Are you buying a home with a septic system?
When preparing an offer on a property, always include a home inspection. If a house is on well or septic or both, be sure to include an evaluation of these systems by a licensed and insured septic inspection company.
In Virginia and Maryland, the price of a septic inspection may range between $600 and $700 dollars. The inspection should include; pumping the septic tank, the examination of the in & out baffles, checking the flow diversion valve, locating and uncovering the distribution boxes, and probing the drain fields. If there are electrical components to the septic system, these should be evaluated as well. Recently, we've had several home buyers purchasing properties with septic systems.
Last spring, our buyers purchased a beautiful home in Maryland. Since the home was on well & septic, we included a 10 day contingency period to allow professionals to evaluate the systems. The owners had provided paperwork and receipts from another septic company showing that the septic had been pumped and evaluated. This company said the system was in good operating order. Our clients considered not including their own septic evaluation but decided the money was worth spending just to double-check.
And we are so glad our buyers included their own septic inspection!
The tank had been pumped however the drain fields were saturated and no longer percolating through the ground. With septic systems, if a drain field isn't working, it has to be fixed. Fortunately, the buyers and sellers came to an agreement and the sellers paid thousands of dollars to have the drain field moved and placed in working order.
This week, homebuyers in Virginia included full septic, distribution box, and drain field evaluation. This property was well maintained and the sellers said they had replaced the distribution boxes two years prior. However, during the inspection, a crack was discovered in one of the distribution boxes. This will need to be replaced.
If there's a moral to this story it's this:
When buying a home on well & septic, always include a full inspection of the systems. Waiving a well & septic inspection could cost you thousands and thousands of dollars.