We are considering buying a home in the unincorporated county.
We have no experience with these issues and wonder if someone can advise us
as to what we should be checking.
I'm pretty sure the well and septic system must be tested by county health
dept. prior to sale.
How big a septic system? Just the wife and I as we are now empty nesters.
How much should the well produce?
How do we determine the water hardness?
How big a water tank should there be?
(I'm assuming big enough but not to big to be cost effective)
Please and thank you.
People are DNA's way of making more DNA.
(I'll leave the well and septic to others more qualified.)
Do some GOOGLE searches related to buying rural property.
Go to library; there are excellent books on the subject.
IOW, do the research.
Some things I can think of:
Probably no zoning laws. That can be a plus or minus, depending
on your mind set.
Maintenance of public properties, like roads. Who does it and how well.
Who will the neighbors be? In the large sense. Industries?
Vast chicken farms or horse/cattle operations?
What is the likely growth potential for the area? Could somebody
come in and gobble up all the ground water (as one example)?
What's the odds of flooding (or tornado)?
Just some random ideas.
Note: Also ask your questions on misc.rural (Good well, septic, and rural
living advice on that group...)
Contact the county health department about where to get the water tested.
You may be able to get a sample container and take the sample to the
testing facility yourself to save money. If they come out and take the
sample, it will cost more. I would do this yourself so you are sure the
water sample came from the house you are purchasing.
Find out how many people are currently living in the house. If you will
have the same number or less, then the well/tank should be adequate for
If the house is in a cold area, ask if there is anything the current owners
do for the well/pipes when the temperature gets below freezing. They may
let the water run or plug in a heat strip. Ask where the well is located
and ask about what type of pump, pressure tank, etc. they have. May want to
take notes. Ask where the circuit breaker for the pump is and ask if the
pump is on a separate electric meter. (Some pumps are wired so that they
will still have electricity when the electric power to the house is shut
off [for fire fighting])
A septic tank should be "pumped out" about every 5 years. Find out when it
was last pumped out.
Important: Find out WHERE the septic tank is located and mark it or measure
the distance from the house/landmarks and write it down. You will need to
know where it is when it is time to get it pumped out.
More: What should I know when purchasing a home with a well?
More: Septic system do's and don'ts
"FireBrick" wrote in message
Let me add one more bit of advice on rural living: are your lawn care tools up
to the job? How about snow removal? Long driveway? Is it high maintainence?
What shape are trees in? Pruning/removal is pricey. Underground electrical
service? If not it may be beneficial to change over. Need emergency power?
Priced generators lately? Have you asked about local handymen? Vital for
country living when things go wrong. HTH
On Fri, 9 Apr 2004 11:17:53 -0500, "FireBrick"
Drink a 16 oz glass of the water. Wait exactly 10 minutes.
Take a piss.
Now grab a tape measure and measure the lenght of your dick.
That figure is how hard your water is.
The harder your dick, the harder your water.
If you got soft water, you will also have a soft dick.
I'd recommend a really good home inspection, including walking the property
looking for junk piles or dumps where the previous owners have thrown what
wouldnt burn in their burn barrel. The EPA is really cracking down on this
and if you buy it and have to clean it up that could get expensive.
Also talk to your potential neighbors, the couple who bought my father's
farm, spent 150K+ turning it into a really really beautiful house then
landscaped the yard and restored the barn, invested alot of money. Then the
neighbor across the street put in 2 industrial hog barns, they both hold
several hundred hogs each. Now unless the wind is blowing really hard you
cant stand to have any windows open or be outside of the house the smell is
Where your well is located is also important. Is it downhill from a large
field with lots of run off? If so you are going to get alot of chemicals
the farmer is spraying on that field.
How good are the roads in the area, alot of outlying counties dont have
funds to fix the roads when they start to go bad, and pretty much wait till
they are shot before they spend the money to fix them. Also the farther out
you are the farther down the list you are to have snow removed, can your
vehicle make it through the snow to get you where you need to go?
What age bracket are you in? If you are older or just accident prone, you
really need to think about Emergency response times. Where I grew up it was
about 6 miles to the nearest firestation but when we called it took 45
minutes for them to respond. They were volunteer and had to get up, get
ready, drink coffee, drive to the station, drink coffee, warm up the trucks,
drink coffee, make a bathroom break from too much coffee and then drive out.
I love living in a rural setting, cant stand having another house right on
top of mine but its a trade off, and its not for everyone.
The septic system is designed for the number of fixture (sinks,
toilets, tubs, showers, washer drains, etc) and not how many people
Find out how many gallons of water per hours the well produces. If the
rate is very low you may need a cystern or a tank. These are things a
qualified well expert can answer. You should hire someone to test your
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