Article by Wendy McCance
Let’s say that you are looking to buy a home. You come across a home that looks like it might be “the one.” You put in an offer and it is accepted. Before you start the celebration, you decide to get an inspection done on the property. This is the typical scenario that most potential buyers go through. Getting an inspection is an incredibly important part of the entire buying process.
The reason to get an inspection is to find out what may be a potential issue that you might have to deal with. Are there issues with the foundation, evidence of water damage or an infestation of termites? There are so many potential problems in a home to know about up front. Maybe a problem is found and you renegotiate the price or decide to walk away. Thank goodness you found out about the problem before signing those final papers. Although inspections are highly recommended, they don’t cover everything. There are other people who should be contacted to look over the home you are interested in. One of the most important inspectors you should consider contacting would be an inspector to check out your sewer.
A sewer inspector can find out if there are clogged pipes or pipes that are falling apart. To get a sewer dug up and fixed is so outrageously expensive, spending on average of $95.00 for the inspection is well worth the money. (Important) That general inspector that you hire will not look at the sewer system. That’s why you need a sewer inspector who works specifically with sewers that will have to look at your sewer for you.
Long before I became an agent, our family bought a home that had been inspected. Our real estate agent never mentioned getting the sewer inspected, and it wasn’t something that occurred to us either. We moved into the home and put all of the boxes in the basement. We would bring them up one by one to unpack. The basement was beautifully finished and carpeted. Within two weeks, I went downstairs to the basement to do some laundry and noticed a big stain on the carpet. A while later, that stain became a puddle and then a sloshy mess in our basement.
Our sewer lines were clogged. We had been doing a ton of laundry and dishes. The sewer lines had tree roots in them and the water backed up. That stain (it turned out) was where our drain was located and it was under the carpet.
$1,200 later and a basement that had torn up carpet and damp floors, our sewer was fixed. Thank goodness those boxes hadn’t been placed on the ground. They were all on tables and shelves. We truly got lucky. I wish we had known to have our sewer checked out. We would still have a great looking basement and a lot more money.
Other inspections that you might want to consider are a radon test and a check of your septic system. If you have a septic system, you might want an inspector to come out and check your septic system if you aren’t connected to your city’s water system.
The bottom line is to over think the problems that could go wrong. Get picky and make sure you get the inspections you need while you still have an opportunity to negotiate or walk away from a home that carries any issues that concern you.
note: Wendy McCance is a former real estate agent. Information provided is a recommendation based on her experiences while in the real estate business.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]