Some BackUp Solutions of Sorts. . .

Industry Observer CalDRE #01165532


Some Backup Solutions of Sorts. . . 


I have said it before and it's likely I will repeat it: A life in real estate can provide a lot of stories. Some to share. Other gathered tales may be deeply hidden in the memory bank. Perhaps, they are being stored for safe keeping. Sometimes things are revealed when found just beneath the surface.



Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist and Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP are co-hosting this month's ActiveRain Challenge March to a Solution... I wanted to participate but the ideas didn't seem to flow correctly. Well, not at first. Eventually, I read a post by Buzz Mackintosh. Another entry by Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI followed with his spin on septic systems seemed to seal the deal. And then a more recent post by Ann Hayden 636-399-7544 proved to me there might be something piling up as I continued to explore the topic. Well, so to speak.



They flushed out my mind so my recollections to the best of my memory can be told. Although they may be rarer in our area than in other parts of our state or the country, I recall two private sewage disposal system experiences in real estate:


One particularly memorable situation was when I represented the buyers of a home for sale which was identified in the MLS as well as in the seller disclosure documents as being connected to city sewers. This single-family-property was on two legal lots - two different jurisdictions too. After my clients' offer had been accepted, the inspection and in-depth investigation part of the transaction began. A potential bit of stinkiness made its presence known as it was discovered that the property was still on septic and not connected to any sewer system. You might be able to imagine all sorts of stuff exploding occurring if my clients had closed and moved into the property. After much thought, my clients cancelled the transaction. A snafu and all sorts of $%!+ avoided. Sometimes, it's best to "move on".


Also, many years ago, another smelly situation was "headed off". I was representing a different pair of buyers in this situation too. This is an example where understanding the terms of the sales contract are important. The property had been on the market for a while and had several price reductions while being listed. The longtime original sellers eventually accepted my clients' offer. It closed at substantially below its last list price and with an additional credit towards septic system repair and certification. While, it had potentially messy consequences, the terms of our purchase agreement definitely mattered in the end.


While I had some difficulty digging up this post - reading so many creative and sometimes scary entries helped me a lot. Thank you for that extra push - it made a difference - this membership often does that. Thanks as well to Kathleen and Patricia for hosting this challenge.




The images in this post are from




Posted by

Michael Jacobs


CalBRE # 01165532

P. O. Box 587

Pasadena, CA 91102

Call/Text:  818.516.4393



Comments (32)

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate



Mr. Crappy Says

Flush it Real Good!





If when you let go it does not flow 

Plunge It!

Mar 31, 2023 02:24 PM
Michael Jacobs

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist - thank you for the highlight by Mr Crappy.  Dare I say it's like the icing on the cake.  


Mar 31, 2023 03:01 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Michael you flushed out your mind and came up with 2 crap stories!!  Excellent!  It's common knowledge here in PHX and a few other surrounding towns that it is critical to make sure it truly is on city water.  Long back story on this that goes back to the 40's to 60's. When I first moved here I thought it was odd that homes 'right in town' might have a septic.  Still hear about these stories to this day.  Last one was a big commercial property.  You got it - on septic - not on city water.  That was a big mess.

Mar 31, 2023 02:53 PM
Michael Jacobs

Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker - such anomalies can create mountains out of molehill kinds of messes and missteps.  

Mar 31, 2023 03:23 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Wow Michael not only did your post get Featured on Active Rain but on  Craptakular too:))  I was going to misspell BUT and then thought other wise no I changed my mind BUTT :)Endre

Mar 31, 2023 09:24 PM
Michael Jacobs

Endre Barath, Jr. - thank you.  

Apr 01, 2023 05:45 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

Older septic systems can be potential landmines in more ways than one. It was best to work you way out of that mine field and" move on " before that one exploded 🤯 

Apr 01, 2023 04:17 AM
Michael Jacobs

Buzz Mackintosh - creepy crawlers and all sorts of things can leech into a transaction as well as into disposal systems.  Being and staying alert can work well in real estate and in everyday life.  

Apr 01, 2023 05:48 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Michael, you got many very interesting comments on your post.   Brings up a few memories, crappy ones!  LOL

Apr 01, 2023 09:30 AM
Michael Jacobs

Joan Cox - true.  I believe comments often enhance a post.  Maybe exponentially.  

Apr 01, 2023 12:02 PM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Michael Jacobs, as always, very well written. You painted such a great picture that I could almost smell the s......I had an experience once where two days after closing, the septic tank backed up and all the smelly stuff was coming out of the bathtub and the sinks. That was probably the worst septic tank experience I had.

Apr 01, 2023 10:10 AM
Michael Jacobs

Beth Atalay - Erma Bombeck and her book The Grass is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank has many truisms and very little $h^+.

Apr 01, 2023 12:07 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Michael and love the picture and makes me think of lots on this blog.  Make it a great April Fool's Day!

Apr 01, 2023 10:48 AM
Michael Jacobs

Will Hamm - Happy April 1.  Make this month be a good one for you.  No foolin'.  

