Home Buying in Red Lion>Question Details

Kiamom, Home Buyer in Felton, PA

Can I sell my home that needs a new septic system?

Asked by Kiamom, Felton, PA Sun Mar 18, 2012

My husband and I were recently told that we cannot sell our home because it not only needs a new septic system but it is currently too close to our well. We were unaware of this situation six years ago when we bought our home.

Help the community by answering this question:


Market your home with a renovation plan using a FHA 203k loan- the buyer could use the 203k to get funds for a new well and septic. This can be completed after the sale. Just did one recently. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions

Jeff Onofrio
Director of Renovation Lending
AnnieMac Home Mortgage
Mobile 609-217-9409
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 18, 2012
Yes this could be a problem - you would have to find a buyer with cash or a very large down payment and if the price is right you may be able to do that. You could not sell the home to anyone who would need financing - unless someone has a very large down payment, the bank would not give money to anyone without a working septic and if the well is too close that is a major problem.

Call me if you would like to discuss this.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 19, 2012
You would have to disclose the fact that your home needs a new septic system and that the well is too close - so in saying that most likely you would have to sell your home at a discounted price. The bank will not give anyone a loan with a septic that is not working and you could not sell your home FHA with the septic and well being too close to one another. Someone paying cash could buy it but as I stated it would have to be a price way below market value. Is there any way you could install a new septic with it being correct distance away from the well?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 16, 2013
Hi Kiamon

Check with City or County planning.

If they allowed it in the first place, you may have a recourse.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 16, 2013
I just sold and settled on a home in Fawn Grove Pa. with the same situation, the septic system was fine so we installed a new well which would typically cost less. Feel free to call, text or email me:
717-542-2007 rick@countonrick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 16, 2013
Of course you can sell it, if you disclose the defect to any potential buyer. Protect yourself and your property value by knowing exactly what is going on and have several estimates for the work that needs to be done.I have three questions for you...

1.) Are you positive that replacing the system is necessary? If it was installed legally under guidelines that have changed since the installation, you may be "Grandfathered" and be able to repair rather tnan replace. Check with your municipality's "Sewage Enforcement Officer" to find out.

2.) What is the distance from the well to the septic? Currently, the well should be 50ft from the septic tank (if there is one) and a total of at least 100ft from the absorption area. However, FHA may allow the absorption field to be not less than 75ft from the well if it is considered legal and normal in your area (The lender and appraiser have to do some extra work to prove that). Go to the HUD website to see the requirements and read "Mortgagee Letter 2005-48". Talk to local lenders about the situation. A link to the website is attached.

3.) If a new system is required, is your lot big enough to accomodate it under the current guidelines? If the answer is yes, your local "Sewage Enforcement Officer" will have to do a "Perc" test to determine what kind of system is possible on your site.

After you have this information you and your Agent will be able to decide the best way to market your property. Best of luck to you! I hope it works out well for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 18, 2012
As mentioned by many others, make sure you take this into consideration when pricing your home. Also, this is going to be a very large issue for buyers and if there are unknown costs most buyers will not consider your home. I suggest you be proactive and get information for all permits, costs for permits, installation of system, etc. That will ease a few of the issue for buyers, but many buyers will still not want to make an offer. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 18, 2012
Hi, Sure you can but keep in mind any prospective buyer will most likely have an issue with this, unless already factored into the price. Plus you have to make sure there aren't any local laws that would prevent you from moving forward with repairs or replacement.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 18, 2012
You can, of course, sell your home with well and septic issues -- you will have to adjust the price to sell the home in its "as is" condition or make some arrangements to have the well and/or septic repaired or replaced with the proceeds from settlement. The fact that your well and septic are too close together will be an issue for anyone wanting to buy the home using an FHA, VA or USDA loan. Under today's standards the well has to be at least 50 feet from the septic tank and 100 feet from the drainfield. To sell you home without addressing those issues, you will need to find a cash buyer or someone who has money to put down on the house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 18, 2012
Probably not. If it is a matter of money and you cannot afford to install a new one prior to the sale, perhaps you can pay for the installation out of your closing proceeds (if any). Make it a part of the sale conditions. Most lending institutions will not lend on a house that needs a septic system.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 18, 2012
I would consider checking with your local zoning ordinances... it may be grandfathered in. Depending on the type of loan the buyer brings, they may accept it. If you have a cash buyer... it may not even be an issue!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 18, 2012
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