When purchasing a home, you generally need to make some compromises. You might not be able to get the exact layout that you want, or you may need to choose a school district that has slightly lower rankings in the area. Right now, neither of these is your concern. Instead, you’re trying to decide if you should purchase a house with a wet basement.
Inspection and Appraisal
While you will generally make the final choice as to whether or not you want to purchase the house, this decision is not yours alone. During the inspection, it might be determined that the house is not up to code because of the wet basement. You don’t want to be held responsible for this damage when you didn’t create it in the first place. Additionally, the appraisal value of the house, because of the basement, could drop significantly. If you do go through with the purchase, you want to account for that in your offer.
The Source of the Water
Whether or not you should buy this house also depends upon where the water is coming from. Let’s say that the water damage was caused by a major hurricane that is fairly typical for the area or high tide from the ocean which is just down the street. If the problem is persistent in the region, you are likely going to need basement waterproofing at some point. On the other hand, if the basement is wet because a pipe burst that has now been repaired, the chances of it happening again are lower.
Mold and Mildew
One of the larger problems that comes from a wet basement is the attachment of mold and mildew to the area. In order for the basement to be a safe place for you, your family and your pets to relax, you would need mold remediation services. Don’t think that you’ll just wash off the mold to make it disappear. Often, with mold, even after you have cleaned it up, it just finds a away to grow back. This problem could be a persistent and recurring one.
Serious Damage to the Foundation
Water damage comes in many different levels. It might be a minor issue that you can repair with one service, or it could have already caused major damage elsewhere in the house. After so many episodes of water abuse, the foundation of the house could start to suffer. Any wood in the area will likely begin to rot. As a result, you could be dealing with extensive foundation cracks and basement cracks. These problems could cost you a lot of money, and they can certainly render the house unsafe to live in before they are repaired.
Check for Dampness
So far, we have discussed issues with a decisively wet basement. However, it is also possible that the basement has been wet many times, and the owners cleaned it up before showing the house. Know what the signs of past water damage are and how to spot them. Rotted wood, mold and mildew are three major signs. You should also see if the basement has a musty smell to it. You may even see water stains. These are serious symbols that water damage has happened before in the basement and that it very well may occur again.
To Buy or Not To Buy
Ultimately, the question still remains as to whether or not you should purchase this property. You need to evaluate all of the factors above and decide if you are comfortable living with them. You also need to consider the serious health risks of mold and mildew and the safety risks of a house with substantial water damage. Think about how long you want to wait to move into the house and if you are willing to temporarily live somewhere else while the water damage is handled. Looking into the future and how likely such problems are to happen again will also help you to make this important choice.
Whether you buy the house or not, all of this information is important for you to know since you are a potential buyer out there in the market. Having an eye for details when it comes to water damage can save you a lot in money and aggravation.