Home Buying in 20878>Question Details

Michael, Home Buyer in 20850

Is the value of a home diminished if the entire yard is on a septic field?Can a buyer use this to lower price?

Asked by Michael, 20850 Fri Sep 12, 2008

I know it means no pool -- ever -- but other than that restriction, what else does it do to the value?

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The willingness of a seller to entertain this a logic for lowering the price of the home would depend strictly on the sellers level of motivation.

As mentioned earlier, the fact that no central sewer exists was incorporated in the original list price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 12, 2008
Hi Michael,

As you state, you wouldn't be able to put a pool back there or potentially expand. Other than that, the value of the lot is measured by it's condition, privacy, space etc. has Hal has stated. Some people want pools, most don't.

If you are still looking in Potomac, then septic fields are common. However, most (not all) on septic in 20854 are on larger lots of ~2 acres.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 12, 2008
When you say the the ENTIRE back yard is a septic field, I imagine the house has a very small lot. Depending on the type of soil where the home, a typical septic field uses aprox. 3,000-5,000 sq.ft. Most counties will require an additionl space of equal size be set aside for the eventual replacement of the system.

If this is an older home, built before such expansion space was required, it may prove to be a valid concern for the purchaser due to the fact that they may have to pursue a potentially expensive alternative to typical septic system as the system ages. They may also consider purchasing easements for adjacent lot owners for expansion.

If however this area is simply located in the center of an otherwise typical lot, 3/4 acre or more, then it should not affect the market value for the majority of buyers.

It's necessary to consider the whole picture to advise you properly. I am happy to help!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 12, 2008
The value of any home is determined by what is common and customary in that home’s market area. If it is common for the homes in your community to have their septic field over their entire yard then, all things being equal, your home’s value should not be diminished. The only way for you to know for sure is to contact an appraiser experienced in your market area and get his opinion. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 12, 2008
It sounds like the yard is not huge so the drain field encompasses the majority of the back yard. Many homes have septic tanks and that does not diminish the value of a piece of property at all. Some buyers may not want a septic system vs public sewer but that is a personal choice. The value of a home is whatever the buyer and seller agree to on any property. If the system takes up the entire yard you can not put in a pool or or things you may like to do...but you can not "build" something else on most properties so that is not an issue. If the person wants a pool they buy a lot that can have a pool. If the system is working it is not a problem for the seller. If a buyer does not like it and wants to decrease value because of it that becomes an issue of value that each party needs to agree on. As long as it is functioning properly this sounds like an issue that comes down to the value of the property as a whole. it is hard do determine value with out knowing the rest of the community and the condition of this drain field. You should be asking your agent for comps and opinions about the rest of the community so that you know how you compare. If you need referrals to professionals in your area please let me now 443-866-6081 I would be happy to help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 12, 2008
WOW I agree with Fernando about entire backyard as septic field. If something happens to any of these tanks your yard would need "dug up" for others neighbors problems.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 12, 2008
Most septic fields are located in the backyard of a home. . and the value of a home should already reflect the fact that there is a septic tank in the backyard. . I'm not sure what do you mean when you say the entire backyard is a septic field ?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 12, 2008
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