Get a Sewer Inspection When Buying in Land Park

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

sewer inspectionOh, my goodness. I'm batting 100% on sewer inspections lately. This is the third sewer inspection in Land Park over the past 30 days that has called for a new sewer line. The last two Land Park homes my buyers inspected turned up problems, but that was expected, primarily for the following reasons:

  • These Land Park homes were built in the 1920s and 1930s
  • The yards contained a lot of mature trees
  • The sewer lines had not been replaced

However, I really did not expect problems with this home today because there were no trees in the yard and it had all new plumbing. The home had been extensively remodeled. Still, I advised the buyers to get a sewer inspection. The estimate for a new sewer liner was $4,542. That doesn't involve digging up the yard, just pulling a liner through. Somehow, the sewer line was completely full of tree roots!

It was funny because the buyers really did not want to pay for a sewer inspection, but decided to heed my advice, regardless. I'm very glad they did. Whew. This would have been awful to deal with after the escrow closed. I expect the seller will pay for it because if they refuse, they will have to give a copy of the sewer inspection report and estimate to the next buyer. And the next buyer will want it repaired, too.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent land park

Photo: Big Stock Photo

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Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

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Rainmaker
1,042,841
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

How do they do a sewer inspection out there? 

Jul 28, 2008 02:04 PM #1
Rainmaker
2,189,557
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Barbara: They send a digital camera into the sewer line, sort of snake it down there, and the image shows up on a monitor. So, you can watch the progress. It's pretty cool. Costs about $125 if there is a clean out, a bit more if they have to go up on the roof.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent

Jul 28, 2008 02:10 PM #2
Rainmaker
2,189,557
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Barbara: They send a digital camera into the sewer line, sort of snake it down there, and the image shows up on a monitor. So, you can watch the progress. It's pretty cool. Costs about $125 if there is a clean out, a bit more if they have to go up on the roof.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent

Jul 28, 2008 02:10 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,916,517
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!

Elizabeth

You do not miss a thing.

Sincerely

Tom

Jul 28, 2008 02:16 PM #4
Rainmaker
2,189,557
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I try not to miss a thing, Tom. It's important to look out for your clients, though. So, I try to take myself out of the equation and think about what is best for them. As I'm sure you do as well.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent

Jul 28, 2008 02:21 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,042,841
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

I don't believe that has reached Arkansas yet.  We pretty well say the only way to do the septic inspection is run a lot of water with dye and see if it comes to the surface.  That's like high classed surgery!   I've learned something new. 

Jul 28, 2008 02:32 PM #6
Rainmaker
141,171
Linda Lipscomb
Linda Lipscomb RE/MAX Lexington Henderson County TN - Lexington, TN
731-695-1118, Lexington TN Homes

Barbara,

The only time we snake a septic line is if there is a blockage.

Is this practice done on public and private septic systems???

Jul 28, 2008 02:55 PM #7
Rainmaker
124,715
Elaine Hanson
Compass - Topanga, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent

Elizabeth, this has happened to me.  Beautiful home, fully remodeled, but the remodeler did not check the sewer line.  My buyer had estimates from $8000 to fix.  I had another deal fall out because the sewer line got to the street and then stopped at a big, dark hole.  We weren't sure where the sewage was going.  The first deal we negotiated, the second, we found another house.  I always recommend a sewer line inspection.  The rest of my area is on septic -- don't get me started!

Jul 28, 2008 03:23 PM #8
Rainmaker
2,189,557
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Barbara: Maybe you haven't checked around. I imagine other companies use a digital camera to inspect sewer lines. They might not have a made a practice of selling this service to the public, though. It's the best way to assure a buyer that the sewer is OK.

Hi Linda: In Sacramento, we are known as the City of Trees. Not only will tree roots get into the sewer line -- because they seek moisture -- but some older sewer lines were made of Orangeburg. Which is a kinda tar paper, if you can imagine that. Over time, it disintegrates.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent

Jul 28, 2008 03:23 PM #9
Rainmaker
2,189,557
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Elaine: It's amazing how people will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to remodel the cosmetic areas but forget about the fundamentals.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent

Jul 28, 2008 03:25 PM #10
Ambassador
1,878,478
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Elizabeth, I think when homes are just this old this kind of inspection is just par for the course and buyers just need to be educated.

Jul 28, 2008 04:31 PM #11
Rainmaker
254,432
Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management

Good advice.  Sewer lines can be a mess if you have to dig them up, and the cost certainly justified an inspection.

Jul 28, 2008 05:34 PM #12
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583,885
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Elizabeth, I've just added this tidbit as an item to automatically suggest that my clients and customers do. Thank you. ;-)

Jul 29, 2008 01:48 AM #13
Rainmaker
2,189,557
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Gary: I read through home inspection reports, too. Buyers will miss things. Sometimes, a home inspector will suggest further evaluation of an item -- so, I call them to find out if it's a cover-your-butt type of suggestion or whether it could be serious. I had buyers last month who discovered a cracked heat exchanger upon further investigation, and the seller paid for a new HVAC system.

Hi Robert: Nowadays, most sewer companies use the trenchless method. So they don't dig up the yard.

Hi C: Given the age of the homes where you sell, I'd think a sewer inspection would bring peace of mind to your buyers.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent land park

Jul 29, 2008 03:21 AM #14
Ambassador
583,885
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Elizabeth, I second that and absolutely agree. It would definitely bring peace of mind, indeed!

Jul 29, 2008 03:58 AM #15
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