Use a Sewer Inspection to Help You Negotiate the Price of a Home

October 15, 2015

The old adage, "know before you buy" is great advice when it comes to purchasing a new home. Many buyers consider a home inspection to be sufficient to give them all the information they need. However, in our experience, many homeowners would have been better off if they had spent the money to get a video sewer inspection. A camera inspection of this sort costs only a few hundred dollars. A sewer replacement costs thousands.

Problems from Tree Roots
Common problems that are found in a sewer line stem from tree roots. It doesn't matter if your house was built only 20 years ago, tree roots can still clog your drains. When tree roots are small, they enter your pipes through slight seams or small cracks. As the roots grow, they trap all sorts of debris that tries to flow down the pipe. Even if roots have been rooted out, they can leave holes in the pipes that will allow the roots to reenter and grow again.

Problems from Old Pipes
Homes that were built as recently as the 1960s may have used pipes that were not made of PVC. Pipes made out of cast iron can corrode over time and minerals can calcify on the surface until the opening is too small to allow anything through. This opening cannot be enlarged with a rooter and requires replacement pipes. Additionally, other older pipes were made out of a material called Orangeburg. Orangeburg pipes can deteriorate or collapse over time and require replacement.

What a Video Camera Inspection Does
One of the best technological advances for plumbing is the video camera. This is a device that is attached to a flexible rod and inserted into your sewer lines. It allows you to do the following:

  • See everything that is in your pipes
  • Watch real-time as the cameral travels through the pipes
  • Identify the condition of your lines
  • Pinpoint the exact location, including exact depth, of any problems
  • Keep a recording to refer back to for future reference

Utilize the Information from an Inspection
Once you have completed the sewer inspection, you can utilize the information to help you with the purchase of your home. The inspection offers the following benefits:

  • Information that can help you decide whether or not to buy the home.
  • Knowledge about what you are buying beforehand.
  • Negotiation power with the seller. You can ask for a sewer allowance, lower price, or that the sewer line be fixed or replaced before you buy.


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