With all the things that could go wrong in Real Estate this may have been the easiest problem to fix.
This buyer looked at just about every 4 bedroom home available in the local market in Milwaukee priced at her price range. She finally chose a large moderately priced home. Of course there were a few needed improvements. This was a foreclosure at a real great price. We looked over the house, but didn’t find any major defects.
A few days after the offer was accepted we met the Buyer’s inspector at the home. The Inspector pointed out a few minor items and explained the importance of maintenance to the Buyer. When we walked into the basement the Home Inspector pointed out one wall that had shifted. The entire wall moved about an inch from the bottom layer of blocks held by the concrete floor.
Usually a wall will show a noticeable bow, and/or cracks, both signs of possible foundation problems. In this particular case, the entire wall remained straight, had no cracks, but shifted as a whole. Never saw this before or after. The Buyer called in a Foundation Engineer to look over the entire basement. The problem appeared to be isolated. The Foundation Engineer recommended vertical steel supports along the entire wall, and a sump pump. We forwarded the Foundation Engineer’s report to the Listing Agent, who sent it to the asset manager for the seller. The Seller agreed to complete the repairs on an Amendment. The supports and sump pump were added and we closed on time.
The theme of the story is, an extra set of trained eyes can avoid the situation of finding problems after the purchase is complete. Inspections are not required, but always suggested. When major problems show up, always consult with the proper State Licensed expert in the field.