House Shopping

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by mandelyn, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So chicken legalities aside, I keep seeing some potential houses with things I'm not familiar with. We're totally shopping based on where chickens are allowed. Some areas, you can have a typical sized urban lot and 5 hens. Other places, no chickens at all. I sold all but 5 hens, so that we meet the requirements for any of the areas we can look in. Can always add more later if we buy in one of the friendlier neighborhoods.

    What's the deal with septic systems? Never had to fool with one before. Up keep? Cost? Issues? I know when they go bad you need to shell out some major cash.

    Sump pumps... they just pump water away from the basement or what? Freaked me out the first time I saw a hole in the basement floor with a pump in it. Saw it in a super cheap foreclosure property, which had bigger issues than that. But what needs to be taken into consideration with those?

    Block foundation versus poured... poured is better? Block is typically on older homes and prone to leaking over time?

    Can't bother husband with my questions right now, he just had his wisdom teeth removed Friday so he's not... focused.

    Saw a way cute house on 2 acres, on a septic system. Need to know more about how that works! There's no sewer to attach to, never will be with the terrain the way it is, so it's septic forever. I'm finding a lot of houses in that area that also have septic.

    What are the things you don't normally think about when you're all excited about buying your first house? LOL Cost of utilities was one we came up with. The house we rent now, we spend more on electric than food.
     
  2. Mehjr10

    Mehjr10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Septic Systems are good and will run for a long time if you take care of them by keeping grease out as much as you can, pour it in something and throw it away.. Keep out the plastics and things that are hard to digest, female products. Another thing that is hard on the septic system is a garbage disposal, which if used a lot will fill a septic tank with solids, that are slow to digest. Watch pouring things down the drain that may kill the bacteria that are used to digest the stuff in the tank. Occasionally use a product in the septic tank to help boost said bacteria (Clear-Trap, Ridex, Roebic etc...) We using a septic system that is 30 years old that has run great over that time. Any other questions just ask.
     
  3. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Only thing running to my septic tank is the toilet, all the "gray" water runs threw field lines. First one installed in the 1950s I think. Family of 7 for the first 20 years, me an the mom(my grandmother) are still here. Still working fine around 2000 when I drove a truck in to it an had to replace it. Not my truck ether. They don't hold trucks up just so you know. It held mine up for years but not his... oh well...

    No maintenance was ever done or is done to the new one.Coop was placed over new tank so I can never make the truck mistake again....
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quote: Run, don't walk. Sump pump means there is an issue with water intrusion into the basement. It's never a good thing to need a sump pump. Septic tanks are fine, generally. Most every house I've ever owned has had one, but it really depends on how old they are. I had to completely replace a tank and lines that were installed in the early 70's on one house. The lines collapsed entirely. Cost about $3000.

    Have never had to replace any others, you just should use single ply toilet paper and never flush even those supposedly flushable things down the toilet.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I like septic systems. Means you're not dependent on a sewer system if things go bad. Know where the tank is and where the lines run. They'll be a drain pipe (line) running from the house to the tank, then usually a couple-three leach lines radiating from the tank. Often you can spot them by three lines of green grass in an otherwise brown field! Get any records available and have it inspected. As I recall, the inspection consists of digging up the lid and just a visual inspection.

    I live in a wetlands area, and all the houses around me have sump pumps. Mine would have one but it's a crappy old mobile up on blocks anyway! They indicate frequent standing water. If the pumps work, maybe not so much a problem but be aware the area will be muddy much of the year and water damage is quite possible. Fence posts can be hard to set--here we dig about 2 feet and hit standing water. We auger a hole about 4 feet and someone has to force the post down while it gets tamped in, other wise the post just floats in the hole. Wetlands suck.

    Poured foundations are generally considered better quality, but I've seen block hold up well.

    Things I wish I'd thought about before buying.....

    being in an urban growth area. I am and they're encroaching on what I can do, city rules vs county rules.
    the wetlands thing.
    drainage overall. Is the land at all sloped or have ditches? Irrigation or water rights? Any easements? Any restrictions for animals/fencing/etc. Is it part of a homeowner's association?

