Septic Inspections: Why You Need One Before Buying A House

During the home buying process, it's very normal for your lender to require you to get several different types of inspections on the home you are buying. One of these might be a septic inspection, and this is the type of inspection you will want to get before you buy a house.

What Does a Septic Inspection Reveal?

While it's most common for a seller to pay for a septic inspection, you should offer to pay for it if it's not a requirement of the deal. It may cost between $400 to $600, but it will be worth the money.

A septic tank pumping inspection is completed by a septic company, and it will reveal:

  • The age of the system
  • The size and type of system
  • The current amount of sludge in the tank
  • If the system is up to code
  • If the system is operating properly

The report you receive after the inspection is complete will clearly state whether the system passed or failed the inspection.

What If the Inspection Fails?

If the inspection does not pass the standard tests and requirements, it could be because the tank is full, or it could be because the system is too old and outdated. Systems can fail from age, and if they fail, they may need to have several things replaced, including the:

  • Tank – if the tank does not pass the inspection, it might be caused by a leaking tank, or a tank that is outdated.
  • Drain field – this is the area around the tank, and the water from the tank drains into this area. If the drain field is bad, a brand new drain field must be created.

After receiving the news that the test did not pass, there are several different things that may happen, including:

  1. The seller will be required to make all necessary repairs on the system, at his or her own expense.
  2. You will be required to pay for all the repairs on the system, without any compensation from the seller.
  3. The seller will agree to reduce the price of the house to compensate for the repairs, and you will have to arrange for them and pay the costs.

After receiving a failed septic inspection, you may also have the right to break the contract. In other words, you may not be obligated to purchase the house, and you will be able to legally get out of the purchase agreement.

Why Does This Matter So Much?

A septic system is a major component of a house; you cannot live in a house if the system is not in good working condition. If you discover that the system is old and needs to be replaced, you could wind up with a major expense on your hands if you did not know about this before purchasing the house.

According to Home Advisor, the average cost for a new septic system is between $4,863 to $7,151. If there are drainage issues or problems with the soil, you could end up needing an alternative type of system (such as a mound system), which could cost even more.

If the system is operating fine but has a full tank, the average cost to have it pumped is around $271. Having to spend this much money would not be extremely detrimental, but needing a brand new system could be an expense that might be hard to pay for.

When you are buying a house, it's important to know the condition of every part of the house, including the septic system. You can hire any septic company you would like for this, and this inspection will tell you everything you need to know about the home's septic system.