Home Buying in Derry>Question Details

Laura Taylor, Home Buyer in Quincy, MA

I am looking to purchase a 3 bedroom home on a 2 bedroom septic. Is this a bad idea for resale?

Asked by Laura Taylor, Quincy, MA Wed Oct 16, 2013

I am looking to purchase a 3 bedroom ( real 3 bed with closets). 2500 sq ft. home in Derry. This is on a 2 bedroom septic and the lot only allows for a 2 bedroom septic. I checked with town hall and technically this will need to be considered a 2 bedroom and resold as a 2 bedroom on a 2 bedroom septic. How will this effect my resale? Is this common? Is this a risk to purchase? It is a great home with many upgrades and we don't know how big of a deal it is or not.

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This is my understanding of a private septic system. I am not a septic inspector, but I have seen many systems over the years and been present for many inspections for our clients. I have seen 5-year old systems in failure and 60-year old systems functioning perfectly.

A septic system for 2-bedrooms is rated to support a certain number of gallons of water going into the leach field. If you pump more than the recommended amount into the system each day, the leach field will not function properly resulting in an early failure. A saturated leach field does not allow enough air into the system for the microbes to do their work in breaking down the effluent.

If you are buying the home, be sure to have a septic inspection to determine the condition of the tank AND the leach field. Ask the inspector if the field can be added to so it will accommodate 3-bedrooms. Often it is the condition of the soil that dictates the number of bedrooms a field will support.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 5, 2014
dont buy a home with a septic system if its older then 10 years
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 28, 2014
Hi Laura,,

if you purchase a home with a 2 bedroom septic system; then it is a 2 bedroom home (legally).
We see a lot of this in the market and should be cautioned by it. There is a big difference in value between the 2.
I would like the opportunity to help more- will need to meet you and see the property. You are asking a very important question- before you buy! Smart Lady! Kim Spanos/ Spanos Realty 603-894-4600
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 17, 2013
Maintain all the records of when you have the septic tank pumped out and when you regularly use products such as RidX. Do check with a septic tank expert, as someone else suggested. When you go to resell your property, provide all those records and considering marketing it as a 2-bedroom with extra office space or an extra bonus room.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 17, 2013
That can be a huge deal, not just because of resale, but because of longevity of the septic system. They are designed to handle a certain amount of "workload" and overuse can cause them to fail early. The resale is an issue because of the same reasons. If you have ever had to replace a septic system, you will understand why it is something that you really don't want to do.
If you would like some help to find a home that WILL be a good purchase, I would love to help.Robin
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 17, 2013
Hi Laura, it is easier to sell a 3 bedroom home rather than a 2 bedroom in my opinion. As for the septic system, like you, there are people who will buy into a situation such as this (3 bedroom with a 2 bedroom septic). I wouldn't say this is common. I've heard of more 4 bedroom homes with 3 bedroom septics. Try calling a septic company and ask there advice. Then at least when you decide to sell you will be able to pass the info onto your buyers. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 16, 2013
I got screwed over buying a condex with a 25 year oold septic system and the worst dam neighbor that connected to me they didnt foot there share of the bill and the agent lied about everything.Now I am stuck with a 25 year old septic system and I cant sell or buy because of bad credit also my electric bill is off the hook and PSNH says I think your other side (OWNERS) are connected to your power and suggested we get an electrician I cant afford that boy if I could but again I would not use caldwell banker
Flag Tue Oct 28, 2014
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