Texas Living

How to Inspect Your Home’s Foundation

By Alex Macon 10.30.20

Before you buy a house, you’ll want to know what you’re paying for. That means you check the home’s HVAC system, electricity and plumbing, windows and doors, and the structure itself. Perhaps most important, especially in a state where the shifting soil and fickle weather are notorious for wreaking havoc on foundations, you have to check what’s underneath.

It’s essential to know what you’re getting into when you buy a house. And the foundation is literally what everything else stands on. That’s why it’s critical for prospective homebuyers to identify problems before they occur. We asked a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent how to evaluate your home’s foundation and what to look out for.

Look for Telltale Signs of Shifting

There are some things you can check yourself. Cracks in the floorboards, jammed doors and windows, and sloping floors are all red flags that something may be wrong with your home’s foundation.

But you’ll want an expert opinion to know for sure, says Juancarlo Rendon, a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance agency manager in Hidalgo and Starr counties.

Hire an Inspector

“Get an independent inspector to go out there and look at the home’s foundation, or anything that might be wrong,” Rendon says. “If they see cracks in the brick or stucco, have a foundation specialist go out there and check it out just to make sure it’s not moving. A lot of people tend not to water their yards enough, and that drying of the ground can sink the foundation. Water too much and the same thing. You’ve got to find that sweet spot.”

A professional inspector is a beneficial investment, even if your mortgage company doesn’t require you to have one. They can determine whether there is a problem and the root cause behind damage or impending damage to the foundation.

“Maybe it’s that there’s concrete on both sides for a nice walkway, but it dried out the ground behind or near the house,” Rendon says. “Maybe it’s a huge oak tree, and it started pushing up on the foundation or sidewalk.”

Ask About a Warranty

If it’s a new home, ask the builders about a warranty that would cover possible future repairs to the foundation. That way, you won’t be left in the lurch if problems do arise.

Stay in Touch

It’s equally important to talk to your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent throughout the homebuying process and as you’re considering what coverage is right for you and your home.

“Not all policies are the same,” Rendon says. “Not all policies cover the same things. Have that conversation with your Agent and make sure you have an open line of communication with them, so we can make sure you have the coverage you need.”

Contact your local Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to start a conversation about homebuying. To get the ball rolling, here are eight property insurance questions you should ask before buying a house. Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation.

© 2020 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance