Does having private sewer, water well and propane gas affect home value? Looking to buy in robbinsville

Asked by Sb, Franklin Park, NJ Mon Jul 28, 2008

visited a home with the above mentioned features, 2 years old home in the 700k range.We are used to public sewer/water and gas heat. Not very comfortable with the home being on private utilities plus costly propane heat. Also, worried that not having public sewer etc with a newer home might affect value more than having this in a older home.

Trying to think about operational convenience, costs and long term resale value of the house.

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Shalu Thaman, Agent, Princeton, NJ
Mon Feb 3, 2014
The poster asked this question in 2008 !
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Jeanette Lar…, Agent, Robbinsville Township, NJ
Sun Feb 2, 2014
While the majority of water and sewer is public in Robbinsville-- there are a few communities that there is a private well and septic system. It is my opinion, that these are not viewed as a negative when purchasing or reselling a home. It is the sellers responsibility to provide a well/water certification prior to closing and buyer's responsibility to perform a separate septic inspection.

The maintenance of these systems is minimal, but they do need to be maintained properly. The sewer should be cleaned once every 2 years (approx. $275.00 cost) and the well requires a salt deposit for the water softener. ($125 every 4 months approx.)

Please contact me if you have additional questions regarding these systems. 609-731-9380 and I can explain further.
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Shalu Thaman, Agent, Princeton, NJ
Wed Nov 13, 2013
The original question is from 2008
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Anthony "Ton…, Agent, Robbinsville, NJ
Thu Oct 17, 2013
I would ask for the utility records, to confirm propane costs. i have not seen much of a difference in propane vs regular gas prices. Appraisers have continued to say septic and well does not have any negative effect on value, as long as they are working properly.
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Kenneth Verb…, Agent, PRINCETON, NJ
Tue Jul 29, 2008
Septic is common in many areas. Yes, you might have to replace it some day;so if possible avoid small lots. Life on these is around 25 years but I have seen some go well before this either due to neglect or poor installation. If you must replace a system where the old one is, the removed soil is treated as hazardous waste. (I had a sale where they escrowed $80K for the replacement due to this) Typically costs are much less though even when using a raised bed.
Get a good inspection and take care of it as instructed by health department.
Same is true of wells. I just closed on a 1 year old house that had to replace the arsenic flitration system with a double cannister type at a cost of about $5k. Main point to remember is your value will be based upon other similar homes in the area. Your well and septic may require larger lots which some people really want.. Dont forget to ask about the remaining new home warranty as some things may have coverage.
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Shalu Thaman, Agent, Princeton, NJ
Tue Jul 29, 2008
Hi Sb,
I moved from Franklin Park ( well water) to Robbinsville ( well water, septic & propane heat) & from a personal experience can tell you that these are the things to keep in mind:-

1. Well water- When you buy a home with well water the NJ PWTA act requires well testing by the seller - A clean certificate should reassure you of the potability & quality.
Personally it tastes sweeter, is naturally cold & you know there are no chemicals being added without your permission that could potentially be harmful( chlorine, flouride, etc.)
No water bill either :-)
2. Propane gas- The usage & how well the home is insulated is the underling cost determining factor.
You can have an above ground or buried tank that the gas co will drop by & intermittently fill up without any inconvenience to you.. Not any different from having natural piped gas.
3. Septic :- The age & maintainence of the tank is key here. Have it pumped every 2-4 yrs & you should be fine. We don't dump oil down the drain, don't have an in-sinkerator.
Other than that its all just common sense.
A septic testing is recommended if buying a resale & can be done at the time of the regular home inspection.
Working wiht an agent who is familiar with degrees of problems that could arise regarding wells & septics & potentially how much they might cost you , when to take a seller credit for these & when not to; & one who can put you in the hands of the right inspectors/ repair contractors is very important as is the attorney you work with.

Overall, if buying in a more rural area or one that wants to maintain its low density character , you'll find homes with well & septic.
Taking the right precautions could give you the home & the lifestyle you are seeking.
Call or email me if you have any further questions or require buyer representation.
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Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Tue Jul 29, 2008
Hi Sb, I work primarily in Somerset County and have two transactions in process right now that have well water, one of which also has private sewer (septic). I think the effect on value has much to do with whether properties with these characteristics are common or unusual in the area. If so, then it comes with the territory and likely will not impact relative value. If not, then it is a consideration.

One of my buyers was hesitant with the private sewer,but the fact that a hook up to town sewer was possible, put them over the top and made them more comfortable. You might also inquire about future possibilities, and costs, to connect to public sources,

Best of luck,
Jeannie Feenick
Weichert Realtors
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