There are many aspects to investigate when deciding whether or not to buy a new home. Home buyers might not think much about, is the plumbing. This is such a huge part of the overall investment and it will be paid for over many years. Here are some things you should consider about a home’s plumbing before making a decision to purchase.
First of all, does the house have a well? If the house is located in a municipal area with city water, it is obvious that the house doesn’t have a well. However, if the house is out in the suburbs or the country, you’ll first need to determine if it has a well, the depth of the well, how much water the well has, and whether or not the well has ever experienced a shortage of water.
Just in the last few weeks we were out at a client’s new home. It had just been purchased less than 30 days ago, and it had an 880 foot deep well. Because the well is so deep, it would take significant money to do any kind of maintenance or repair. Since the homeowners were unaware that this would be an issue with their new home, they were obviously very discouraged. Funds tend not to be very liquid after taking out a mortgage, so the last thing you’d want to learn is that the plumbing system will be extremely expensive to fix. Prospective home buyers always want to make sure that they’re not going to have to invest thousands of dollars in a home that was just purchased.
Another thing to pay attention to is the sewer line. What type of sewer line is it? Does it have a history of stoppages or backups? Has it ever been replaced? If so, how long ago was it replaced? If you know that the sewer line is very old, maybe the house’s price can be adjusted accordingly since it will likely need to be replaced in the future.
Next, pay attention to the house’s water heater. It’s another expensive plumbing component in the home, and if it’s 8-12 years old or even older, there’s probably a good chance that it will need to be replaced soon. Make sure you find out whether or not the water heater has actually been maintained. If not, more than likely it will need to be replaced sooner rather than later. This is another aspect of the house that can affect the asking price.
It may not be enough to simply ask the people selling the house to answer honestly whether or not the plumbing has been maintained in the past. This is where we come in—once you are seriously considering a home purchase, it’s much better to invest a couple hundred dollars on a plumbing inspection instead of spending thousands of dollars on a repair. We can inspect the water lines for leaks, inspect the water heater, or even run a camera into the sewer line to see what kind of condition it is in.
Here’s an important word of caution: The typical home inspector doesn’t have an experienced eye to check these sort of plumbing issues. They will usually conduct a cursory inspection that doesn’t actually catch water heaters that may go bad in a couple of years, sewer lines that have roots in them, or wells that have low water. That’s why you need to contact a professional plumbing company to make sure that these parts of the home are sound.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a new home and want to make sure the plumbing system won’t cost thousands of dollars in the near future, give us a call today at (540) 483-9382.