FAQ: What To Look For In A Basement When Buying A House?

What to Look For In the Basement When Buying a House

  • Cracks in the Foundation or Other Structural Problems.
  • DIY work by the Homeowners.
  • Stains on the Basement Walls or Ceiling.
  • Fresh Paint on the Basement Walls.
  • Poor Drainage and Grading System.
  • Check the Height of the Ceiling.
  • Ductwork for Heating and Cooling Systems.


Although there are many things to look out for when buying a house, it is particularly important to pay attention to any red flags you might come across in the basement. This is because basement problems tend to be associated with water leakage and damage.

Is it bad to buy a house with a basement?

Get a Great Deal A house with a finished basement will sell for a higher price than a comparable home with an unfinished basement. If most homes for sale in the area have finished basements, the seller of a property with an unfinished basement may even be willing to accept less than the asking price.

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Should I buy a house with water in the basement?

The advantage to buying a home with a wet basement is the opportunity to negotiate a bargain price. In the current housing market, 40% of previously owned homes already have at least one serious defect; basement water is among the easiest of these defects to repair.

Is water in the basement a deal breaker?

To be clear, a damp basement isn’t an automatic deal breaker. Just one downspout placed in the wrong location, next to the basement, can cause water to come in.” If the basement will stay dry with gutters, well-placed downspouts, or grading, it’s not a deal breaker—it’s something you can negotiate with the seller.

Does water in basement affect appraisal?

And academic studies show that past flooding events can drop a home’s value by 15% or more. However, it’s one scenario to have a basement that flooded with a foot of water due to a big storm or hurricane, and another when the unfinished portion gets a little damp during certain times of year.

Can any basement be waterproofed?

So when it’s time to waterproof your basement, it is important to look outside of your basement walls. Once all the soil around the foundation has been removed, a waterproof sealant can be applied to the exterior walls. This sealant is a typically a polymer base, which should last for the life of the building.

What are the pros and cons of having a basement?

Pros and Cons of Basements

  • Pro – extra space for working and playing.
  • Con – extra costs for construction and renovation.
  • Pro – more storage.
  • Con – moisture.
  • Pro – repairs are easier.
  • Con – little natural light.
  • Pro – provides emergency shelter.
  • Con – attracts pests.
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How serious is a wet basement?

There are many dangers of wet basements such as deteriorating the overall structure and foundation of your home, contributing to hazardous mold growth, damaging your furniture and personal belongings and other unpleasant issues. These issues can ultimately affect air quality and your health.

What percentage of basements leak?

The American Society of Home Inspectors has some pretty surprising statistics about wet basements: Most new homes will develop a leak somewhere in the basement within 10 to 15 years of being built. Over 60 percent of basements in existing homes have a moisture problem.

Why does my basement get wet when it rains?

The most common causes of basement leaks is pressure created by water in the soil surrounding the foundation. During periods of heavy or persistent rain, the soil can become saturated, creating hydrostatic pressure (or water pressure) that can push moisture and water through your basement walls and floor.

Should I avoid buying a house with a sump pump?

While you might think it’s best to avoid buying a house with a sump pump, the little mechanism in the basement floor does a big job. Both factors contribute to basement flooding in Chicago homes. Sump pumps help control water damage downstairs.

Is it hard to sell a house without a basement?

In regions where homes with basements are common, having a basement can ease a home sale. A home without a basement in a neighborhood where a number of homes have them might not sell as quickly. Owners of homes built without basements might consider adding a recreation room or additional closet space to compensate.

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Is water in crawl space a deal breaker?

Finding water in the crawl space is fairly common. While it will cost money to fix the issue, it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.

What should I do if I get water in my basement?

If your basement is only partially flooded, you can suck up standing water using a wet-dry vacuum. Otherwise, you’ll need to call in a plumber or a disaster mitigation specialist to pump the water out. After pumping the basement, it may be necessary to run a dehumidifier to help dry out the area.

Does water damage affect appraisal?

Water damage is no joke. Water damage also affects the appraisal value of your home, so if you’re thinking about getting the equity you’ve earned on your property, you may want to learn more about leaks.

How much does it cost to waterproof basement walls?

Average Cost to Waterproof a Basement Per square foot, the average cost is $3 to $10. For minor fixes, costs can be as low as around $600, while at the same time extensive and involved waterproofing jobs can set some homeowners back by as much as $10,000.

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