I am in the process of looking at homes in Port Charlotte. When purchasing a home should I look for city sewer or septic system?

Asked by Kim, Port Charlotte, FL Tue Jan 15, 2013

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Karin Gehring’s answer
Karin Gehring, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Mon Jan 21, 2013
Thanks for the question Kim.
After selling homes in SW Florida for over 17 years I have sold many with and others on well water and septic.
Just like my colleagues already stated, first pick the home that you like, then figure out if you prefer water and sewer versus well water and septic. See what will be the Best package for you.
My clients that bought homes with well and septic save on average each and every year $800-1,000.
Sure a well will not last forever and yes the septic system must be pumped out in Charlotte county every three years. A pump out will run about $300-350.
To run the well is pretty simple and will be very little on power cost. A septic tank today will last a good 15-20 years if it does not get crushed or roots from larger trees will not wrap around the tank.
I believe you should get unbiased info on septic versus sewer and keep in mind each county has their own rules and restrictions on when city water will be installed and how much it will cost the home owner at the time.

For any other questions feel free to contact:

Karin Gehring
0 votes
Karen gave you the most objective advice. Much of the rest is personal opinion, and some just plain wrong. I have owned and maintained both types for 40 years. In that time, I've never personally been on public utilities, and have had no regrets.
YOUR choice depends on your goals. If you want the cheapest in the long run, compare costs over 10-15 years. Public utilities MIGHT be a bit less maintenance. I would not turn down my dream property over either, unless one has a cost advantage that sways you.

Don't flush anything into a septic system that you would not flush into a sewer and you will be fine. I've NEVER used additives or special toilet paper, and never had a problem. My pumpings for 2-3 people average 5-7 years.

(Property and high-end estate manager 45 years)
Flag Thu Apr 24, 2014
Randy and Vi…, Agent, Punta Gorda, FL
Sun Jun 1, 2014
Sewer or septic is really a personal decision and there are pluses and minuses to both. But you may severely limit your home choices if you eliminate all the homes on septic. Sewer is going to be more expensive since for every gallon of city water that you pay for coming in you also pay for going out regardless how it's used whether you are washing you car, watering your lawn or filling your pool. But on the other hand you are suppose to have your septic tank pumped out every 5 years on average.
0 votes
Edward Gallio, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Public utilities are the way to go. If septic look for an aerobic system, the newest and much more efficent. Also much less to replace or repair. The aerobic system uses large amounts of oxygen into the waste water which dissolves it much quicker and easier. A mini sewer is also something to consider. Public sewers laid along the streets and the individual home has a pump of sorts which pumps the waste down to the street into the public sewer lines. Some communities such as South Gulf Cove maintains the mini sewer system for the homeowners so it costs them little or nothing.
0 votes
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Wed Jan 16, 2013
While there's nothing wrong with septic, (I've lived with both and as long as you maintain your septic they work well) but given a choice I'd always select county/city supplied sewer over septic. In my mind it's well worth the paying to have the waste leave my property and be treated offsite. It also allows a home owner to expand their home in the future (subject to local zoning ordinances) which is not the case with septic which is designed for a specific number of bedrooms.

Good Luck and Happy House Hunting
0 votes
James Mullig…, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Wed Jan 16, 2013

I do recommend that you look for a home that is on the county water system. A well is expensive to install and maintain and the county water system is very good.

When I built my house there was no sewer in the area so I installed a septic system. In 2003 or 2004 the sewer was installed in my area and the hookup was about $8,500. There was an option to pay it all at once and get a discount or spread out the payments at 8% interest. I paid it off at installation. The way I looked at it: a sewer is a lot less expensive than having to replace a septic system if it fails. The county maintains the hook up and I have had no problem with the service.

If you can find a home you like with county water and sewer, I think that would be the ideal. If it has a septic system and you love the house, go for it. Sewer will come along sometime.

Jim (jim@suncoasteam.com)

James Mulligan, Broker / Owner
Suncoasteam Realty, LLC
Po Box 380503
Murdock, FL 33938
941-235-7474 Office

Office Location:
4055 Tamiami Trail
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
Web Reference:  http://www.suncoasteam.com
0 votes
Tammy Hayes, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Hi Kim,
City sewer versus septic varies throughout the entire area of Charlotte County. With a septic system you just need to take care of it. Use a monthly product such as RidX and get it pumped as needed. Don't put a lot of stuff, if any, down the garbage disposal and use septic safe toilet paper.Some of the older homes have had to get their septic system replaced, which can be costly.

One thing to take into consideration is the fact that some areas of Charlotte County may eventually go from a septic system to a sewer system and that would impose fees on the homeowners. Some areas did recently have septic systems put in and owners are still paying for it. Other areas have been connected to city sewer for many years and there are no fees.

Here is the Charlotte County Web Site for Utilities if you want to read about the water and sewer in the area: http://www.charlottecountyfl.com/CCU/

The decision to go with city sewer or septic to me would be based on the home I like and the area I like. I live in Port Charlotte and have city water and septic. I would be happy to answer any other questions or help you in your home search.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Green Lion Realty, Port Charlotte
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