Winston-Salem, NC - June 16th, 2014
Real estate transactions today generally include an inspection by a licensed home inspector, hired by a prospective buyer, to identify potential defects in a home. Buyers want to know what they are getting when they make what might be their biggest lifetime investment. Home inspectors are required to inspect as much of a home as is accessible and safe. Some crawlspaces may seem inaccessible to some inspectors, so they might issue qualifying statements regarding the required inspection ie; “Crawlspace is not accessible, appears to be in satisfactory condition as viewed through a foundation vent.” If that happens, what real assurance does the buyer have that the crawlspace is truly trouble free?
Let’s say the home inspector does indeed provide a full inspection of the crawlspace and finds problems like mold on the floor framing, standing water, rotting floor joists, and girders? At least now the prospective buyer becomes aware of what they might be buying. Or not buying. Obviously, problems like these can be costly to remedy. And what might be lurking in those crawlspaces that weren’t entirely inspected?
Homeowners with dirt crawlspaces should be proactive regarding their crawlspaces by understanding the damaging effect water and moisture can have on all the wood that makes up a home; primarily the floor system. By being proactive and open-minded, homeowners can identify potential problems in crawlspaces and contact experts to correct them. It seems that few things in our economy actually decrease in cost as time goes by, so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that correcting the problems today will cost less than correcting them next year. But, many homeowners will tell themselves that they’ll pay to correct the problem when they sell the house.
When such a homeowner waits until the house is placed on the market, the problem is magnified because it can no longer be put off. The listing real estate agent may not even be aware of the problem when pricing the house, so expectations are unrealistic. Once the word gets around that such a home has crawlspace problems, potential buyers will be much less willing to even look at the house.
Real estate agents need to be very proactive when they list a home with a dirt floor, vented crawlspace because these type crawlspaces can be full of home value decreasing problems. The marketplace today offers good solutions for fixing these crawlspace problems, but with all services, there are “cut-rate” solutions and “value” solutions. Since a home is likely someone’s biggest and most valuable asset, it makes sense to protect it with a “value” ssolution is transferable between owners and is warranted by a company that is more likely to still be operating through the life of the warranty.