By The A-Team | Oct 18, 2017 | Buyers Advice
No, I’m not here to “convince” you to buy a wood foundation home. But I will ask you to keep an open mind until you’ve heard me out...
There are tons of horror stories about wood foundation homes. So much so that, of all the people I help purchase homes, I’d say over half will not consider them (regardless of my input).
Are some of these horror stories true? Yes
Should you rule out wood foundation homes altogether? That’s up to you. But, I certainly don’t rule them out in my own personal life.
Here is a diagram from Wood Preservation Canada that will give you a really good idea of what a PWF is:
In layman’s terms, the basement walls are made of pressure treated lumber, but not the floor (that’s made of concrete). This is easily the most common design for PWFs in Fort McMurray.
The amazingly informative pamphlet that this diagram came from can be downloaded from Wood Preservation Canada here and we highly recommend you give it a read if you are serious about purchasing or selling a wood foundation home.
We know that there are approximately 26,000 dwellings in Fort McMurray, of which about 15,000 are single family homes.
In the last 6 years 4,664 single family homes have changed hands through the MLS®.
Of these, 149 had wood foundations. That’s 3.2% of the total stock.
Based on these numbers we can guesstimate that there are approximately 480 PWF single family homes out there, as well as a smattering of PWF duplexes. So, something like 500 homes.
As you can see from the table, the majority of PWFs can be found in the three neighbourhoods of Thickwood, Old Timberlea and Dickinsfield. The part of Abasand that was built 2000-2006 also has a significant number, as well as Saprae Creek.
Let’s look at those top three neighbourhoods more closely:
As you can see the greatest concentrations of PWFs are in some of the most popular areas. Namely: Old Timberlea, Dickinsfield and the area of Thickwood found inside Cornwall Drive. In fact, those areas contain 394 of all the PWF listings ever sold through the MLS®.
3,666 dwellings of all foundation types have sold in those areas through the MLS®. By dividing 394 by 3,666 we estimate that approximately 11% of homes in those neighbourhood subsections have wood foundations.
Depending on other features of the home, generally, wood foundation homes can be purchased for approximately $40,000 to $50,000 less than a comparable concrete foundation home. In some cases (for example, luxury homes) this number can be much larger.
This means that you will have smaller mortgage payments over your period of ownership, and that, for me as a buyer’s agent, is huge.
When the time comes to sell, you will have to appropriately discount your home for the foundation type. This is because, even with proper education, only about 50% of buyers are willing to consider purchasing a PWF. That’s a reality you can’t get around. Less demand means lower prices. End of story.
Another thing to do is to get in touch with a team of superstar listing agents who have experience in selling lots of homes, and selling lots of PWFs specifically. As you can see from this blog, we have the required knowledge to sell these homes. We will give you an accurate price for your home before you draw too many of your own conclusions regarding the value of your home. This way our specialist can get you the absolute top dollar, but also sell your home in a timely manner.