    Good luck on finding a new place, and best to your stoned, er, unfocused honey! My husband talked me into buying our last truck while I was on pain meds after getting my wisdom teeth out............good think I love that truck!
     
  6. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh wow! I remember a lot of wetlands and drainage talk now... my mom did wetland protection for a number of years through the Sierra Club, and a lot of it was with developers and home owners alike. Thanks for reminding me! What can change drainage a lot is a a new highway. It can totally reroute water and dry out creeks, or send a constant flow of new water and cause all manner of drainage issues to existing homes. Sump pump would be a bad thing, a solution to a problem as long as it's working. Ok.

    A septic inspection sounds expensive, anyone know round about how much that runs? Aren't there trucks that can come pump it out? How much does that typically run?

    I take it you wouldn't want a garden near the septic system where those trips of green grass can be found? Or downhill from one?

    The property in question slopes towards the road, and slopes down and away on the back end of it. House perched on a minimal slope. No easements, but it's in a township that says livestock must be 100 ft from the property line, and no row gardens in the front. We'd have to get creative in the front garden, nothing rowed, decorative edible landscaping. LOL Mingle wildflowers with basil and garlic. Tomatoes and roses. If it's still on the market when we're ready to start making an offer, we'd have to measure out where 100 feet is and how much space is left for chickens. The shape is somewhat irregular.

    The only thing that sucks is there is a subdivision behind a strip of trees at the back of the property, and nothing is fenced. No garage either. Can't be too picky at it's price point though.

    Should have seen the look on the realtor's face when I was telling him where we can and can't look based on where chickens are allowed. Hahaha! And he has chickens too!
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If you're buying a home, you have to be prepared to pay for inspections. I don't think it was more than a couple hundred dollars. They'll be able to tell you if it needs to be pumped. Ours was not pumped while we lived there, 6 years. I don't think they need pumping on a regular basis, just if something goes wrong.

    I'd absolutely grow my garden over the leach lines. It's all broke down, nothing nasty is coming from them at that point, and it's great fertilizer. Depending on how deep they are you won't want to confine livestock over them, but chickens would be okay. Watch about driving over them regularly, also.

    Spetics do have a potential expense, but do so sewer lines. We had tree roots and shelled out several hundred dollars, would have been a LOT more if we hadn't been able to do a lot of the work ourselves. We had to lay a hundred feet of new sewer pipe, with all the trenching and everything to bring it up to code. Oh, and it runs across a neighbor's property! That was fun [​IMG]

    Owning a home means having an emergency fund for repairs, period. Something will break or need fixing, guaranteed. And the broke-er you are, the more that will come up!
     
  8. MamaRoo

    MamaRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A couple hundred for a septic inspection, however you can (and should) demand it be pumped and inspected before buying. After that, yearly inspections are recommended.

    There is a limit to what you can plant over a leach field, generally only grass is a good idea, but if you are planting things with shallow roots it would probably be ok. Might want to stick with hand-tilling, though.

    I agree about skipping the houses with a sump pump. Be sure to also check the basements for any water signs or damp smell.

    Can you put up your own fence? Look into that before you settle on it, some places have restrictions.
     
  9. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did a drive-by yesterday on the one with the septic system, it's all up on the road and the driveway is on a blind curve. Would need to be diligent about keeping the corner bushes trimmed back and create a turn-around place behind the house. Semi busy road too. Because of how close to the road it is, most of the 2 acres it has is off to the side and behind it, so most of it is usable ground. It's in the area that has the restrictions of no row gardens in the front, and livestock 100 feet from property lines.

    Husband is a plumber's son, he's picky on water lines, stacks, water damage, large trees in the front yard. He's dug a lot of trenches and cleaned out a lot of lines. The house we're in now, they had painted over the old cast iron stack. He was like "2 years tops on that". He was right, we've been here 2 years as of September, and the stack ruptured and started a pretty good leak 3 weeks ago. Easy enough to replace it, but he put some kind of putty on it to make it last till the weekend. Beware the painted cast iron! Could be attempting to hide bubbles.
     

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