Buying A Home With A Septic System?

If you are buying a home with a septic system, you should know what to expect. Living in a home with a septic system is much different than one connected to public sewer. Most importantly, know that you own the septic system! Since a septic system is located entirely on a home’s property, it becomes part of the property. It is your responsibility to upkeep it and pay for any upgrades or repairs it may need.

Know What Questions To Ask

If you are the buyer of the home, you need to know what questions to ask the seller about the septic system. Get as much information about the system as you can.

Some good questions to ask:

  • Is there any history of trouble?
  • When was the last time it was pumped?
  • How often has it been pumped in the past?
  • Have any repairs been made to the system?
  • What is the age of the system?
  • Are there baffles and manholes in place?

Get An Inspection

Know the symptoms of a failing system!

There are common symptoms usually associated with a septic system that is beginning to fail. Be on the lookout for these problems, which could possibly be signs of a septic backing up:

  • Slow draining sinks
  • Odd odors coming from the house’s plumbing
  • Toilets that gurgle when flushed
  • Lush, green grass that stands out over the drain fields
  • Wet spots and puddles above the drain fields

In Maryland, a septic inspection is required to be completed by a certified inspector in the event of a real estate transaction.

Septic inspections can reveal the truth with how well the system is actually doing. Even if a seller is not aware of any septic issues, inspections often locate issues that are dragging down the effectiveness of the system; these may be issues that cost thousands of dollars worth of repairs in the future if not corrected now.


Call a certified septic inspector like Chavis Septic Services at 410-838-1200 to set up a septic inspection. To learn more about what a septic inspection is, click here.