Buying a House with City Sewer and Water
Most buyers when looking at properties on city services overlook the possible issues that a home may have with these services.
When buyers are purchasing a home with a municipal water supply, often no consideration is made towards water quality. In the city, lead piping is a concern and should be checked.
Also, when a buyer used to well water switches to a municipal water supply, their first comment often is that the taste of chlorine is very strong and affects the quality of things like tea, coffee, and drinking water.
The benefit of course is no maintenance as a home owner other than to ensure that the line coming into the property is in good shape and the building inspector will check this on a purchase.
There is a very simple way to improve the quality of water in a municipal water service property – something as simple as placing a Reverse Osmosis (RO) tap on the kitchen sink can make a huge impact on the quality of drinking water you will have available for you and your family.
There are other ways to further improve water quality such as “whole house” systems that will remove chlorine from all of the water supply alleviating concerns about bathing in chlorinated water.
When considering a property to purchase in the city, these are things to keep in mind should you wish to improve water quality after you move in.
The other considerations in the city is that there is a cost asociated with water usage and a quarterly water bill so buyer`s need to consider this when doing their pre-purchase budgeting.
Again, when purchasing a home, many buyers do not consider inspection on sewer systems as most people consider that the “city’s responsibility”.
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that the homeowner is responsible for the sewer line inside their home and outside of the home up to the city line at the road side. On some streets this may be indicated with a steel marker -in other areas it may be based upon HRM development criteria.
Buyers must be aware that the most frequent culprit of sewer issues for the homeowner comes in the form of nature. The tree that you absolutely love in your front or side yard has root extensions that can go a considerable way underground and impede your sewer line causing back-ups and other damages to the line. The older sewer lines in any city are clay and therefore, a porous material which can have root infiltration issues that cause the home owner to have to undergo major repairs at their expense.
For a minimal cost, a buyer can have the sewer line of a prospective property inspected to ensure that root infiltration is not a major issue. In newer areas where the new plastic piping is used, this issue is greatly reduced however, in both newer and older areas, nothing is guaranteed as lines may have settled over time or been infiltrated. From a maintenance perspective, correction of these issues and areas is usually reactive on the part of the city.
These kinds of inspections are worth their weight in gold both from a savings and peace of mind perspective and are strongly recommended.