Water + Agents + Buyers/Sellers x How To Handle a Faulty Foundation = Kapowich "Market Wise" Q&A in San Jose Mercury News


Pat Kapowich for the Pulitzer Prize Winning San Jose Mercury News, (SJMN). Look for Pat's "Market Wise" Q&A advice column in a Bay Area News Group newspaper near you, and in the SJMN on the first and third Sunday.

Q: We are thinking about buying a house that has sold twice and each time the buyers backed out. The listing agent tells our agent that if it does not sell soon, the seller will take it off the market and make repairs. According to the listing agent, the seller will shore up the one section of the foundation and put the home back on the market. However, our agent showed us how all the roofing downspouts dump rainwater next to the house. He said "shoring up" one section of a foundation on an 80-year-old house with these rainwater conditions sounds fishy. The basement door is padlocked, and no key is at the property. Is the seller hiding something?


A: One cannot hide a MLS Transaction Fell Through (TFT), let alone two. Nor can this seller deny, that thousands of gallons of rainwater have been dumped adjacent to the home's foundation. Hiding in plain sight is the worse unspoken problem in residential real estate: the downspout.




This avoidable root source of wintertime soil expansion and summertime settlement via excessive water abutting a concrete perimeter is an expensive folly. Lest we forget, nowadays the ground a home sits upon is properly engineered and prepared before a foundation is built and rainwater is directed away from the foundation.

Ask once and then ask twice for all new and old the written reports and inspections on the property. Simultaneously, get a basement key. Have your agent suggest a foundation expert you all can meet with on site. If that is not possible, have a conference call with the foundation expert. He or she can give you a ballpark number based past foundation work on homes this size, age, city permit costs, timelines and even soil condition based on the neighborhood.


Now, the other two buyers might have been scared off by the expense of a foundation redo. However, if you have the means to rebuild a foundation under a wonderful home, in a nice neighbor where you will live for many years, let their lost be your gain.

Sunday, January 22, 2017 San Jose Mercury News and Bay Area News Group

Pat Kapowich is a full-service Realtor® representing first-time buyers to re-sizing sellers.  Take a class with Pat at De Anza College or contact him a (408) 245-7700 and Pat@SiliconValleyBroker.com


Pat Kapowich, Realtor®

A Trusted Name in Real Estate since 1988.




 Tell your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues about my Saturday morning

De Anza College classes:

Real Estate: What Buyers Need to Know ~ ID: 4291

Astute negotiators have one thing in common; they go out of their way to gather information on all aspects of a transaction prior to entering into a legally binding contract. In this spirited 3-hour class you’ll learn:

Negotiating & Issue Spotting

Hiring Agents & Inspectors

Why Contingencies Work

Inspections, Reports & Repairs

State of the Art Transactions from A to Z

Guest speaker, Vinod Nichani, will accompany Pat Kapowich. Vinod is a former Silicon Valley Realtor® who became an attorney. He’ll bring his expertise avoiding pitfalls in real estate transactions, ownership, and escrow

Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:00AM to 1200PM

Sign up @ De Anza College http://bit.ly/2ikRd8T

Retirement Living Options ~ Stay at home or down-size and move on?     ID: 4289:

This is a rare opportunity to exam the various living options that are available to older adults and their families with a local real estate legend. Pat Kapowich writes the San Jose Mercury News column, “Market Wise,” and served as the chairman for the Education Committee of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors. Professional guest speaker(s) will accompany Pat.

   Adult Day Care

   In-home Care

   Reverse Mortgage

   Age Restricted Apartment Rental Community

   Age Restricted Buy-In Community

   Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

   Assisted Living (Board and Care)

   Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)

   Memory Care

   Caregiver stress, down-sizing and financial decisions

Saturday, February 11, 2017 9:00AM to 1200PM

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Best Regards,

Pat Kapowich, Realtor® 

(408) 245-7700

Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB)

Accredited Buyer’s Representative® (ABR)

Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

Graduate, Realtors® Institute (GRI)

Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES)

California Real Estate Broker License (CalBRE)

A Trusted Name in Real Estate since 1988.



Broker Lic. #00979413

Kapowich Real Estate