I am looking at purchasing a house with a non-working Oldham septic tank
in Southwest Ohio. A health inspection report says that the motor is missing.
My basic question is generally how long the septic tank should last. I am
worried that I could get the current problem repaired and then have a serious
problem down the road. This house was repossessed, so the bank is no help with
what is going on. If the whole thing needs to be replaced I would simply
reduce my purchase price by the cost of the replacement, which I understand is
about $15-$20,000 to install a new system. I would appreciate any comments
about the durability of this system, and whether I should insist that it be
<< I am looking at purchasing a house with a non-working Oldham septic tank
in Southwest Ohio >>
The common sense business approach to this problem is to have a professional
appraiser (preferably one your bank knows) come up with a dollar figure for the
house. Assume that the septic system is history and get a firm estimate for
replacement. Give this figure to your appraiser. The price will now be
something realistically close to the absolute top the bank can expect. Subtract
the appraisal cost. Now subtract roughly 5% from this figure for all the
aggravation and make that your firm offer to the bank. Don't budge for any
Remember that a crippled septic system in a repo house is likely to be only one
of all the possible problems with the dwelling. In the automotive world, when
people stop paying on their cars, the vehicle will be wholesaled by any dealer
because they know from bitter experience that it is now a hurt asset. The bank
wants to recover as much of the foreclosed mortgage as they can, of course, so
if you lay all your cards on the table and they say no, just wait a while. Odds
are thay can't unload it and it will be yours. Good luck.
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