Most basements, by the sheer nature of the fact that they are built into the ground, present the possibility that water can intrude, turning what was once a dry basement into a wet basement. This is because water in the soil can put constant pressure on basement walls. Plus, water follows the path of least resistance inside a home and over time can find its way into a basement. It's important when buying a house with a basement to check for signs of dampness in the basement. It's better to find out before you buy than afterwards, especially since you can't rely on seller discloser. Why can't you rely on seller disclosures? Because the sellers might not know about it. If the sellers did have knowledge, however, and failed to disclose the water problems in a basement, it could be:
Signs of a Damp or Wet Basement:
Potential Causes of a Wet Basement:
Possible Solutions & Options to Dry Out / Fix a Wet Basement:
In closing, don't store valuables, photographs, paper documents or anything you care to preserve in a wet basement. Moreover, get an expert's opinion, including an engineer's report, if you can, before you buy a house with a wet basement. It might not be worth the hassle.