Fort Lauderdale Real Estate
Buyer’s New Inspection Recommendations
Sewer pipes under the home – Over $20,000 to repair.
As most buyer’s know they should always get a home inspection completed on a property they’ve put under contract for purchase. A regular home inspection can uncover most repair items and even those updates that were done without a permit (in most cases). Good home inspectors are now pulling a permit history on the home or condo if the city allows for online history reports.
The below information is for cement slab type homes being purchased.
New Inspection Recommendation for Buyers
There’s something new that I am starting to recommend now that is NOT covered on a regular home inspection. Sewer pipes under the home are reaching or over the 50 year mark in most eastern homes in the Fort Lauderdale Real Estate market which is the expected life on sewer pipes. Considering most of the homes were built in the 50’s and 60’s some are over the 50 year mark and some are reaching it now. What does this mean to the buyer? Home owners insurance does NOT cover the cost of fixing the sewer lines breaking, they only cover any damage that may have been caused by the breakage and only up to $10,000. Check with your insurance agent.
I’ve had 2 customers of mine that have had the lines break within the last 2 years. They possibly were already broken when they purchased the property. The seller most likely knew about one of the homes since the breakage was discovered very shortly after the purchase. I highly recommend that all buyers get a plumber out during the inspection phase of the contract and have them send a camera down the pipes from the bathrooms checking the pipes all the way to where they connect to the city sewer. Both the customers I’ve mentioned now have repair costs over $20,000. To repair the lines they have to dig a tunnel under the home and someone has to crawl through the tunnel and replace all the pipes. After the pipes have been replaced all the way to each bathroom from the main sewer line connection, most cities require the tunnel be filled with engineered sand as part of the permit, which is an expensive part of the process. I’m not sure how the sand/dirt is different, but supposedly prevents the tunnel from caving in. I’ve called a plumber that I’ve used for my home in the past and the camera inspection cost $395.00 for most homes. Larger homes with more than 2 bath rooms would cost more.
In 12 years of doing real estate, I’ve never heard of this happening except in the last 2 years which I believe is because our homes are over the 50 year mark now and were probably going to see more of this in the future. Breakages in sewer lines can also be caused by roots from trees. When these lines break it also provides an opening where rats can enter the home.
Sewer Line Repair Insurance
I also recommend additional specific sewer pipe repair insurance. The largest policy I’ve found on the market currently only covers up to $10,000 for the actual repairs with a $1000 deductable of the line which in most cases that’s only 1/2 of the total repair costs. Current owners of homes should look into this to help on the total costs of the repairs. I’m going to be buying it for my home. I repeat… your home owners insurance does NOT cover the actual repairs of the sewer lines.
Sellers are supposed to disclose any problems with the sewer pipes on their seller’s disclosure but if they do not and know about the break then they could be responsible for the repair should the buyer sue them. As most everyone knows proving that the seller knew about the break may be an expensive task considering the cost of a lawyer and the courts.
The new inspection recommendations are below:
1. Home Inspection by a NACHI certified inspector (National Association of Certified Home Inspectors) and Florida state licensed.
2. Roof Inspection by a licensed roofer.
3. Termite and pest inspection by licensed pest control company.
4. Seawall inspection if the home is on the water.
5. Sewer line inspection by a licensed plumber.
The above list is at a minimum. There’re also other inspections including an electrician, mold inspector, etc… for those wanting a more complete picture.
Dale Palmer & Associates is trying to make sure that our buyers and seller’s know about the latest inspection recommendations to help in their purchase. We don’t want a home that you’ve purchased through us to become your nightmare. Over $20,000 in repairs to a home could break most people and we want to help minimize the risk and costs to our buyers through proper inspections and insurance options.
Call Dale Palmer & Associates at 954-895-8999 or contact-us today
for buying and selling real estate in Broward County.