Well water advice

5 Replies

Hi guys, 

So I'm looking to invest in my first buy and hold property. I'm looking at a duplex that is set up on a well water system. I am not to familiar with how well systems work and how well they maintain. Does anyone have experience with a well system on their rental? What can I expect with maintaining a well system? Any info will help just trying to see if this could be a deal breaker or not. I know I will save on water utilities but I'm unaware of the cost of maintaining them or fixing one if something were to break.

Thanks, 

Quinn

besides the obvious of making sure the well will support two house holds, has a good pump, etc., you will want to test the water regularly to make sure that it is safe to drink.  Have the bacteria, nitrates, etc. tested.  You don't want to be liable for people getting sick.  I hate wells personally.  We had one growing up that went dry.   I bought a house on a well a few years back, and selling it almost fell through because the bacteria was a tick too high.  Then we tried to kill the bacteria, which made the chlorine too high.  Then we tried to flush it, and it ran dry.  I looked into hooking into city water and there was a 10 grand hook up fee.  The water always tastes awful to me.  I hate them.  So do your homework.  Not sure how it works with a rental.  As for cost, you are looking at 3 to 5 grand to drill a new one.  A few hundred bucks for a new pump.  A few hundred for a holding tank.  Maybe a hundred bucks per year in testing.  So, if everything goes well, no pun intended, it may not cost you much.  But if things go bad, it can get expensive.  You will need an inspector to look it over.  

A little tip I learned from my state at least.  When buying, ask questions in writing.  MIchigan has written disclosures that provide a very basic level of required disclosures.  After that, realtors do everything they can to keep the parties from communicating.  That is good for them (less chance of sale falling through), but bad for you.  But I found, from doing legal research on a deal that went bad, you can only hold a seller to representations made in writing during the sale.  Who does that?  But you can submit questions about the history of the well.  Last time it was replaced.  Last time it went dry if ever, etc.  That gives you a little more cushion/confidence knowing the history.  And if they lie to you, you have a cause of action.  Just a little tip when buying properties with grey areas.  

Thanks for the input Account Closed yeah it sounds a little scary to me getting into that type of well system. I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not. If it comes down to it I will have it inspected to see what kind of costs I can expect. Anyone else have a rental with a well system?

Awesome advice Account Closed  Great!  I need to look more into that, I would hate to get burned just for not knowing the law. I know if everything comes back good with the well, it could be a huge positive for me as far utility costs!

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I guess this is a regional problem. Here in the Northeast - at least half of the houses have wells and they are no big deal. Sure, get the water tested and the pump inspected - just put those inspection clauses in the contract. When buying a well property, I budget $2,000 for miscellaneous repairs. Pumps are about $1,000 installed, and a treatment system will range from $500-$2,000. I've never gone over that budget - it seems like every well needs 1 thing, but not two. Again, this is the Northeast, so it may be different down there.