When looking to buy or rent a home, there are some things that don’t require an engineering degree to figure out.
In these pictures notice the cracks in the basement wall on the inside, see the mold growing on the wall and the obvious cracks in the foundation on the outside. Take note that the tree outside is located right where the crack is on the inside. This is a good example why we should never plant large trees close to a foundation. (Click pictures for larger view.)
This home was built in the 1940’s. The original foundation is brick & mortar. At one time the foundation was resurfaced with another product over the original foundation. Now that resurfaced product is cracking on top of the original mortar that has obviously lost it’s integrity over the years.
With so many homes to choose from, there are times when a site inspection by a buyer or renter can eliminate a home from their list based on obvious structural issues like these. Once you find a home you really like, I always recommend an inspection by a licensed professional to find any less obvious problems.
NOTE: The house in these pictures was rented by a friend of mine who prioritized rental cost over structural warning signs. Unfortunately for her, the mold effected her so bad she had to break her lease and move out. She may have saved money on rent, but in the long run the cost of legal advice and moving twice ended up costing more. Don’t make the same mistake she did; heed the warning signs and get an inspection.