Crumbling foundations could make it impossible for homeowners to find buyers

Hampden County

Homes across western Massachusetts are at risk of becoming structurally unsound. 

The presence of the mineral pyrrhotite is leaving homeowners with crumbling foundations and no way out. When the mineral pyrrhotite is exposed to oxygen and water it reacts and causes swelling and cracking. 

This mineral was found in a quarry in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, and was mixed with concrete found in some homes’ foundations. 

Potential home sellers are now left with a crumbling home and no way out. 

“We hired an engineer to come in and do an inspection and he confirmed our suspicions that we were most likely affected by pyrrhotite issue but at the same time he told us we had just left the equity in our home we wanted to sell our house to our son and we weren’t going to be able to do that,” Michelle Loglisci of Monson told 22News. 

People affected by crumbling foundation are now left with no equity and can only fix foundation problems by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

22News spoke with a real estate attorney about what potential sellers can do if they have a crumbling foundation. Unfortunately, a seller’s only option right now is to replace the entire home’s foundation. 

“It’s my hope that shortly we will see legislation pass similar to that in Connecticut, because it’s a devastating issue for homeowners, and hopefully Massachusetts will respond the same way Connecticut has,” Attorney Nyles Courchesne said.

If you are looking to buy a house, there is a concrete foundation disclosure. Sellers should provide information if they have knowledge of foundation issues. 

Houses in Hampden and Hampshire counties built between 1985 and 2015 are at the greatest risk. 

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