You have found the home you really want and your Realtor® suggests a sewer lateral inspection along with a home inspection should be completed. Why you ask? Because it could be a trip down a rabbit hole and the Buyer, Seller or both might not be too happy with the results.
First, a little background information. The sewer line that carries wastewater from the sanitary fixtures and floor drains inside your home to the city’s main sewer line is called a sewer lateral. The property owner owns and is responsible for maintaining the sewer lateral from inside the home to the point where it connects with the city`s main sewer line at the street. The sewer lateral typically is made from PVC (modern), and older materials such as cast iron, clay, transite and the dreaded no-corrode pipe.
No-corrode is a pipe that was made locally from paper and tar rolled into a thick tube similar to a wrapping paper tube only much thicker. While it was thought to be a good idea at the time, after a few decades or longer under the home, it often blisters and collapses. The only way to remove it is to have a plumber dig up the basement floor, dig up the front yard and install a new pipe inside and outside of the house and have it reconnected to the city portion of the sewer. This can be expensive, messy, and inconvenient. When no-corrode is discovered during an inspection it usually means another negotiation must be made because someone has to pay to have it fixed. It can be the Seller paying to have the work done or the Buyer asking for a reduced price and getting the work done when they take possession. Even if you don’t think the sewer lateral is no-corrode, it is still a good decision to have it checked because you may still have blockages such as roots, grease, or a partially collapsed sewer lateral.
In the grand scheme of things, it is not a lot of money for peace of mind especially if you wish to have a finished basement.
Talk with your Realtor® they are here to help.