A property's drainage condition is often an afterthought when buying a home. The truth is, most home buyers do not even know what to look for. If the landscaping looks good then we are ok, right? Wrong!
Standing water issues can persist anywhere from a day to over a week. So unless you are observing your potential home while minding the weather, drainage is an easy, yet expensive, oversight. If you want to stay ahead of the game in your home-buying pursuit, keep the following in mind while your tour [or virtual tour] your potential dream home:
Ask. Specifically, ask the seller if they have any drainage system(s) installed in their yard. Sellers do not have to disclose if a yard has drainage issues so do not rely solely on this information.
Observe the front and back yard. We're looking for areas with standing water, areas with dead/ brown grass (this could also be fungal), substantial dips in the yard.
Observe the foundation of the house. Walk around the perimeter of the home observing the foundation. Look to see if the dirt adjacent to the foundation is sloping AWAY from the foundation. Look for cracking in the foundation. Drainage issues can cause serious and expensive structural issues and/ or expensive mold damage. Note: Grading issues/ grading not being done right in the first place is our customer's number one cause of drainage issues.
Observe the gutters/ down spouts. Are the downspouts on the gutters just hanging or routed to the ground. Look for a low spot underneath the downspout's exit. That shows that water often accumulates there and this will be a future issue for you.
What to do if you spot drainage issues or still are not convinced?
Request a free estimate from a professional. Contact Louisiana Drainage Service for a FREE estimate. Inform the seller you are obtaining an estimate in aid in your decision on the home.
Negotiate the cost of drainage. Many sellers will completely cover or split the cost of drainage installation in order to get their home sold. Some sellers will reduce the purchase price to cover the cost.
Be willing to walk away. If the necessary drainage system is too costly and the seller refuses to negotiate the house may just not be worth it… The home may already have suffered structural damages due to an unreasonable, negligent owner. If the seller will not negotiate the cost of drainage be willing to walk away.
Being an informed buyer will save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in the long scheme of things. Don't let your home's drainage be an afterthought. Contact a professional today!