When buying an existing home that has a well and septic system, many Buyers wonder why they should test these systems if everything seems to work well inside the home. It is advisable to have both well and septic inspections done by experienced professionals in their respective fields and most Purchase and Sale agreements provide for Buyers to be able to do such inspections/tests.
I'll add more details so that you understand what you should test for. Remember, the testing is an opportunity for you to confirm that both the well and septic system will provide you with years of trouble-free service and also provide you with not only potable (drinkable) water, but with water quality that YOU want to live with. On the well, you want to evaluate three issues. I'll speak from the perspective of modern drilled wells as that's what's most common in my area and in the new construction that I deal with: 1. Yield: Should be tested to confirm what its yield (GPM - Gallons Per Minute) is and the records on file should give you an idea of the well depth and static level (the natural level below the surface of the ground that water settles at). These two pieces of info give you an idea of how much water your well will deliver. The deeper the well, the more reserve water you might have available for use. In a well with a 6" casing, there are 1.5 gallons per foot of water column (drill depth - static level - pump distance off the bottom of well = water column x 1.5 = total gallons in ground). 2. Pressure/Output Capacity: This is related to yield because a low yield would limit the best delivery system's capacity to provide you with water on demand. The deeper the well, the larger the pump must be to push the water out of the well when you put stress on it during peak use and when the static level is drawn down. Larger pressure tanks inside the home are generally better in that they will put fewer cycles on the good pump. If you are planning to add an irrigation system, these two issues need to be evaluated by someone knowledgeable so that you can confirm that the existing well has the capacity to support the load that irrigation will put on the well. 3. Water Quality: There is a difference between water that is potable (safe for human consumption) and water that is high quality. Learn more about any treatment system that is already installed. If there is an existing water treatment system, its backwash drain line should NOT be tied into the septic system drain. The current public health code prohibits this. Most well water tests are for all forms of contaminants including but not limited to bacteria, hardness, pesticides, nitrate, VOCs, radon, and metals. After that, the biggest concern I have with water quality is that if the natural water is aggressive, meaning low in PH and other factors are present, that condition needs to be corrected via a treatment system in order to avoid the copper plumbing in the home from getting damaged and failing. If you see a green residue in the toilet tank, that's possibly a sign that the copper plumbing may be negatively affected by the water quality. I'll add one test to Len's list and that you might want to test for fluoride if you have young children knowing what the natural level of fluoride in the water is will allow you to set a proper supplemental level of fluoride to provide your children with should you want to do that (it helps with teeth development). On the septic system, there are a number of things to look at and consider:
1. You should obtain is the septic system as-built. It will provide you with information on where the septic tank is located along with the primary and reserve leaching areas are located. This is important if you are considering putting on an addition to the home or installing a pool since there are separating distances that must be adhered to and if the back yard is used up by the septic system, you may be prohibited from installing an addition or pool. You should also look at the Permit To Discharge to see what limitations were set by the sanitarian when the system was installed. If the system is designed for a 3 Bedroom home and you see the listing for the home saying 5 bedrooms, there may be improvements to the home that were done without permits, or at a minimum, you may want to confirm that the septic system was expanded and improved to accommodate the current homes use and sanitary output.2. Modern septic systems have two-compartment septic tanks and then primary and secondary leaching areas. The tank typically will get pumped when inspected and the pumping costs are normally paid for by the Seller. Newer systems also have effluent filters that prevent solids from leaving the tank and then ruining the leaching area. These filters need to be cleaned periodically. The access to the septic tank is via risers that need to be no deeper than 12" below the surface of the lawn or yard. If they are deeper, then new risers should be added at the time of septic tank inspection.3. Older systems can have a number of issues that can be expensive to fix. Cesspools are where the tank and leaching is an all-in-one location and these are now prohibited by the health code and some forms of financing. Single compartment tanks are also a problem in that they often allow solids to run to the leaching area and that plugs up the soil and leads to premature failure. Another issue with older systems is the problem of seasonal rising groundwater flooding the leaching area since they were originally installed below high groundwater levels or too close to restrictive layers in the soil. There's a lot to know about how septic systems work.The bottom line on wells and septic systems in older homes, get them tested and confirm that they have the capacity to accommodate the current home use and any expanded use that you might desire. Here's a quick video (sorry for the wind noise) of a septic tank inspection:
Whether you rent or own, this is interesting data just released by the US Censis Bureau as it shows how living arrangements have changed over time. Business Insider just reviewed that data.
The results show that marriage is in decline, and other types of households have been steadily becoming more common.
In 1967, a full 70.3% of American adults over the age of 18 lived with a married spouse. By 2014, that proportion had dropped to a bare majority of 51.7%. Meanwhile, the percentage of adults who lived on their own nearly doubled, from 7.6% in 1967 to 14.3% in 2014.
The most dramatic jump was in households made up of unmarried romantic partners. Cohabitation was nearly nonexistent in 1967, with just 0.4% of householders living with an unmarried partner. In 2014, about 7.3% of adults lived with a partner.
Here's the most interesting part of the data from my read of the Business Insider article: While the proportion of all adults over 18 who live in their parents’ household has remained fairly steady over the years, ranging between about 10% and 12% of the population, looking at younger adults shows a different picture. The proportion of adults between the ages of 25-34 living at home has steadily gone up since the early 2000s (that's almost a 44% increase!!). My question is why?:
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Frankly, keeping a listing on the market through the holidays has many advantages that are easily overlooked. Those who already have their home on the market and who have done their homework by getting their home properly staged with decluttering and making it as presentable as possible. Those Sellers already have their heavy lifting done. No one knows what the future will bring.
