100 Real Estate & Relocation Tips in 100 Days (Day 22)
Admittedly not the most romantic part of any home, sewer lines exiting the house to either the public sewage system or a private leeching field are unavoidably important, and must be given consideration during the due diligence process.
Properties located away from public sewage systems will have a leeching field and underground storage tank. Make sure your purchase agreement includes a tank clean out to be completed by the current owners before you take title. If the home is more than25 years old, you should have the pipes leading from the house inspected for blocks or breaks. Repairing those pipes can be very expensive, and almost always inconvenient.
Properties that are connected to a public (or private)sewage system should automatically be inspected if the house is older than 25years. Not that sewage line problems are restricted to just older homes. A recent inspection on a 2 year old home revealed that the builder did not connect the line from the house to the main line running under the street. The builder stepped up and made things right, but without the inspection, the problem could have gone undetected for years.
The Denver area also has bentonite soil conditions. This type of soil, heavy with clay, will expand and contract based on moisture content. Evidence of shifting soil is also a strong clue to have sewage lines inspected.
Sewage line inspections are performed using a camera inserted in the line. Evidence of the inspection is in the form of a written report and a DVD or Video Tape. Many home inspectors can perform this service, or there are specialized sewer inspection services. The cost ranges from $100 to $250, a small price to pay for a piece of mind when purchasing a home in Denver!