Here’s a novel idea: Homebuyers should check out the septic system

Skip the onsite system inspection at a vacation property at your own peril

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This just in from the Ask Joe column at If you’re looking to buy a lake cottage, be sure to make sure the well and septic system are in good working order before making an offer.

A reader asks staff writer Joe Richer what precautions should be taken before buying a vacation property. Richer wisely warns the would-be homeowner to make sure the decentralized water and wastewater systems function properly before proceeding. Good advice, and given in a way the general public can understand it. Read the answer here:

This is timely a timely precaution, as the busy summer recreation season nears, a time when harried city dwellers’ thoughts turn to that peaceful getaway next to a mountain stream or on the shores of a placid lake in the woods. Too often people daydreaming about the idyllic summer lifestyle ignore this wise advice and wind up with a house payment … and a home equity loan to repair or replace a septic system.

Do you expect to do a fair amount of work replacing systems at vacation homes this summer? Have you branched your business into vacation property point-of-sale inspections? I’d like to hear from you if you market to summer home customers and thrive on overcoming limitations on environmentally sensitive properties to install systems that work and please local health department officials.

Drop me a line at If I get a bunch of responses, we’ll put a story together about the pros and cons of taking on vacation property work.







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