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Old 05-09-2018, 03:47 PM
 
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The inspection turn around was 7 days, the mortgage 3.

Question below - I feel like I dodged a bullet.

Update: So I get up this morning and my realtor was up late putting togehter paperwork. Broker agreement and contract.
I carefully go through, find a few things not filled in? have a few questions, send back my findings in email. He sends an email that today is super busy and he won't be able to get to it right away. Seems a little upset that I didn't sign, he was giving them till 9:00 same day (today) to reply.

Ok, well meanwhile while I wait I call the health dept to ask for a map of where the septic is, clerk says ok but I never get it, ok well I didn't have to have it. Then I email the township assessor some random questions about flood line inspections and include in there a question wondering if there will ever be sewer or water out that road.
Township assessor emails me back answers and a bunch of attachments he found a few hours later of which he includes a note"did you know that on the redrilling of the well they did in 1991 that there is a note that says if the septic fails you have to go to holding tanks?" Uh no. And thats a biggie. So I call the county health dept, talk to the actual septic handler for that township not the clerk, she says hm, let me look into it and get back to you.
Come to find out that septic was originlly put in in 1971 when they put a seasonal trailer on the lot. In 1972 the code changed saying that septics (on waterfront?) could only be in natural soils not fill. Well either in 1971 or when they built the house (and redrilled the well) in 1991 they used a bunch of fill.

So my question is, had I signed the documents, that included inspection of the septic, would I have had to go through with the purchase after finding this out?

Because the septic works right now which is legally all it has to have right? Inspector says, yep works fine?

My realtor was disappointed I think.."septics dont' always fail' but I'm not willing to throw dice like that. It would make resale much harder in the future. (And no my realtor was not aware of this but was wondering what the other realtor knew)

Yes its just another utility (assessor thought it was currently 40cents a gallon to pump) which may be fine for someone single like me or a seasonal property but I feel it really limits resale, especially for a family or full time living.

Feeling a little depressed. I guess this was why it was below 300,000 but I'm really glad i didn't sign the paperwork right away and made those calls. I would have had a heart attack if I found out I was stuck with it.

Last edited by Giesela; 05-09-2018 at 04:14 PM..
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Old 05-09-2018, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
3,837 posts, read 2,061,340 times
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Quote:
So my question is, had I signed the documents, that included inspection of the septic, would I have had to go through with the purchase after finding this out?
Short answer is NO. I don't know where you are or what your contracts say, but I would assume the worst case scenario for YOU would be forfeiture of earnest money.... not forcing you to buy. AND, as a practical matter, Inspection contingency has WIDE latitude to allow for you to back out for nearly any reason or no reason at all, AND get your earnest money back. At least in my area!

On whether this SHOULD be a dealbreaker.... that depends on whether you would be always nervous about this. No one should lay awake at night worrying about their septic system. But as someone with a little experience with beach properties, old septics, and regulatory issues... I would say.... welcome to beachfront living. You have a working system (we think) on waterfront but you're worried about new regulations might limit you IF the septic ever fails. MOST older beach front homes have grandfathered in older systems that would not be approved today. If they fail, it's often expensive to fix. People will pay it anyway, because they want to live on the water. If you are nervous about the fact that septic failures will be expensive to fix and involve red tape... then yes, I would consider making offers upland. Waterfont living often has those kinds of risks and red tape. The issues of this place don't sound that extraordinary or unusual in that regard.
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Old 05-09-2018, 04:53 PM
 
10,274 posts, read 6,515,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post


Come to find out that septic was originlly put in in 1971 when they put a seasonal trailer on the lot. In 1972 the code changed saying that septics (on waterfront?) could only be in natural soils not fill. Well either in 1971 or when they built the house (and redrilled the well) in 1991 they used a bunch of fill.

it.
If the original septic put in was for only a 2 bedroom 1 bath that may be a problems if a bigger home with a second bathroom is using that same septic system.

