Water shutoff broken at the street

2 Replies

Hi all,

I am in contract on a 3 unit MF,  during inspection it was revealed that the main water shutoff in the house was broken.   I asked the seller to fix,  the seller looked into the repairs, and it was later determined the street side water shutoff was broken also.   It will require the city to get involved to fix this.   Has anyone experienced this before?  If so, what kind of costs are involved in getting it fixed? 

This is a 1900's era house, and I am thinking that since excavating is involved, I would likely want to replace the water main from the city's shutoff to the shutoff in the house also...

Basically, I am trying to decide if I want to continue forward with this purchase or walk away from it...



It's going to depend on your local code. Here in Maryland we are responsible all the way to the street even though it it public property, so if there are cracks in the shutoff or plumbing before that point the city would fix but send a bill to the property owner. We also have to have a new sidewalk poured when one cracks and the enforcement is pretty spotty as you can imagine. 

Call code enforcement for the address you're considering, report the condition and find out who they believe will be responsible. The city should get out to fix this pretty quickly so you can determine what the issue is inside the home.

Lack of water is a big deal! 

I would estimate the worst case scenario and budget accordingly. 

Permits, concrete demo, backhoe, supply line, brass valves, union plumbers (?). It adds up pretty quickly. 

The seller is not going to be able to market this property to a typical buyer and it will not support conventional or FHA financing until resolved. Once code enforcement is alerted, they may even red-tag as uninhabitable.

So, seller's got a problem. 

Your job is to determine the value of the problem and push as much cost and risk back onto seller as possible.

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