I blogged about something sweet the other day, so it only makes sense to talk about something not so sweet today. Okay, not really, but I needed some kind of tie in there…
Anyone that wants to look at living outside city limits or on acreage property in the Salem Oregon area is going to be looking at having a septic system of one kind or another.
If you are wanting to purchase a home and have never had a septic system before there are some basics that you should know during a real estate transaction.
- Get the tank pumped and inspected. You should never purchase a home without having the tank and the drainfield inspected. It costs a lot of money to have a new drain field put in so know what you are getting into. You don’t want to buy a house, wonder why your toilet backs up and your ground is squishy, only to find that you have a failed septic system.
- Go down to the county and pull the septic records. If you are in Marion county, outside city limits, there is just a simple form to fill out and you may have to pay a few dollars. Sometimes you find out interesting things that make you go hmmm… you don’t want to go hmmm when you are looking to buy a house. Permits are required for a reason.
- If you are looking to build a house on your dream lot, and it requires septic get a site evaluation aka “perc test” done to make sure the land can support a septic. There are different types of septic systems depending on the soil. If you can’t get a standard septic system installed you need to know that upfront.
- Just because you want to build a 5 bedroom home doesn’t mean that the land can support a 5 bedroom home. Make sure the septic system can support the size house you want to build.
The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) gets to oversee all septic systems. They have a nice little blub about signs of a failed septic system as well as some do’s and don’ts on their site.
Signs of septic system failure
- Pools of water or soggy spots, foul odors, and/or dark gray or black soils in the area of your drainfield.
- Water that surfaces over the drainfield during heavy rain or when doing laundry.
- Sewage backs up into the lowest drains in the house.
- Gurgling of drains, slow drainage (check for clogs first).
- Soggy soil overlying the drain field.
So remember that during a Salem Oregon real estate sale, it is the buyer’s job to do their own due diligence…you know, to get the scoop on the poop, for the piece of property they want to buy.