I am buying a small '50's house in a friendly neighborhood (in central Texas) at 2/3 the assessed value because it has cracks in the walls. This is apparently a soil issue as all the neighbors seem to have the same problem. One neighbor says she runs a soaker hose to help stabilize the situation. I do not have the money to fix the obvious support foundation problems but need to do cosmetic repairs so my daughter can live there while she is in school. It is cinder block on slab with built up floors. There is as much as a 2" variation in floor height. The walls have some vertical cracks, and lots of hairline cracks parallel with the ceiling about 4" below the ceiling. The house is in an estate and has not been lived in for a year--give or take. I didn't notice any serious cracks on the stucco exterior. There are no gutters; the house is pretty close to the ground; and it has some nice big pecan trees in the back yard.
My questions are mostly related to a) covering the wall cracks and b) covering the floors.
My brother has offered to tile the kitchen and (added on) sunroom with ceramic tile. If this doesn't crack it would certainly add to the value and liveability of the house. But if it cracks it will only highlight the problem. We could conceivably use wood instead. What is your opinion/suggestion?
Regarding the walls--should we fill in the cracks and paint, cover with paneling, or ??? Any special products we should be aware of?
If we use a soaker hose should we wait to do the cover ups, and if so, how long? We need to complete renovations by August!