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Cracks in a House. Should I Worry?

Cracks in Walls
In the Beginning

My clients and I are walking through a home that is high on their list of favorites. Maintenance is up to date and it is obvious that the sellers take care of their property. As we go from room to room, they are very happy about what they are seeing. Large bedrooms, an open concept for the living area and a little outdated. They are looking for a home to renovate, but not one that will require a major remodel. Most of the renovations at this point will be cosmetic.

As we move through each room, they are starting to wonder about the cracks they see in some areas. There is also a section between the living room and kitchen that has a soft spot in the floor. I see them exchanging worried looks. Hmm, are they are losing their initial excitement about the house? So, I ask…”are you two worried about the foundation for this home?”

The Conversation

Smiles appear on their faces. “Yes!” they both exclaim at the same time. “Thank you for asking.” They were afraid to voice their concerns. I smiled back and we began to talk about what the cracks in a house might mean.

  1. Cracks in the wall: This can be due to a foundation issue, but it can also be due to a house settling over the course of time. Possibly a minor problem, although one that we can easily find out the answer to.
  2. A soft spot in the floor: This is a little more concerning. We shouldn’t be feeling any soft spots.

My recommendation is that we have a foundation expert come in and take a look under the house to see what’s going on. Having a foundation expert visit is not usually expensive. Most companies will send out someone for a free inspection. What can get up there in $ figures are the costs for repairs, if there is a major issue. Therefore, let’s check this out!

The Inspection

We set up the inspection and meet our inspector. He’s under the home for about 30 minutes and he also walks around the home taking measurements. When he is finished, he has a drawing of the floor plan for us to see. As we review the floor plan, he takes us through each room that they have a concern about. Most of the cracks are due to settling he says. He is not worried about them and tells us that a good drywall person should be able to fix them fairly easily.

But, what about the soft spot? Well, he says, “that is more of a concern.” “You have a cracked main support beam and that definitely needs to be repaired.” He provides an estimate for the repair and we thank him for his time and effort.

Even with this report, they still love the property and decide that they want to make an offer.

The End

In the end, the seller agrees to repair the main support beam as part of their purchase agreement.

As you can see, cracks in a house are not always something to worry about. The best option for anyone who is concerned about cracks in the home they wish to buy, is to have a foundation expert come out. In many cases, cracks are not uncommon, especially in older homes. To ease your mind, it is important to have an expert out to provide you with the information you need to make a decision on the property you want to buy. If the issue is severe, it’s always best to know what the problem is and what the solution will be before you make that final decision.

Picture of Carolyn Shipp

Carolyn Shipp

Real estate has been my passion since I was in my 20's. I hold licenses in two states; Florida and Texas. I love helping people buy and sell their properties and I'm excited to help you find your dream property too. When you are ready, give me a call or send me a message! I look forward to hearing from you soon.


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