Pyrrhotite Problems? Dealing with your crumbling foundation home.
So what exactly do you do when your foundation starts falling apart? Yes, this is a real problem. Many homeowners in northeastern Connecticut are running into this very serious and extremely expensive problem.
Many homes in the area built in the early 1980’s and later, have a foundation that contains pyrrhotite, a mineral from a quarry in northeastern Connecticut. Over time, pyrrhotite that is exposed to oxygen and water reacts and causes deterioration of the concrete foundation, ultimately rendering it unsound.
To date no repair has been found, and complete foundation replacement is the only solution. Foundation replacement can cost $150,000 - $250,000 or more, depending on the size of the home.
To add insult to injury, insurers are denying these claims, and neither state or federal government has provided resources to assist, leaving home-owners to pick up the tab.
While investigation and litigation continues, what is the average home-owner to do when faced with a crumbling foundation?
- Replace the foundation: For those with a few hundred thousand dollars to spare, this is certainly an option.
- Abandon the home and let it foreclose: I don’t personally recommend this option as CT is a recourse state. What that means is foreclosure will take a very long time and annihilate your credit. Furthermore, if you had a mortgage on the home, you will still owe on the mortgage, leaving the lender likely to pursue a deficiency judgment against you.
- Sell the home: There are folks buying these homes, mostly investors with the resources to address these issues. If you have the equity to sell even after considering the cost of the repair, selling is an option.
- Short sell the home: Unfortunately, the significant cost of foundation replacement sinks the value of many affected homes well below the balance of the mortgage of the home. If you lack the equity and the funds to cover this loss, a short sale may be an option. You may qualify for a short sale if you:
- Owe more than your home is worth
- Lack the funds to make up the difference
- Have experienced a financial hardship (an unexpected $200,000 necessary repair is definitely a financial hardship)
- Need to sell
- Still have some value left in the property after the cost of the repair. (Homes worth less than $0 cannot be sold)
Reid Real Estate Group specializes in Connecticut short sales
NBC CT on the concrete crisis:
Are you a victim of concrete cancer?
The Connecticut Coalition Against Crumbling Basements (CCACB)
is a grassroots alliance committed to providing a voice for victims of failing concrete
Last Updated on February 5, 2018 by Minna Reid