Anyway, I wanted to find out why this bank owned property, which is in a great neighboring school district, was only being listed for about $64k. It turns out that as far as the realtors was concerned, it had "no water". The bank has recently dropped the asking price from the original price by about $3k or so. I was able to find that the bank obtained the property for under $50k, supposedly.
I decided to do more digging, since my Dad and I had seen what looked like 2 fairly new well caps. I read over the well reports, and they reported between 1/2 and 3/4 gallon per minute flow rate for both of the wells, which were each sunk over 200 feet deep within 40 feet or so from the house. Well, that's not "no" water, but it doesn't compare favorably to the average of 8 gallons per minute in the surrounding area. The former owner spent nearly $20,000 drilling those 2 wells.
Speaking of that, all of the surrounding wells struck water at an average depth of 45 feet, and the neighbors I interviewed said they had no problems with well water ever running out.
Looking over our water bills from the past few years, I figured out that our family uses an average of 135 gallons of water per day. (not including water for the garden, which we could get from house rainwater runoff) This means that just 1 of the wells could be pumped for 5 hours a day and give us enough water to use.
Would it be possible to get a large poly tank - say 2,000 gallon, and have a small pump trickle the water up into that so that we would always have a week or more of water stored up for future use? Would something like that be as simple as adding the tank and running a pipe over to it from the well, then adding a pump in the tank for the house? (or are there a bunch of inspections and permits that would be required for something like this?)
Both my wife and I liked the property and the house, despite it being on the small side. We were truly surprised at the general good condition of the interior, given the price. Everyone else is fearful because of the water situation. I am sensing that the bank may continue to lower the price of the place over the next few months before finding someone willing to risk buying a house with "no water".
We are tempted to make an offer on the place, but I'd like to hear from someone who has dealt with a similar situation before deciding whether we should go ahead.