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Avoid A Major Hidden Cost: Your Sewer Line

Whether you are buying, selling or already own a home, getting a sewer scope could protect your wallet!

This week on #Chadwicksrealtips we are honored to have Geoff Kostelecky, Owner of Drain Brain LLC who tells us about the importance of understanding the condition of your sewer line. "It doesn't matter if you are buying, selling, or already own a single family home because sewer lines are often a major hidden cost to homeowners," sewer inspection specialist Geoff Kostelecky recommends. Denver Real Estate Professionals is particularly interested in Geoff's expertise not only as a sewer scope specialist, but also because he can provide necessary sewer line repairs! I have personally used Geoff and his expertise on a number of properties, all of which he helped save the transaction and saved my clients a lot of money! Here are some further tips you should consider in regards to your sewer line:

1. Homeowners are responsible for their own sewer line from their home all the way to the connection to the city line.

We often think that just because our sewer line connects to the city line under a public easement such as a paved road or alley, that it would fall under the responsibility of the city. Wrong! As a homeowner, not only is your sewer line your responsibility all the way to the to the city line connection, but it is also your responsibility to repair and replace the public easement back to it's original condition. Yep, that means you may very well need to dig up a chunk of your street in order to reach the city line connection and then put the paved road back to its original condition. But never fear! Hiring a professional company such as Drain Brain will complete all of this for you.

2. What is inspected in a sewer scope?

A sewer scope will inspect the main sewer line of your home all the way to the city line. The secondary sewer lines of your home will not be inspected as they are much smaller and vary in size. The main sewer line is the most costly to repair and replace. Why? Welp! -It lies six to ten feet below ground depending on the location of the line and age of your home. It is also important to know where your sewer line is located and how easily accessible it is. Does it run from the front of your house, under your lawn to the street? Or does it run under your garage, driveway, and your beautiful 50-foot tree in your front yard? Accessibility to your sewer line will determine cost for replacement. Never Fear! - Drain Brain also offers a replacement technique that can often times avoid unnecessary "trenching" and can sleeve a new line into an existing one. If possible, this technique can save lots of money.

3. Are sewer scopes apply to only single family homes? Quick Answer: No

Now we get into a gray area. Typically, condo and townhome homeowners HOA usually cover the expense (as part of your HOA dues) for the maintenance of your main sewer line. However, it is important you review your HOA Governing Documents to know where the transition of responsibility falls. Don’t be fooled! Each association can have different rules. For example, some townhomes may place the responsibility on the homeowner for a portion of the main line, but the question still remains – “Which portion and how long of a portion of the main sewer line is the homeowners responsibility?” Hence, it is crucial to understand exactly where that transition of responsibility from Homeowner to Association falls. Particularly if you are going sell or buy a condo or townhome, be sure to reach out to your HOA, and HOA Management Company to gather documentation that specifically outlines the responsibility of sewer lines (e.g. What is treated as common or limited common elements?).

In summary, if you are a single family homeowner, or going to sell or buy a single family home - by all means, give the sewer line inspection the attention it deserves. You can avoid a major hidden cost by knowing the condition of the existing sewer line. If you are a current or future condo or townhome homeowner, be sure you understand your HOA governing documentation and what your HOA fee covers.

Should you have further questions, please reach out to Geoff directly at:

Cell: 720-322-4845


We are always here to answer any burning questions and also answer into a future #Chadwicksrealtips episode!

Email: Tel: 720-666-9805

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