick. It is about 75 years old
Gotta ask yourself why the owner hasn't addressed this (too expensive)?
Get an inspection with emphasis on this or get professional opinion on just this.
Personally, I'd walk away and keep looking.
I know the owner just wanted to sell as is and move on. No quote or interest in getting it fixed. Does it look that bad?
It shouldn't be expensive to have an engineer come look as long as he doesn't have to write a report or scope of work. It'd be money well spent for piece of mind. A couple hundred could save you multiple thousands.
That’s true. I am a bit nervous to say the least this would be my first house ever. It definitely needs repairs I just wouldn’t know how serious this is especially if water is leaking through it. There are cracks all throughout the house and ceilings.
Unless you can buy this for just the price of the land, or have really deep pockets most likely I'd pass.
Really hard to say without being there to look it over in person.
The foundation, and the roof are two of the most important parts of a home, if there bad all else will fail.
Would we be reading this if it belonged to a stranger across town? If the only reason you're giving it a chance is because it's Grandma's old house you love, then I get it, but at what point can you separate those emotions and look at the damage independently?

Sounds like it's Earthquake damage? I don't think of that with Ohio, at least not big enough to do that kind of damage.

I would have to see it, but I can't help but think of the House Horror flick "Money Pit"

Good Luck, and welcome to the board.
You need an inspection from a basment contractor not a home inspector. To me that looks very bad.
It may be just the parging (skim coat over the foundation) deteriorating. Inspection can tell you if it's the actual foundation. If just the parging, that can be fixed but the water issue would need to be addressed. Get it cheap and be prepared for a lot of work.
Yes, get at least three quotes from foundation repair or basement waterproofing companies.

Or structural engineer inspection.

However, they may not deal with you, since you are not the owner, the owner will probably have to arrange for these quotes, or any other types of inspections.
Do you know if it's concrete blocks (cinder blocks) under the skim coat? Usually the cracks follow the seams in the blocks. But not the case here.....hmmmm.

As a first-time homeowner you would be diving into the deep end on this one. Hope you can learn to swim in a hurry.:good luck:
Here is what I would do:

Plan to replace the foundation, and fixing the drainage issues outside. I would probably expect to put in a tile/french drain around the perimeter and also change the slope of the yard of the house. If water comes in when it rains then you ALREADY have a major drainage problem that has to be fixed, and you have already provided the images of what the water damage has done. So it's not a question of how bad is it. It's a question of what it's going to take to fix the water issue, and the damage. It's entirely possible just fixing the water issue will resolve the problem and the house maybe fine for another 75 years. Also think about this. If you buy it live in it and its fine but then you go to sell it. What do you think the next guy is going to say when he sees that..... yup he is either going to walk away or ask for a price to fix it..... So you do it now or your stuck with the same plan later.

Your asking price should include the above as part of the plan. Work with your financier to create a plan to do the above and you can make it happen. If you can't get the finances in line with the expected plan then walk away. If you can do some/most of the labor yourself that should be "gravy" in your financial plan NOT the expected requirement. Things happen. You might get a new job... might hurt your back... etc. But if your financial plan includes the expectation of getting the work done then at least you'll have a roof over your head when the unexpected happens. We are all capable of amazing things under perfect conditions but having a clear plan that works even if you can't is where people get themselves into deep, deep trouble.

If you flinch at any of that walk away. WALK AWAY. If all of it sounds like fun. You can handle a lot of stress, physical labor, getting filthy dirty, and talking finances at the same time. Then you'll probably survive it.