There is so much to do when buying a home –
and getting the sewer scoped should absolutely be on your to-do list.
This short, fun video covers the basics of why.
Inspections can be one of the most stressful parts of the buying process. A good agent will recommend that clients get a top-to-bottom home inspection, including a test for radon. A great agent will also recommend that they get the home’s sewer line inspected – no matter how old or new the home may be.
If you’re wondering, “Why would I need to have this done?,” I’m betting you’ve never had a sewer line clog and back up into your home ;-). Talk about a disgusting mess! But in all seriousness, while you (and a home inspector) can assess most of a home’s pros and cons visually, the sewer lateral that extends from the house to the street is buried at least 4 feet deep. For all intents and purposes, it’s invisible.
A sewer line inspection can show you if (and where) tree roots have infiltrated your pipe and if there are any cracks or breaks. Damaged sewer lines can cause problems that range from slow drains all the way to sewer backups and beyond. In extreme cases, there is discharge into the yard or street, which can result in extra-lush patches of yard, indented patches of lawn or patio where the soil has eroded, or even foundation cracks, settling, and sinkholes. Broken lines also provide attractive habitats for rodents and insects…and no homeowner wants those.
It’s important to know that your homeowner’s insurance typically will not cover damage to your home or to the property of others caused by clogged or broken sewer lines. Nor will it cover the repair costs, which can range from $1,500 up to $15,000 or more for full sewer line replacement.
The good news is that sewer line issues are easily detected with a sewer line inspection. The great news is that sewer line inspections are affordable – typically under $200. If the inspection reveals problems, you and your agent can negotiate with the seller to have repairs done or to receive credit at closing toward repairs.