In the Olympia area, home buyers quickly learn that there are many areas where the houses are served by individual wells or community water systems, and septic systems - or at least one of those. It is not uncommon to find houses that do have septic systems rather than city sewers but are on city water. And if the house you decide to buy has city water or sewer or both, there is one important thing you may wish to include with an offer.
This is a utilities addendum that lists each of the providers of water, sewer, garbage, electricity, gas etc. And then it is wise to include the check box on the offer that instructs the escrow company to pay final city utility bills at closing.
Why is this important? It is important for buyers, because unlike an electric or gas bill which will "follow" the seller of the house, a city utility bill will become the responsibility of the new owner if the seller fails to pay it. And I don't know many buyers who are happy about the idea of paying someone else's bill!
This can become especially important to consider when the house is bank owned, or a short sale, or even occupied by tenants as the chances may be higher that there is a delinquent bill outstanding.
So, do make sure your real estate broker discusses this with you so you can decide if you'd like to include the protection of that utilities addendum - and only have to worry about bills that your own family incurs!