Purchasing a rural home or property has many advantages. However there are a few key differences between purchasing a rural dwelling from an urban one. Most importantly, the utility infrastructure of a rural dwelling is most likely to be decentralized in its design and function. In plain English, this means that your rural dwelling is most likely equipped with a well and septic system. Inspections and condition assessments of the well and septic system are especially important when considering purchasing a rural dwelling, even though they aren’t typical on homes serviced by central sewers.
Standard septic systems can function for 35-45 years. Systems that are approaching 30 years of service are vulnerable to failure or poor performance if the regular maintenance has been neglected or inconsistent, or if it has been overused. Newer septic systems have components that require routine maintenance much like any other mechanical system. Even if the septic system is a more recent installation, misuse, overuse and neglect will shorten the lifespan of the system.
With these thoughts in mind, a comprehensive inspection with a view towards these vulnerabilities conducted by a qualified professional is critical to ensuring you are properly informed as a potential owner. It is vital that your inspector has the skills and tools to recognize and understand the design and conditions of not only the tank, but the pipes and distribution field as well. The more you know at the outset of your negotiation, the better equipped you are to anticipate any system repair or replacements costs which may be required. In case you aren’t yet convinced the investment of an inspection would be worth your while, note that replacement costs can range from $5,000.00 - $60,000.00. When all is said and done, a good inspection is a great investment.