Who knows if the market will be much different in the spring? There are three possibilities: Better, the same, or worse. If it's worse, then you definitely want to try selling now. If it's the same, you might as well try selling now. If next spring is better, then try selling now and if it doesn't sell, then you'll encounter a better market and more chances to sell in the spring.
If your home has been on the market for a while and has not sold, the holiday and winter season isn’t going to make the prospects of selling worse. Holidays don’t make homes less appealing to Buyers – often they are MORE appealing since they give the sense of home and warmth being decorated and ready for your holiday celebrations with friends and family. Your lack of success as a Seller may be pricing not being realistic. What a home Seller needs to realize is lack of showings is often a reflection of a property being overpriced. If your home has been listed for a while and you have had a lack of showings, ask your listing agent if other similar properties have sold in your area and at what price.
Some Sellers fear “days on market” and think that they can stack the cards in their favor and fetching a higher price by re-listing in the spring time. Listings don’t get stale, only bread does. Don’t kid yourself, any good Buyer’s agent will look at the property history for any home that their Buyers like and they will see your listing history and exactly what your prior listing prices were and when your listing was active or removed. Buyers don’t buy a home because of low “days on market” count or price history; they buy because a property has availability and appeal to them at the then current asking price that’s affordable to them at the point in time they make an offer to you as a Seller.
If your home is already on the market and you as a Seller have a lot going on with children’s activities, shopping, parties and holiday guests, you may be feeling that removing the added pressure of having your home available in “show time condition” might just push you over the edge. The emotions and pressure can become overwhelming, that’s a normal thought that enters many Seller’s minds. Some Sellers have the added pressures of out-of-town guests coming and staying in their homes during the holidays and that adds weight to the scale in favor of pulling the home off the market. These two thoughts are the primary reasons for taking a home off the market during the holidays and the winter. It is understandable why you would be tempted to take your home off the market during the holidays and the list of justifications is long.
Before you extrapolate that thought and potential feeling of being overwhelmed to taking the step of removing your home from the market for the holidays, you might want to consider the following advantages that keeping the home on the market might bring to you. Here are key reasons to that you might want to keep your home listed or to bring your home to market during the holidays and winter months:
How do you feel about listing your home during the holidays or winter months? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
That's a question that homeowners and prospective owners both have asked themselves and others many times before. Buyers tend to have different shopping profiles and knowing what kind of a Buyer you are will help you identify what your weaknesses are and what you might want to do differently so that you can have less stress and a more positive buying experience.The obvious elephant in the room is rising mortgage interest rates. Yes, they have risen a lot over the last 6 months. Get over that if you missed the lows. The important thing is that they are still at very cheap rates when one looks at them in terms of the past 30-50 years. Why you didn't buy 6 months ago when the mortgage rates were cheapest is water over the dam and one needs to focus on what can be done going forward.Now is a time that you might want to refocus your efforts to buy since the mortgage landscape is about to change for many buyers when 2014 arrives. Getting a mortgage will be trickier and costlier next year. This article is a great resource that outlines the changes coming for mortgages starting next year.
If you've been going at your home search on your own without the aid of a professional Buyer's agent who's looking out for your interests, then you've overlooked a resources that (in most cases) has no out-of-pocket costs to you as the Buyer. It's normal for you as a Buyer to do research on your own and to browse all of the popular home search sites like Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia - those are great places to start. Here's info on why you might want to seek the services of a Buyer's agent who is also a REALTOR (not all licensed agents are REALTORS).Do you find fault with every home you see? If that's you, it might be time to step back and either adjust your search criteria or even take a break and return to the rental market while your head clears. It's not uncommon to find that what you can afford and what you desire are two different things. If what you can afford isn't desirable at this point in time, there's nothing wrong with going to the sidelines and renting until your purchasing power increases or until something new comes to market that you find appealing. Key here is to forge a relationship with a Buyer's agent you respect and trust and then ask them to keep notifying you of new listings for properties that match your needs. I've found that in some cases, it may take over a year to find the right property. I've recently found the perfect home for a client that I've worked with for TWO years so I encourage you to not give up on finding a great home.
Have you missed out on homes you made offers on only to learn that other Buyer's offers were accepted instead of yours? If your offers are consistently low and below others, you might not realize that in New London and Windham Counties in Southeastern CT, 2nd Quarter of 2013, the average selling to listing price between real warm blooded Buyers and Sellers doing 891 closed single family home deals was done by them agreeing on a sales price that was 94.84% of the listing price. If your offers are way below that average, perhaps that's a reason why your offers are not being accepted. Price discovery is something that both Buyers and Sellers go through. The point here is that home ownership is all about enjoying a home and not chasing the deals that just won't happen.Hope this info helps. Questions welcomed.
When I'm tasked with helping clients design their new BROM custom homes, Kitchen lighting is one of the first place that I recommend that a client deviate from a standard single light in the center of a Kitchen + light above the sink area. ... The best and most attractive kitchens have multiple lighting sources:
1) Perimeter counter area (normally recessed centered over the countertop's front edge),
2) Island or Peninsula area lighting (these locations are often lit separately from the Kitchen perimeter),
3) Undercabinet lighting (my favorite is Xenon - but alternatives are Halogen, LED and Fluorescent (my last choice due to color incompatibility),
4) Accent lighting that is placed above upper cabinets and bounces light off the ceiling OR interior lighting for cabinets with glass doors. Each of these lighting areas should be switched separately and dimmable (dimmer selection must match lighting source). Pendant lights are a key part of a well lit Kitchen and the following article gives some great ideas. If you are remodeling your Kitchen or building a new home, Kitchen lighting is an area that you should not skimp on as it's an integral part of your home and its a great opportunity for you to enhance the utility and beauty of that area of the home you use each and every day.Click on the image below for a good article is a good one on Pendant Lighting:
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