Post # 1
We are putting an offer in on a new home after our first one fell through due to appraisal issues.
The new home is wonderful.
It is an 150 year old farmhouse that has been totally rehabbed. Brand New Everything!
It has a nice amount of land and a gorgeous wrap around porch.
It also has a cesspool. Every time I ask someone about it, they act like it is the kiss of death for home ownership.
Does anyone have one?
Is it really that terrible?
We are in rural PA if you are wondering how it is even possible that they still exist
Post # 3
@Irishb: My parents actually have one. They just watch what kind of TP they flush. I think if it floods (hurricane, they live by the gulf of mexico) then they get a little worried but nothing has ever happened. I do remember though, when I was small, we lived at a different house with a bad cesspool and they had to dig it up and replace it. I think the cesspool is worth the wonderful farmhouse.
ETA: Just make sure you ask the right questions about the status of that current cesspool. Make sure its modern and doesnt have roots growing in it, etc.
ETA #2 (I thought cesspool, cistern, septic tank were all the same thing…so I actually have no clue what my parents have. All I know is they dont hook up to any kind of city sewer.)
Post # 4
Thanks for your response. I was hoping to get many cesspool success stories! lol
We are having it inspected, and we are also getting an estimate for septic in case it does fail in the future. We want to know what kind of money it will take to fix it.
I really really hope it doesn’t come to that though.
Also…It is definitely not modern…
That is the one thing they did not rehab. It is most likely as old as the home.
Post # 5
Is there a possible way to upgrade it to a septic tank? I did a quick google search to find out exactly what it was and it seems, unsafe. Idk, it’s such an old system that has since been completely done away with and is, in some cases, considered a health hazard. We were on septic for a while and never had problems, however a neighbor’s backed up horribly and it flooded their entire yard with sewage. It was absolutely disgusting and smelled awful for months. It just seems like a cesspool would cause even more problems since it’s not acually contained in a metal container but the ground.
Also, this comment from something on google I found really got to me..
Because cesspools are generally unacceptable, no specific operation and maintenance procedures have been developed.
Here’s the link.
Post # 7
Considering it may need to be emptied as frequently as weekly… Investing in a proper sewage system may save you a lot in the long run!
Post # 8
@BushelAndAPeck: whoops, I thought cesspool, cistern, septic tank were all the same thing these days.
Post # 9
@Irishb: I had to look up what it was as well. I would find out if you can upgrade to a septic tank. I think having to empty a holding tank regularly would be a nuissance and potential hazard.
Post # 10
I read all of these terrible things too (yikes)
We can upgrade to septic for a price…It can be anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000,
We don’t have the money to upgrade at the moment…especially if it is 30,000.
Post # 11
We asked about how often it must be emptied. The original owner sold it in August. A man purchased it with the intent to flip it.
The original owner lived there until settlement. She was required by the township to pump it every 3 years and provide documentation to be kept on file.
If it had to be pumped weekly, we would walk or ask that it be upgraded. We might as well just invest in an outhouse in that case. lol
Post # 12
@sheepandbear: No!!!!!!!!!!!! You were my only success story haha
Post # 13
@Irishb: You should also be aware of how much renovations will cost on a house that old and all the issues behind the walls. Putting in new fixtures and making it look nice is not the same as upgrading the wiring and plumbing. Given it has a cesspool, I can’t imagine any of that has been done.
Buying houses is my hobby – we can live off our rental income, so I do have some concept of what I’m talking about. Old farmhouses are charming but they are money pits. I love the style so much we designed our family home to look like one but it’s new. I couldn’t risk how much an old house can cost.
Post # 14
@Irishb: I guess then it would really depend on appraisal value of the home and land versus price. Due to the things I have read online it would be important to me that the price would reflect the, for me, obvious need to upgrade to a septic system. The price would have to have a good enough discount from the appraisal to cover the cost of a septic system upgrade for me to consider buying it, no matter how beautiful the home is, it would absolutely be upgraded to a septic system. Again, this is for me only and whatever you guys decide to do is your choice! 🙂
Is the drinking water well water or city water? That would be critical information as well. Sorry, I know this isn’t directly answering your question..just curious. 🙂
Post # 15
@sheepandbear: cesspool’s are under the ground and contained with “fill” dirt. (I use quotations because it is more than just dirt, gravel, rocks and more things to help “filter” out the sewage. Septic tanks are actual metal tanks. THey both do the same thing, biodegrade the sewage but septi tanks are contained and usually do not propose a hazard to contaminating the ground, unless they flood or are not maintained properly with bacterial ridix to help decompose the waste. Cesspools just filter the sewage and push the water away.
At least the is what the jist of what I read is, I could be wrong or not giving enough information. 🙂
Post # 16
We met with the seller and reviewed his plans. It really isn’t even the same house.
New walls, ceilings, wiring, plumbing, floors, carpet, bathrooms, heating system, cooling system, added two car garage and bedroom, new roof, siding, energy efficient windows…the list is crazy!
It has some support beams left for the main floor and the original siding and insulation are there (by insulation I mean brick) with new insulation and drywall added over them.
He said he called the township for information about the cesspool, but there was no record of a problem. So, he didn’t take on the cost to upgrade.