- Understand How it Was (or Wasn’t) Maintained
Just like you shouldn’t take someone’s word for it on the condition of the interior of the home itself, never assume that a septic system has been properly maintained. There are currently no local laws in Florida regulating the frequency of septic inspections. Thus, for some, septic tank maintenance tends to be reactive. However, untreated waste can seep into your groundwater for months or even years before a homeowner might notice it inside the home. Request detailed septic maintenance records from the sellers agent and if there are none – consider ordering a septic inspection yourself.
- Check for Weakness / Avoid Costly Replacement
Over the years, poorly maintained septic systems develop drainfield issues that can cause slow drains or backups in a home. It’s important to be sure you have a septic system and drainfield checked, as drainfield repairs and system replacements can run from $2,000 to $10,000 and up. An inspection will check for weaknesses in your system and help determine age and estimated time to replacement. If the system needs replacing you can often include replacement as a condition in your offer or reduce the amount you’ll offer accordingly.
- Get a Sense for Size and Capacity of Tank
An inspection can give you a sense of the size and capacity of the tank in your prospective home. This will tell you if the tank is a suitable size for your family. An inspection can also give you a better sense for where the system is located and tell you if there are leaks in the tank. It can identify potential obstacles (like tree roots) can could pose a problem for your septic system in the future.
The cost of a septic inspection runs from $250 to $500. If the current homeowner has a copy of a recent inspection, be sure to research the company that issued the inspection form and discuss any recommendations they may have made over the phone. If there is no recent inspection report or records regarding maintenance, you may request that the seller get one or pay for one yourself. Regardless of which party covers the expense of this inspection, it can mean the difference between significant out of pocket cost. Don’t get caught in a situation where you have to come up with thousands of dollars to replace your septic system when you’re already spending your savings on closing costs and re-vamping your new space. Crews Environmental offers discounts to realtor referred clients that require a point of sale inspection. Contact us for more information.