Subjective Tolerance Levels

First, the good news:  assuming the house is a couple of decades old (or older!), the settling is very likely historic.

So, for a home that was built in say, 1925, the settling likely occurred (and stopped) by 1927.

The bad news?

It’s (very) hard to correct.

It’s possible to use floor jacks ” but those risk doing severe damage.

Repairing a foundation, meanwhile, can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and even then there’s no guaranty.

“Settling for Settling”

Instead, I tell my Buyer clients to decide whether the settling is something they can live with.

Practically, if they notice settled floors immediately upon entering a home (vs. my pointing them out) . . . I recommend they keep looking.

P.S.: pronounced settling can also be relevant if the home is a prospective tear-down.

That’s because settling suggests soft(er) soil, a high water table, or some other condition which can require pilings to correct.

That adds to the construction cost ” and subtracts from the lot’s value.

See also, “How to Tell That a Home Has Pronounced Settling Without Going Inside”; and “House Problems That Will Never Be Fixed.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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