Apr 01, 2023 12:08 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

With the first client they were able to wipe that mess away. You were lucky that the stinkiness of that last client didn't flush the deal away.  

Apr 01, 2023 12:51 PM
Michael Jacobs

Ed Silva - some clogs in transactions can be eliminated.  Fortunately.  

Apr 01, 2023 12:54 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh, the mind's eye on this one, Michael! Glad you were able to sniff this one out of the recesses of you mind - all good stuff, albeit stinky!

Thank you so much for participating in March's challenge! My first thought was to suggest a feature in Craptacular but, Kathleen beat me to it! 

Have a lovely weekend...

Apr 01, 2023 02:54 PM
Michael Jacobs

Debe Maxwell, CRS - the mind meanders mysteriously at times.  And then there are those moments when the nose knows.  Somehow, all sorts of things seem to work together.  And separately too.  

Apr 01, 2023 03:25 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

 I love your clever post and use of many puns. And yes, we do deal with many stinky situations in our line of work.

Apr 01, 2023 04:29 PM
Michael Jacobs

Dr. Paula McDonald - and most of those situations occur away from any disposal system.  

Apr 01, 2023 04:55 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

GREAT entry to the challenge and very enjoyable read...comments too!

I just may have to spend the afternoon watching one of my favorite shows, Schitt's Creek.

Apr 02, 2023 09:00 AM
Michael Jacobs

Sharon Tara - I have seen a couple of episodes of that show.  It is as expected well-written and acted.  Thank you.  

Apr 02, 2023 03:38 PM
Steve Penner
Royal LePage / Pro Ledger Online Software - Winnipeg, MB
REALTOR / Pro Ledger Online (owner)

so many puns... in the post and comments.. was fun to read. It's also true that a life in real estate can provide us with many stories.  



Apr 02, 2023 11:48 AM
Michael Jacobs

Steve Penner - I am happy whenever the comments are added.  Piled higher and deeper is even better.  

Apr 02, 2023 03:39 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Michael Jacobs the septic tank issues can be complicated and challenging. Excellent post!

Apr 02, 2023 02:28 PM
Michael Jacobs

John Pusa - thank you.   

Apr 02, 2023 03:40 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I find that there are more backup solutions to most problems than we think there ever could be, but there are

Apr 02, 2023 09:43 PM
Michael Jacobs

Laura Cerrano - a workaround can be quite worthwhile.  

Apr 03, 2023 03:07 AM
srivalli barfi

Thank you so much for participating in March's challenge! My first thought was to suggest a feature in Craptacular but, Kathleen beat me to it! 

Apr 03, 2023 02:01 AM
Michael Jacobs

srivalli barfi - some things just seem to connect and then flow, don't they?  

Apr 03, 2023 03:10 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Septic issues can be nasty and costly.  I had a deal years ago that caused me a digestive problem while my seller solved distribution box issues caused by trees roots invading them.  Like most issues that get blown out of proportion, it boiled down to lack of communication between the buyer's agent and her clients, despite my constant updates as to what was happening with the repair.  It took a month and cost probably $40,000 to fix.  Once the deal closed, my digestive issue was magically gone.  

Apr 03, 2023 08:27 AM
Michael Jacobs

Chris Ann Cleland - invasiveness of all sorts can intrude on the flow of a real estate transaction. Such clogs need to be dealt with on a timely basis.  And as you comment, clear communication is important.  

Apr 03, 2023 08:33 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Hey Michael, I see your first deal was WIPED out by this sticky situation. Great stories.

Apr 06, 2023 11:20 AM
Michael Jacobs

Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty - some transactions have taken that route.  It's a part of life in real estate.  

Apr 06, 2023 11:38 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

All I can say is, Michael, you are so punny and full of it. :-)

Apr 13, 2023 09:58 AM
Michael Jacobs

Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty - you are not the first to say "I am full of it" but I admit I enjoy it.  Pun fun is an everyday challenge.  🤣

Apr 13, 2023 10:07 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

So appreciate the sharing of your stories. Here in AZ, AZ law requires the seller to pay for inspection only.  Pumping usually happens to be able to properly inspect the system.

Apr 19, 2023 06:30 AM
Michael Jacobs

Leanne Smith - after reading countless ActiveRain posts over the years, all sorts of information seem to come to the surface for me.  And in numerous ways.  Is it an overload?  I wonder. . .  

Apr 19, 2023 06:35 AM
Leanne Smith

Given each transaction is unique, I don't believe we are ever in overload.

Apr 19, 2023 06:36 AM
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

True, Michael, a life in Real Estate -- lots of stories.  Interesting reading your post and although I have had lots of close-call stories, I am grateful the situations you and
comments described were not one of my stories.

Apr 29, 2023 11:42 PM
Michael Jacobs

Jane Chaulklin-Schott - it's in the diversity of our experiences we can flush out things new or never seen/heard before as well as some shared over the years.   

Apr 30, 2023 06:43 AM