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Why Septic Inspections Are Good for Home Buyers and Sellers

Why Septic Inspections Are Good for Home Buyers and Sellers

Buying or selling a house comes with a robust list of responsibilities, criteria, and considerations. From the floors to the ceiling, and everything in between, the real estate market is not shy about mandating inspections that assess the health and status of every square inch of the house—which, by the way, includes everything underneath the property too.

Image of septic tank inspector holding a clipboard, in front of a home.

What Is a Septic Inspection?

Let’s start with the basics – a septic inspection is a process done by a certified, registered company that checks on the health and status of a septic system. According to Upnest, over 20% of homes come with their own septic system. This critical system is designated to “treat and dispose of wastewater from your toilet, shower, sinks, and washing goods.” 

The two questions any interested home buyer or home seller needs to either ask or remind themselves of are:

  1. Do I have an independent septic system?
  2. Is it worth getting an inspection before the sale or purchase of a home?

If you answered yes to both of these questions, keep reading, because this article is for you.

What Is the Lifespan of a Septic System?

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A septic system, according to Building Advisor, should last between 20 to 30 years. However, that range is largely dependent on the many variables, including:

  • Disposal habits: Don’t flush cigarettes, tampons, grease, or anything unnatural down the toilet.
  • Vegetation: Interference from tree roots, and natural debris can compromise your septic system.
  • Natural causes: The environment in which your home resides can impact the longevity and maintenance best practices of your septic system, like groundwater and soil.

That last bullet point is a big one for Floridians. Florida is 10% over the national average of independent septic system usage, meaning its reliance on well-maintained systems is much more of a focal point for sellers and buyers.

According to a study done by NPR, Florida possesses unique challenges to healthy septic maintenance due to seasonally fluctuating groundwater quantity, lower levels of bacteria in soil, and porous sand. 

For Florida homeowners and home buyers, looking for septic tank installations near you should be thought of as a must-have, not a nice-to-have.

Why Inspections Are Good for the Buyer

For those who have experienced the natural high of buying a home, there isn’t a lot that can match the feeling of finally getting the keys to your new home handed to you. But, getting to that point requires a litany of inspections.

Septic should be no exception. If the general lifespan of a septic system is 20 to 30 years, and Florida possesses unique circumstances that can further ail septic systems, start by asking the following questions about a home:

  1. How often does the septic system get maintenance?
  2. Who is the septic maintenance provider?
  3. How old is the septic system?
  4. Have there ever been any issues or septic emergencies?

The fix-up costs of a home that you’re buying should always be front-of-mind when deciding whether to make and go through with an office. With some new septic systems costing as much as $15,000, knowing the details of what you’d be inheriting could be the difference between making a high-ball offer, low-ball offer, or no offer.

The state of Florida has provided a homebuyer’s guide with a form at the end that can be used as an assessment report for a septic inspection.

Why Inspections Are Good for the Seller

If you’re trying to sell your home in Florida, a proactive septic inspection can help speed up the process and avoid headaches down the road.

Most real estate agents won’t pursue working with you unless you’ve had a septic inspection. Furthermore, a sophisticated prospective buyer is likely to demand a septic inspection anyway. Not having one at that point will delay the process. It’s better to just be proactive about the inspection, so you don’t need to fuss with it down the road.

Now, if the scenario plays out where your septic system requires maintenance, or a full-on overhaul, the short-term inconvenience will be far more manageable than the long-term headache of avoiding the problem.

If after an inspection it’s determined that your septic system needs some work, you will likely have the following options before you can sell:

  1. Get it fixed.
  2. Lower your asking price of the home to offset the potential cost of the maintenance or installation.

Call ACE Septic & Waste for a Free Quote

At ACE Septic & Waste, we believe that proactive inspections can help you save, whether it’s structural damage to the system itself or a potential issue with the soil around your home. Contact us or give us a call at 813-971-8770. From Tampa to Spring Hill, we are the preferred Southwest Florida septic providers dedicated to keeping your system clean and functional for the house you’re either selling or buying.

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