Let’s start by stating the obvious…
Crawl spaces suck. They are dirty, wet and filled with spiders, snakes and creepy crawly things that you’d rather never see (that’s why you never go under your house!). Indeed, it’s quite likely that the last time you’ve seen or even thought about your crawl space is when you purchased the home and saw pictures of it on the home inspection.
Believe it or not…
This is common – even when there are known issues! Here’s a common scenario:
When buying your home, the inspector noted how terrible the conditions were in the crawl space. From there, your Realtor got pricing to fix the mess along with all the other leaks, cracks, and things not working. You went back to the seller with a request to fix it or, better yet, discount the price of the home in lieu of repairing it. It was no big surprise that the seller didn’t want to fix it either and gave up a few thousand bucks to convince you to buy the home.
Congrats, you are a new homeowner with money in your pocket to knock out that punch list of repairs. But what do you do? Head to Lowes, buy some planter boxes, paint the front door and begin looking at how to remodel your kitchen.
Crawl space? What crawl space?
Here’s where the haunting comes in…
Fast forward 7 years later. Now you are ready to collect on your hard-earned equity and you put your home on the market. You get a great offer, and you accept. Then the pain begins. The buyer gets a home inspection and – guess what? Yep, your crawl space is in even worse condition than it was 7 years ago and the buyer is asking for big money to fix it. Wood rot, saturated ductwork, mold and more await the next buyer if you don’t pony up.
More than money.
It’s not just the money you have to fork out; buyers have a tendency to get cold feet when they are faced with big issues that are hard to solve and not in their realm of understanding. The more dings on that inspection list, the more likely your buyer walks completely. And the next buyer will have the exact same issues.
Stop kicking the can down the road.
If you’re about to list your home, get your home inspected and repair crawl space issues before putting the FOR SALE sign on the lawn.
If you’ve just purchased a home and received a credit in lieu of crawl space repairs, take care of the repairs immediately (and resist the temptation to buy that 70″ 8k TV that just went on sale!)
And if you simply haven’t been in your crawl space for a while, take a look! If needed, have a professional take a look.
No matter where you are in your homeownership journey, a healthy crawl space will save you time and money and preserve the value of your largest investment for years to come.