Real Estate Questions - Buying - Inspections

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by 4sarge, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. 4sarge

    4sarge Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2005
    Sweet Owen County - Indiana
    Hello All,

    I'm continuing the homestead buying saga and need some additional advice and wisdom. Bank is requiring termite inspection, well inspection and septic inspection. Probably all good things for me but I have heard the horror stories about when you have problems later, the inspectors are not liable.

    House is only 2 years old (log cabin) on full basement.

    I did not observe any noticeable signs of termites when we gave the house the once over.

    Well, had been there for many years and current owner had it drilled down another 100 ft and I believe he told me that it had a new submerged 1/2 hp pump.

    Water (coal country) is horrible but owner has 2 separate water filtrations (Kinetco and a chlorine system) systems and an under the counter reverse osmosis system that seems to handle it. water tastes good.

    Septic - older system for a trailer but current owner says that he had the leech field enlarged for the size of the current home.

    Problems that I heard about after our offer was accepted was with the septic. Now, I got this 3rd hand but supposedly the drains or toilet were slow (guessing) and they called to have the tank pumped. That did not solve the problem and they were told that the pipe from the house to the tank was at an incorrect angle. They supposedly have had this dug up and fixed. I can see where the excavation was and the dirt smoothed over and supposedly the problem solved.

    What can I expect or demand from the inspector to insure that he does do a quality inspection instead of a quick once over and after we take possession have a toilet that doesn't flush and a huge repair bill.

    I can go with him, when the inspections are done but what do I need to look for? I'm not a home builder, or craftsman but I know the basics and should be able to spot a noticeable problem.

    Realtor recommended an inspector in the area that will do all 3 at my expense.

    What should these inspections cost?

    Help, need feedback


  2. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    East TN
    I can't answer anything about inspectors as I've never used one.

    Your post says there is or has been trouble with the well and the septic already. I would bargain very hard on these points because these problems don't just go away, they get worse. Water quality alone can be a big problem. Besides drinking the water try showering and washing clothes to see what happens. No one spends the money to drill a well 100' deeper unless they have lack of water problems. These problems won't show up until you live there full time and start using water on a regular schedule. No water is a very big problem and besides the inconvenience it will be expensive if it can even be remedied. It also makes the sale of the house a problem if you decide you've had enough. It also sounds like the septic system is marginal and will give problems in the future. I would be very concerned about the size of the tank and what exactly they have done in modifications to make it work. This is another problem that like the well is expensive if it can be corrected.
    It sounds like you're moving to an area where you're depending on the people there for references and help buying. This can be a problem as they all stand to profit from you purchasing this house. Once it's yours nobody will care and you will usually have little recourse and only expense.

  3. FiddleKat

    FiddleKat Mother,Artist, Author Supporter

    Oct 22, 2004
    East Tennessee
    4sarge where are you buying? We just bought a double wide in Blount County TN and we can recommend two very good inspectors. Don't think they do septic though. But for the house inspection they were very thorough. The first one found 36 items from minor to major and we basically thanked him for saving us $50,000 and didn't buy the place.
    We have a buyers agent representing us and she said she was going to get the septic and termite reports from the sellers. Which is actually a bank that owns it. I think the sellers might have to show proof of it, but I could be wrong.
    Good Luck! Hope things work out for you.
  4. Scott in Florida Panhandl

    Scott in Florida Panhandl Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Be very cautious when a realtor recommends an inspector, if the realtor represents the seller. There's alot of shady dealing going on in this area.
  5. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2003
    Always hire your own inspector that you choose and find.
  6. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    western PA
    Amen, amen, amen

    Ask around & find your own - you will get taken, if you don't
  7. Barb

    Barb Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    West River SD
    Get the water tested. Tastes good doesn't count. Why the two filters other than taste? Find out

    Get an estimate on fixing the septic system if all is not what said to be. Talk to the guy who "fixed it"

    No matter what, an inspection or not, you are always going to find problems you didn't expect. Reserve some money for the unexpected. We had an inspection done and he said the roof MIGHT leak around the chimney a little. Okay we could fix that. Well, the first hard rain we had it leaked(or I should say poured) in about six places and had to replace the roof. Also the new heat pump came to $500 more than the estimate.