When you are in the market to buy a home, the process entails more than just finding a home that has all the amenities and features you are looking for. The home you ultimately buy should be in good repair and free of problems and potential repairs that could cost you thousands of dollars. As a new homeowner, your budget may already be stretched thin, and any unexpected problem, such as a failing sewer main, may put you into financial crisis. Here are some tips to help you buy a home that is not going to stress you and your budget out with a plumbing problem.
Hire a Professional for a Plumbing Inspection
Once you have found a home you want to buy and have submitted an offer to purchase the home and the offer has been accepted, you need to get busy and hire a professional to perform an inspection on the home. Most importantly, you will want to hire a plumber to do a plumbing inspection to look at the home's interior plumbing structures and check the plumbing that is below the soil and out of view. A professional plumbing inspection with a camera to look through the home's sewer main can cost an estimated average of $350, so plan for this cost in your home-buying budget.
During this inspection, your plumbing professional will access the home's sewer clean-out and run a camera through the line. The camera will show them the interior condition of the sewer line and any obstructions within the line that may be causing problems. This gives you an opportunity to find out if the interior of the sewer pipe is deteriorating, collapsing, or filling with root growth from nearby trees. It will also allow you to find out if the sewer line has been sheared off at any point due to improper and excess pressure and weight from soil around the line.
Get Bids on Necessary Work
If your plumbing inspection discovers any damage or necessary repairs, you will need to get several bids on the work to repair your sewer main. If, for example, the home needs a new sewer main installed, either through an excavation of the yard or by installing a new line through the old sewer line, the cost to complete the work can be ,on the high end, anywhere from $50 to $250 per foot, and you will want to determine its total cost to adjust the home's purchase price.
Renegotiate the Contract
Once you have inspected the property and determined how much any problems and essential repairs are going to cost you, it is smart to renegotiate your purchase contract with the home's seller. When you originally submitted your purchase offer on the home, it would have been subjected to a home inspection, which allows you to investigate further to look for problems that may be hiding within the home, and most traditional real estate purchase contracts allow you to hire professionals to check out the home.
Your real estate agent can help you write up and submit an addendum on the purchase contract to the home seller, outlining the findings of the plumbing inspection and any other inspections on the property, including the cost to repair and remedy any issues. Many home buyers decide to offer a reduced purchase price for the home for the amount of the repairs needed.
For example, if the home you are looking at buying needs a replacement sewer line that will cost $5,500 to complete, you can reduce the home's purchase price by that amount. If you originally offered $250,000 for the home, you could reduce the offer to $244,500.
Contact plumbers in your area for more information.