If you are buying or selling a house that could have foundation issues, you might need to take some extra steps to ensure that you are not being taken advantage of.  If you are selling a property with foundation issues, know that you will not be able to hide these from a prospective buyer, nor should you. A good home inspector will spend a good deal of time making sure that the foundation of your home is in good condition. Failing to disclose could lead to a deal falling apart. Additionally, even if you do manage to conceal the damage, if it later becomes evident that you were duplicitous during the sale, you could end up financially liable or at the receiving end of a nasty law suit.

Depending on the extent of damage to the foundation you could be looking at a relatively small bill of a few thousand dollars, or a massive bill approaching the value of the home. One of the most important factors will be the cause of the damage done to the foundation. If it has been caused by something like drainage issues then you can likely address the problem relatively easily. However, there are soil or geological issues, then you could unfortunately end up in a situation where the entire property loses its value.

If you are looking to purchase a property and you discover that it has foundation issues, keep in mind that your loan may need to be reevaluated. Some lenders, particularly those which are through the government will be reluctant or unwilling to finance the purchase of a property with major structural damage. Make sure that your home inspector does full diligence on his investigation, and that if any foundation problems are discovered, you do the research on them. If there are small issues, it might be possible for you to go through with the sale. However, if you discover that there are major structural issues with the house, it may just be best to let it go.

Finally, there are some mitigating circumstances where the foundation may not be a huge deal. For example, property with a large amount of value in the land will be less affected by the foundation issues. Because so much of the value is in the land rather than the house, the property may be worth investing in, with the goal of rebuilding a better structure with appropriate compensation for any underlying geological issues.