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Foundation Cracks

Discussion in 'General Appraisal Discussion' started by diane kountzman, Jul 26, 2005.

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  1. diane kountzman

    diane kountzman New Member

    0
    Jul 3, 2005
    :shrug: I've never posted before, but am addicted to this forum! Did a re-finance inspection a few weeks ago of what would have been an ordinary tract house. I say would have been , since it had a 1276 sq. ft. addition to the 1449 sq. ft. "main house." While waiting for the homeowner to get out of bed(yeah, he knew I was coming)I had plenty of time to explore the exterior of this creation. Along one side of the foundation there is a nasty looking horizontal foundation crack. It is about 6 ft. long, and has an open crack of about 8 in. in length, parts of the crack protrude approximately 1 in. from the wall. the crack has been patched, but doesn't make much difference----there were places where I was able to move the material, and could have torn it off. No, I did not. I asked the homeowner about the crack, but he just blew it off--said a former owner placed a wire too close to the surface. I tried to see the foundation from the inside, but there were too many "treasures" blocking my way. In the appraisal report, I included pictures of the crack, described it, and also recommended an inspection by a structural engineer. Well, you all probably know what happened next. The friendly LO caled to let us know that the home had already been re-financed a couple of times and nobody had ever mentioned a crack. I have not yet responded, but don't feel that I should modify the report. Anyone else deal with horizontal foundation cracks? Even if you haven't, I'd love the feedback! Thanks!
     
  2. Scott Kibler

    Scott Kibler Elite Member

    18
    Oct 7, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Illinois
    Horizontal cracking with 1 inch displacement sounds pretty ominous. I wouldn't change the report.
     
  3. TEL2002

    TEL2002 Elite Member

    2
    Jan 16, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Retired Appraiser
    State:
    Louisiana
    Dear LO, maybe it was a new crack. If not, maybe you should not send any more work to those previous appraisers, sounds like they might be incompetent or is that incontinent.
     
  4. Randolph Kinney

    Randolph Kinney Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    32
    Apr 7, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    One like this (see attached)? It runs more than 10 feet and turns a corner, with settlement fractures inside the house on the sliding door frame, ceiling, other places. Did I include these photographs in my report? :yellowblack:
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2006
  5. Randolph Kinney

    Randolph Kinney Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    32
    Apr 7, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    more crack photos
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2006
  6. Randolph Kinney

    Randolph Kinney Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    32
    Apr 7, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    turning the corner crack ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2006
  7. Ryan Nyberg

    Ryan Nyberg Senior Member

    0
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
    State:
    Washington
    TE's Response is good. Just tell em maybe it is a new crack. Tell them this since it was refied before with no mention of the crack. Say well those appraisers were "probably" competent. Since I know appraisers would not like to take the liability for structural and safety issues. Thus, this must be a new crack. Unless the HO has proof from prior appraisals and/or old home inspections.

    For what it is worth. Don't know the property or surrounding properties slope. But when I first started appraising. I did a 1/bsmnt house. There was a crack in the slab about 1-2" wide. I noted it and required an engineers inspection. The deal fell through the LO and HO were mad at me. Well 8 months later the house and subdivision went completly down the hill side. Learned from that one that never ever ignore possible structural problems.
     
  8. Randolph Kinney

    Randolph Kinney Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    32
    Apr 7, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Diane, one thing I did was call the MB and explain what I found before I wrote the report. I told him that he should called the UW of the lending company and ask them if they would take an appraisal "as-is" with a cracked foundation with a cost to cure estimate and a recommendation of a structural engineering inspection or a 442 "subject to" condition after the foundation problem was corrected.
     
  9. David Wimpelberg

    David Wimpelberg Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    29
    Mar 30, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    New York
    Horizontal cracks can be real serious...I would definitely recommend that a structural engineer look at it. I would not give my own cost-to-cure estimate; I would rely on an engineer and/or contractor for that one and state so. It could involve not only fixing that crack, but major work on the ground surrounding the home.
     
  10. Robert Dunkle

    Robert Dunkle Senior Member

    0
    Jan 17, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Call for the structural engineer's report and, only then talk about "cost to cure".

    I just finished a commercial report that the building needed over $30,000 in repairs, even though the cracks really didn't LOOK too bad. Unless you want to repair it, don't let anyone talk you out of a structural report.
     
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