Buying A Home With A Septic System


It’s no secret that you want to know as much as possible about the condition of a house before committing to buying. Yet, most home buyers overlook the condition of a system that plays a significant role in the value of every house.

This is most likely because that system – the septic system – is buried in the backyard.


Many buyers think they’re covered when they schedule a home inspection. However, most home inspections only observe interior plumbing, ensuring there are no damaged pipes or leaks and that sinks, toilets, showers and tubs are draining properly.

In reality, while the interior plumbing may appear to be functioning properly, something very different could be happening beneath the backyard. Similarly, just because it works during the inspection, does not mean the same is guaranteed to be true after you move in.

For example, you want to be sure that the septic system can handle the new number of people that will be living in the house. While a system might function correctly when handling 400 gallons per day for two people, it may fail terribly when attempting to handle twice the amount from a family of five.

Another common reason septic systems fail is tree roots. Tree roots crawl into tiny openings in pipes and expand in the sewer line, causing larger cracks and blockage or backups. Waste might flow right by the roots on inspection day, but just a week later as grease, eggshells and other food debris start getting trapped in the roots, you could find yourself with a serious backup.


Here’s what we recommend: 

  1.     Get as much information as possible from the current homeowners about the maintenance of the septic system during the time they’ve lived there.
  2.     Schedule a sewer line camera inspection in addition to your home inspection, especially if the home is over 20 years old.

Finding out how the septic system was cared for and sending a camera through the septic line may reveal one of the following scenarios:

  •       A fairly new septic line – a desirable selling point providing you with the relief that you will not have to spend thousands on repairs within the next 10 years.
  •       A sewer line overrun with tree roots, collapsed and beyond repair in some parts, alerting you to consider a new septic line as part of negotiations instead of being caught unaware by the associated costs down the road.
  •       A sewer line with just a few small cracks and bellies that you can ignore for now, but need to be prepare your wallet to address in a few months.

Still have questions regarding home inspections or sewer inspections? Ask your realtor what’s best for your unique home buying experience.

Content provided by Invisible Excavations, a local Cleveland company that conducts sewer line camera inspections and trenchless sewer repairs and replacements.

2017 Real Estate Market Update

Hey, it’s Ryan Young with The Young Team giving you a quick update on how the local real estate market is doing so far in 2017. We’ve put together a report by compiling statistics and interpretations from the market, so please check out the video and infographic below.

It’s been a phenomenal year in real estate- it’s one of the busiest and healthiest seller’s markets I’ve seen in Cleveland! If you have any other questions about our regional real estate market or your specific local market, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to answer any questions!