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Old 03-29-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
Chrom3
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Default Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

My wife and I want to take the plunge and purchase a new house. This is a bank owned foreclosure. The interior and everything are perfect for us and a growing family. The home is built in 2001.

Here is the link.
http://www.trulia.com/property/photo...R-97103#item-0

My main question, is basically foundation/construction which I know very very little about. As you can see at the base of the house there is what appears to be cinder blocks, or some sort of building block. As far as I can tell it has french drains under the house. But people are telling me the house is going to fall down and not be structurally sound, because of the base building blocks. I do not want to get into a lemon or anything. Can anyone tell me anything about the negatives and positives of this foundation style. My very upset and let down wife appreciates any help

Thanks,
Mitch


Last edited by Chrom3; 03-29-2012 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:35 PM   #2
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

I'm no expert here but if it was new construction in 2001 then there should be a footing under the blocks. Was there permits and inspections? I thought that if they used blocks for foundation that they had to be filled with concrete. Like I said I'm no expert but I would have the house inspected & see what the deal is.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

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Ttt

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Back in the ealry 1900's they made foundations out of field stone, and they're still standing. I'm sure this house will be fine for many years to come. But again, I'm no expert, the only really way to tell is have a reputable home or foundation inspector check it out.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

I'm sure the house was built to code and inspected, plus it's a pretty new and modern home. Frequently they're built this way for esthetics, rather than a flat concrete foundation wall. Can't believe there is any issue with it at all. I had a house that was built in 1994 in Eugene with those same blocks used to construct the foundation and daylight basement, and there was never any issue at all. There can't be much difference from a solid concrete foundation, which incidently, can crack and settle also.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

Seen varied styles. i do like the cinder block look however and wouldn't think twice about it once inspected
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

Hire a good, reputable home inspector before you make the most expensive purchase of your life.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Hire a good, reputable home inspector before you make the most expensive purchase of your life.
Good advice no matter what the foundation is constructed of.

From the photo the foundation looks to be constructed of CMU blocks. Perfectly fine if they are setting on a proper footing, reinforced by rebar, and then concrete filled. We have homes here in Vernonia that have been raised by several feet using CMU block after the 2007 flood.

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Old 03-29-2012, 02:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

check for HOA or C&R rules that may hinder your hobbies
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrom3 View Post
My wife and I want to take the plunge and purchase a new house. This is a bank owned foreclosure. The interior and everything are perfect for us and a growing family. The home is built in 2001.

Here is the link.
http://www.trulia.com/property/photo...R-97103#item-0

My main question, is basically foundation/construction which I know very very little about. As you can see at the base of the house there is what appears to be cinder blocks, or some sort of building block. As far as I can tell it has french drains under the house. But people are telling me the house is going to fall down and not be structurally sound, because of the base building blocks. I do not want to get into a lemon or anything. Can anyone tell me anything about the negatives and positives of this foundation style. My very upset and let down wife appreciates any help

Thanks,
Mitch

contact the local building department and ask for a copy of the permit if available. this will ensure that inspections were completed and passed.

have the house inspected from a licsenced inspector.(cheap insurance, and peace of mind)

CMU blocks only need to be filled with concrete every 4 feet were the vertical rebar/tie downs are located and with in the horizontal bond beam (foundations under 4 feet).

Even the untrained eye will be able to see any major issues with CMU blocks (uneven, or no grout lines, holes in blocks)

the only thing that sticks out in the pictures would be not enough vent blocks. that could be addressed with a screened (not solid) access cover.
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:43 PM   #11
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

I agree on getting a good licensed inspector - the issue is finding a good one. I know the person that inspected my house for the buyers - I would not say he was very good - At least I would have asked other questions and made it up on the roof

The other thing to look at is the sewer lines. Most people have them inspected for breakage or root invasion. Because when you sell - the buyers will want it inspected.

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have the house inspected from a licsenced inspector.(cheap insurance, and peace of mind)
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

Who is saying the house is going to fall down and is not structurely sound? If it is your know it all brother in law, consider the source. I don't think a competent home inspector would say that. Foundations must be inspected and signed off. Records are kept with the county. The house looks real nice and I like the look of the foundation. Good luck!
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:26 PM   #13
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Thank you all! I am going to go to the building and planning and check in.

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Old 03-30-2012, 06:38 AM   #14
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

All the info above is great advice. Absolutely get a home inspection. Also keep in mind that since it's a bank owned home, more than likely the bank is not going to do any repairs. There are loans out there that provide for escrow hold backs should a repair be required to fund the loan. Contact a reputable lender for more info. I'm sure Fishbait can help you out.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:47 AM   #15
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

I build large commercial and have done alot of residential, CMU foundations are not that rare and hold up just fine. Unless this house was built without a permit, it should be structurally sound.

Looks like a nice house, not the highest level of interior finishes.. Although I don't like the look of Vynl siding, it does hold up well if it was quality when purchased. The windows all look to vynl and should be energy efficent. Being built in 2001 you will have should have good wiring and plumbing (major issue in old houses if they haven't been upgraded)


Get an inspector to look at the bones, but over all if you like it, it should be a good house.

The best advice I can give you is, don't listen to non professionals when it comes to building advice or structural items. Every brothers cousins uncle by marriage is an expert, but unless you actually get into the nuts and bolts of it. Mostly its all just opinions based on feelings and folk stories. I deal with people all of the time who's neighbor did it this way for way cheaper and could do it themselves.. At the end of the day, I still end up doing it or going in and cleaning up after the low bid guy fails.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:57 PM   #16
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

What the others said... get a GOOD professional home inspection. If the inspector recommends having an engineer or prof. foundation contractor look at it, consider it.

My general feeling on foreclosures is while many are good homes that the owner maybe regretted losing, others are lemons that the sellers were happy to walk away from.

As a general rule, banks don't want to know anything about mold ('coloration' as some call it.). So the due diligence is all on you... don't take shortcuts.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:01 PM   #17
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

I am a Home Inspector In the Beaverton area, Pm me your number and I will give you a call and we can talk about your concerns.

Mike
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

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I am a Home Inspector In the Beaverton area, Pm me your number and I will give you a call and we can talk about your concerns.

Mike

That is top notch Mike Now that is what Ifish is all about.
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:38 AM   #19
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Thank you everyone. I really appreciate it!

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Old 04-01-2012, 07:06 AM   #20
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

If you want advice on a purchasing with a homepath or 203k construction loan, contact me as we just went through the process buying a home and can help you with the nuances of the process. They are great programs but you better have experts working with you that are very familiar with program. They are very very complicated and require a lot of communication among all parties involve. We did everything perfectly and still had some pretty large hurdles to overcome in the process...again if you want advice from someone who has been thru it dont hesitate to contact me....

Good luck and definitly contact.mike iwannafish and steve fishbait they are experts in their respective fields
John
503.515.1036
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:07 PM   #21
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Default Re: Looking at purchasing a new home. A few questions.

Go to the county or local jurisdiction where the structure was built and do a record search - this will tell you what type of foundation, also was it even a permitted structure- if you cannot find a building permit for the structure then make the seller produce the proper documents and hire an expert in the field.

If no record can be found then walk away unless they are willing to give an warranty.

Not a wanna be inspector- find someone who is an expert they do exist- Have done a lot of inspections in my time and am an ICC certified inspector.
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