Q: How much should a perc test cost? I live in Pennsylvania and the septic company I hired is demanding $2,400 for a perc test. They say that the test itself (3 feet) will cost $650, a soil scientist will cost $500, excavator and operator is $750, and a drip system design is $1,400. Does this sound about right or am I being taken advantage of? Please help – Minji A: Perc … [Read more...] about How Much Should Perc Test Cost?
Q: We recently purchased at lot in a new development. While excavating for the foundation, our builder informed us: “We ran into a problem with the soil on the back of your lot. It requires over -digging the footers and installing gravel back up to the bottom of footer. Unfortunately, this was an unforeseen expense that isn’t covered per your contract. Obviously, there will … [Read more...] about Should We Pay Extra Charge for Soil Problem?
Q: I am looking to purchase two properties -- both of which failed to perc back in 2005. I am not 100% sure if this was a perc test or a soil site evaluation, but after speaking with the county, they stated I could have it tested again to see if I could get different results. This new test would for sure be a soil site evaluation (hope that is the correct lingo). My … [Read more...] about Retesting A Site That Failed to Perc?
Q: We are planning to sell our house on a 0.6 acre lot, and have been told that we need to replace the drain field before selling. However, there is nowhere on our site that qualifies due to modern regulations, which require the drain field to be at least 50 ft. from a stream and 100 ft. from a well. There is really nowhere on my site that qualifies. Are there any options … [Read more...] about Fitting Drain Field On A Small Lot
Survival Tips for Bidding Wars Q: We are trying to buy a house or building lot in a very hot seller’s market where desirable properties sell fast and bidding wars are common. Prices often go way above the asking price. Any strategies you can suggest to help avoid a bidding war? Our real estate agent suggested we add an “escalation clause” to our offer. Is that a good idea? — … [Read more...] about How To Buy a House In A Seller’s Market
EQ: Do you consider an aerobic-treatment system a good option for a waterfront vacation home? We are looking at upgrading a 40-year-old septic system. I will do more research, but for now with the aerobic systems that need pumps and fans, I have two questions: 1) What happens during a power outage? We had a five-day outage over Christmas. 2) Are these systems … [Read more...] about Are Aerobic Treatment Systems A Good Option?
Q: I am trying to challenge my property taxes without going through a big expense. I have 14.5 acres. Six acres are considered unbuildable. Of the remaining 8.5 acres, all are considered buildable. I don't understand how they can be buildable when there is no access or frontage to any of this property, Is there any type of definition as to what makes land unbuildable? … [Read more...] about Appealing Assessment of Unbuildable Lot
Q: My wife and I gave earnest money for a piece of land to build our dream home. Before we paid the full amount, the seller contacted us to say the drainage plan failed on the land and had to be re-engineered. NOW the land has a drainage pond in it, which my wife and I don't want as it is too much upkeep etc. I asked the seller to refund our earnest money and he said NO. What … [Read more...] about How Do I Get Earnest Money Refunded?