It is down a slope where any overflow would run away from the home? Is it something you walk by everyday going in and out of the house? Or, did you have to search to find it?. Do you mind city workers being in your yard once in a while using the access point? Will the workers occasionally be blocking access to the home?
While you probably wouldn't notice it after a time, it will appear to have neon lights pointing to it when any buyer first sees the home.
There are so many factors that influence the value of a property. In terms of a manhole cover, it really depends on the location of the cover and how visibly obtrusive it is in relation to the lot, view, etc. It often is easy to camouflage a manhole cover with shrubbery, a trellis, etc. However, I recommend you visit the Laguna Beach Planning Deparment before purchasing the property to learn if there are any regulations regarding landscaping around manhole covers. (Actually, I recommend that all Laguna Beach buyers visit the Planning Department to research the property as part of the buyer's due diligence before closing escrow.) In Laguna Beach, one of the biggest value factors for homes is view. If the home is in a desirable location and has a good view, it is very possible that the manhole cover is not going to have a big impact on the property value. You also need to assess your own sensitivity to aesthetic imperfections. If you don't consider yourself to be a perfectionist and yet the manhole cover is offeding your aesthetic sense, it is possible that other potential buyers may have a similar reaction, which could negatively impact the value of the home. As a Laguna Beach Realtor, I am in Laguna Beach every day. If you call me or send an email, I would be happy to inspect the property (assuming it is currently listed) and give you my professional opinion.
Laguna Beach, CA
First Team Estates
It never hurts to ask because the only thing the seller can say is "NO".