Out of Sight, Out of Mind? What you need to know when buying or selling a home.

For many of us, a home is our most valuable investment. Today, the cost of various infrastructure components that ensure the proper functioning of a home can have a significant cost. These infrastructure components are not covered under house inspections and often under-emphasized due to being underground and out of sight.

Onsite Wastewater/Septic Systems

There are 27,000 septic system in the Capital Region and approximately 8% of the homes served by onsite wastewater systems change ownership each year. These systems are valued as high as $40,000 today, which has risen significantly along with rising standards in the last decade. As residents are becoming more aware of the value of these wastewater systems, more pressure is being placed on property transfer transactions and how to best proceed. When should an inspection of the system take place, who should pay for it and what happens when the inspection reveals a problem? Read more >>

Underground Pipes

Underground plumbing pipes include the homes perimeter drains, sewer lateral, and stormwater lateral. Like all infrastructure, these pipes deteriorate over time and eventually need to be replaced. Failure to maintain these pipes can result in basement flooding and property damage, which is only partly covered by insurance. In addition, cross-connected drains and failing sewer laterals can contaminate the nearby soil and contribute to downstream sewer overflows and beach closures. Inspect your underground pipes to better understand what you are buying and selling.

Oil Tanks

Both above ground and underground oil tanks are vulnerable to leaking. This leaked oil can migrate into the soil and stormwater system which leads to our local creeks and marine shorelines. When leaks happen, the property that is found to be the source of the oil leak is responsible to pay for the cost of environmental clean-up, both on and off the source property. Home insurance does not cover these costs. Buyers and Sellers should be aware if there is an oil tank on the property.

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