We looked at a home that we really love. However, the basement has a horizontal crack about 4 ft long in the basement - facing the back wall no sign of upheaval. There is also a crack about 4 to 5 feet long in the floor (close to the same area) with minor upheaval. The wall crack has been sealed. The floor is covered with linoleum so I don't know about it.
The basement is dry and does not show any signs of water damage.
Other problem is (it is a side-split style) a bedroom on the front of the house (located above the garage) has two vertical cracks about 10 inches long above the door and the door is about 1/2 inch lower on one side. We are thinking that it may not be related to the basement cracks since it is over the garage area. Our hopeful thinking is that it is maybe a floor brace or something that can just be lifted back in place.
The house is almost 40 years old.
My question is: Under normal circumstances, how long does a house settle? Some people have told me it will settle within the first 5 years and that if it is just now showing cracks that something must be going wrong. So I am wondering if we are at the beginning or the end of the settling issue.
Also, other than highering a structural engineer, should we have the soil tested etc. or is that overkill? How do you find out if there is a spring or some other water source in the area etc. underground?