Should I Buy A Home with a Septic Tank?

Hang on. Don't be scared. We know that it is a feature that can make prospective buyers nervous, but it doesn't have to be scary. We promise.

Below are just a couple of questions prospective buyers tend to ask if they happen to be looking at a home with a septic tank.

How Common Are Septic Systems?

First of all, septic systems are pretty common, actually. About 20% of homes rely on such systems (whether shared among multiple households or set up as individual systems), according to the EPA. While most people think septic systems are a rural home feature, they can also be found in many towns and structured neighborhoods, depending on how the area was developed.

What Should I Do Before Buying a Home With a Septic System?


First off, know your state's rules. Some require a septic system inspection before a title transfer. But even if your state doesn't require an inspection, your lender might. (Please note! Conventional home inspections typically don't include an inspection of a septic system).

What an inspection will do is detail the system's condition, determine if it's sited a proper distance from a well (to avoid any possible contamination issues), and will examine trees surrounding the tank and drainfield, so that they can ensure no root systems are interfering with what the home has in place. Also, its important to know the age of the system. Knowing the age of the system can help you determine a plan to be proactive, so you can ensure your system is operating at optimal level when you move in, and for years to come.

Owning a home with a septic tank doesn't have to be scary. With the proper maintenance and care, you can enjoy your house for years to come.