Monday, February 26, 2018

A Costly Decision....

Choosing not to have inspections when buying a home may prove to be costly when it's time for you to sell.

I had the great pleasure of working with a couple looking to sell their acreage home and move to a smaller home closer to the town.  They diligently prepared their home for the market and set an initial price designed to be attractive to buyers.  Within a few days, multiple offers where received and an excellent one was selected to move toward a successful closing.  All was looking good!

And then the inspections.

Having purchased the home from a perceived reputable seller, the current homeowners conducted a home inspection, but relied on information provided regarding the septic and well systems; radon inspections weren't common at the time they purchased.  The septic and well seemed to be operating properly, so they assumed all was well when they recently chose to sell.

The inspections revealed:

  • The well flow/storage tank was acceptable to the buyer,
  • The radon level was high and needed a mitigation system,
  • The septic system raised concerns

It appeared that the septic system was installed without a permit (or at least no records at the county). While the system may have been installed properly, previous owners had added a significant amount of fill dirt on top of the septic tank and drain field, a fact the current owners did not know.  With the current sale, the tank was pumped and inspected, and the distribution box appear to be functioning.  But questions arose as to how long the system would continue to operate before failure due to the weight of the added dirt.

Following several septic contractors looking at the system and property, the buyer and seller were able to come to agreement and move forward with the sale - at a significant expense to the seller.

The relative minimal cost of inspections at the time of purchase (hundreds of dollars), is well worth the investment to understand the condition of the property you are purchasing versus incurring significant expense (thousands of dollars - in this case tens of thousands of dollars), when you are ready to sell.

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