Woohoo! You’re under contract for that sweet corner house in Austin you’ve been dreaming of. Just a few hoops to jump through before sealing the deal. You can practically hear the shiny keys tinkle in your hand.
But, slow your roll before picking out paint and window treatments – because there are important things to inspect before buying a home.
Don’t buy a lemon
No one wants a lemon after paying good money to a car dealer. Likewise, no homebuyer should get stuck with surprise repairs right off the bat – or worse, a money pit. Unfortunately, it does happen – even with professional inspections before closing.
Austin homebuyers usually get termite and general inspections before closing. One of the most important parts of the general inspection involves plumbing. Though general inspectors can give good overviews in their reports, you should go a step further.
What’s one of our top plumbing inspection tips for homebuyers? During your Option Period, get a camera plumbing inspection. You won’t regret it.
What’s a camera plumbing inspection?
You know how doctors sometimes put little cameras down people’s throats (or up the opposite end – ouch!) to get a better look at what’s going on inside of them? That’s basically what a plumbing camera inspection does for pipes. It’s an in-depth look at your system.
Trained technicians use special camera lines that go inside drains, to take video and pictures of your pipes. They use these images to assess the condition of your plumbing system. Through camera inspections, they can see wear and tear, snags, clogs, how much life is left in the pipes, etc.
Accessing the pipes
A plumbing pro can get camera access to your pipes in two ways:
- Through a sewer cleanout
- A sewer cleanout is a pipe that transports waste from the house to the sewer line.
- For drain line clogs, this is the best way to access them.
- They’re usually installed in easily-accessible areas – typically within a few feet of the edge of a home.
- In some cases, a cleanout may not exist – especially if the home is on the older side.
- Through a toilet
- If a cleanout can’t be used for the inspection, they can use a toilet for access.
- The technician temporarily removes the toilet and inserts the camera line into the pipe.
How long does it take?
It usually takes about an hour.
The most time- and cost-efficient method is to run the camera from the very back of the home to the point where the sewer line ties into the street.
What do you do with the results?
If the camera inspection comes out clean, congrats! Rest easy knowing that your plumbing is in good shape.
If the camera inspection doesn’t come out so clean, you have a few options:
- You can use the camera plumbing inspection to negotiate and knock some money off of the selling price.
- You can ask the seller to remedy the issues shown during the inspection – on their dime – before closing the deal.
- You can walk away, if you think the house isn’t worth the plumbing hassles or risks.
Don’t let your Austin dream home become a nightmare. Always get a camera plumbing inspection during the Option Period. Better to spend a little now than a lot later.