Need Help with Basement in Ohio - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on August 10, 2007 at 05:58:56:

You’re right, it’s probably harder to NOT find evidence of settling. In this case they say there are cracks & bowing. The buyer backed out of the contract on basis of inspection, they’re not looking for seller concessions. Even if there isn’t a problem there is now a report out there that says there is, which opens up a whole new world of liability issues.

It’s possible the engineer is looking for some money out of the deal. My plan is to contact him today & see what he has to say, then try to find a reputable contractor/engineer to give a second opinion. I was hoping someone here might be able to supply a reference.

Need Help with Basement in Ohio - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on August 09, 2007 at 06:52:05:

My Inlaws just moved down here to Alabama, they still own a home in Akron, Ohio. The home is listed with a Realtor at $140K, Tuesday they verbally accepted an offer for $133K, with paperwork to follow. Wednesday the home inspecter said there was evidence of settling in the partially finished basement. A structural engineer was called in, who also says there is evidence of settling. Based on this the buyer cancelled the contract. Because I’m an ex-contractor & full time RE investor the Inlaws now want my advice.

The whole time frame kind of smells, but we were faxed a report from the engineer Wednesday evening, so I guess it’s reasonably legit. The Inlaws had some work done in the basement a few years ago, reinforcing one of the walls & getting some waterproofing done. I’m wondering if the evidence of settling is from before the work was done. I will be calling the strcuctural engineer to see what they have to say.

Obviously, with this report on record the home will not sell without repairs or a substantial discount. I need the name of a reputable engineer that can assess the situation, perform the needed repairs & put it all in writing. It’s hard enough dealing with contractors in my own area, so I’m hoping someone from up there can point me in the right direction.

Here’s where I vent, so you can skip this paragraph. If they had followed my advice in the first place this wouldn’t be a long distance deal. The house was in decent shape, but they refused to list it in the spring during peak sales season because “it needed some work”. They spent money “fixing” things that didn’t need to be done, & spent a lot of time cleaning out the attic & basement storage. The net result was, by the time they got all that done they were ready to move. Instead of finding out they had a problem when they were in the area & able to do something about it, they found out about it when they were 800+ miles away.

Re: Need Help with Basement in Ohio - Posted by Rich-CA

Posted by Rich-CA on August 09, 2007 at 22:48:18:

How big and where are the cracks? I have rejected houses based on cracks that appears to run the width of the foundation simply because, as a long distance investor, I am not in a position to deal with foundation issues.

Re: Need Help with Basement in Ohio - Posted by richard

Posted by richard on August 09, 2007 at 20:07:31:

It is not to hard to find “evidence of settling” in ANY structure. What is their real issue? Is there a 3 inch drop in 10 feet on one corner? Is there danger of imminent collapse? Or are they just playing you?