I know you are not buying it but it's something to keep in mind when looking at other homes.
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:05 PM
 
Location: planet earth
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I can't tell if you moved forward or not.

It sounds like you have "buyer's remorse."

Perhaps because you are so far away?

Maybe you should take a few days and actually go to wherever you are purchasing so you will feel more comfortable and take your time with the Realtor putting the offer together - that way they can answer any questions on site.

Then you can go to the City or County and have your inspections and do your due diligence during the investigation period you put in the contract.
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:05 PM
 
7,843 posts, read 11,150,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
Short answer is NO. I don't know where you are or what your contracts say, but I would assume the worst case scenario for YOU would be forfeiture of earnest money.... not forcing you to buy. AND, as a practical matter, Inspection contingency has WIDE latitude to allow for you to back out for nearly any reason or no reason at all, AND get your earnest money back. At least in my area!

On whether this SHOULD be a dealbreaker.... that depends on whether you would be always nervous about this. No one should lay awake at night worrying about their septic system. But as someone with a little experience with beach properties, old septics, and regulatory issues... I would say.... welcome to beachfront living. You have a working system (we think) on waterfront but you're worried about new regulations might limit you IF the septic ever fails. MOST older beach front homes have grandfathered in older systems that would not be approved today. If they fail, it's often expensive to fix. People will pay it anyway, because they want to live on the water. If you are nervous about the fact that septic failures will be expensive to fix and involve red tape... then yes, I would consider making offers upland. Waterfont living often has those kinds of risks and red tape. The issues of this place don't sound that extraordinary or unusual in that regard.
I get what your saying. I understood that should the septic fail it would be more expensive, probably some sort of mound or engineered system that could cost in the multiple 10s of thousands.
I actually would have been ok with that.
Not ok with holding tanks though. Do you see a lot of those too? From watching that market through zillow the last few years my imperssion is that they area always lower priced and always take a lot longer to sell. And they are usually seasonal properties, not full time homes.
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
3,837 posts, read 2,061,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
I get what your saying. I understood that should the septic fail it would be more expensive, probably some sort of mound or engineered system that could cost in the multiple 10s of thousands.
I actually would have been ok with that.
Not ok with holding tanks though. Do you see a lot of those too? From watching that market through zillow the last few years my imperssion is that they area always lower priced and always take a lot longer to sell. And they are usually seasonal properties, not full time homes.
There's a few areas around here on small islands and outcroppings that are just solid rock where septics just aren't possible, and they have holding tanks.

Most places, ~something~ is possible, even repair of the existing system and a variance for the 'not on fill' rule. A septic designer once told me that when it was impossible to get permission ahead of time... municipalities are a lot more flexible when there's an emergency. When there's septic bubbling out of the ground, rules can be bent and red tape cut to get it fixed!

This place may not be the place for you... If you're buying remotely, without seeing it? and little experience in the area? I'm not sure I'd advise buying a place that is potentially that complex or risky. There might be safer bets. Or you might be better served by a nice normal house in a nice normal neighborhood. I don't know... I have no idea what dream you are looking to fulfill here.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:34 PM
 
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A variance or repair authorization
might fly if not on water I suppose. I certainly did not get any warm waffling from the health dept they seemed pretty firm.
Othrwise this place seemed pretty great considering my budget.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:01 PM
 
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If the assessor is right and its 40cents a gal the avg person uses 80 to 100 gal a day per google. Seems high but a shower is about 18 gals. So a family could really run up a bill.

If the seller comes with different info Id be happy to consider.
Cant think of anyway I can get this changed though. A seasonal user will probably buy it. I cant afford a 260,000 vacay place!
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
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Call the companies that actually do the pumping and ask them how much it costs.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
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Also... consider that this is only an issue IF your septic fails. I would spend as much energy learning how to prolong the life of your drain field. There's no real reason for it to fail, if you take care of it.
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