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on site septic vs public sewers - added value

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flatback

Freshman Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Professional Status
General Public
State
Pennsylvania
Thank you for allowing me to post this question and thank you in advance for any insight that you can provide.
I am in PA and we are getting public sewers. The assessment for the sewers "cannot exceed the benefit to the property" by law. The home was built in 1974, 4 bedroom, 1.5 baths. The market value is approx. $400,000, sits on an acre and cannot be subdivided. I understand the town will use a "mass appraiser" to determine the increase in the value. What do you think the dollar value would be for this "improvement"? Anyone ever been involved in this situation ? Any and all comments welcome. Thank you!
 

Lobo Fan

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
This can be a fairly complicated question. The idea would be to try and quantify any added market value that being on a sewer might add. Intuitively one would assume that a house on city sewer would be worth more than the same house on a septic tank. However, market research may or may not bear that out.

In the perfect world there would be a similar development with recent sales of both sewer and septc homes. Compare them side by side. After the adjustments, any remaining difference could be attributed to the value of the sewer connection.

If you are planning to fight the value of the assessment, then you are going to need hard data. Much depends upon the dependability of the septics. If the septics are in an area where they drain well and are not adding e coli to any wells, they are worth more than septics in soils that do not drain well.

There are a great number of variables to consider. I suggest you find a good local appraiser and get a consultation.
 

flatback

Freshman Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Professional Status
General Public
State
Pennsylvania
Thank you so much for the reply and you are right, it is a very complicated issue. So complicated in fact that I cannot get an answer. I have spoken to 3 local appraisers and all but one looked like a deer in the headlights. The other said "I think about $15k to $20k but I never thought about it." I really do not want to appeal or litigate. I was hoping there was some standard methodology to arrive at a mutually acceptable number but it just seems so subjective. I have the feeling the town will just go for the max and leave it to the homeowners to appeal. Thank you once again.
 

Walter Kirk

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
New Jersey
You can compare similar houses with and without public sewer to development an adjustment. You can also use a cost approach.
 

JTip

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
What is the benefit having public sewer vs. private septic/sandmound?

Well they both provide the same service, one is stored on site, the other is taken away. One has a monthly bill, the other must be sucked out on occasion. One makes the grass greener, the other doesn't. LOL

As long as the unit is functional, there is no difference in value IN MY MARKET by having one over the other. Also, if public utilities are available, you really have no choice in the matter and must hook on, IMM. Besides, won't the borough/township be making money off the new business, do they really need the additional tax revenue?
 

Anthem

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Really a paired sales is required to show any difference, most times I see little to no difference that is directly related. Around here the town would love to get more and more folks on Sewer because as soon as they do your taxes DOUBLE.
 

JTip

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
I can't understand how hooking on public water/sewer would increase value/taxes. The costs, IMM, to hook on to the w/s is $4-$6,000 while a septic/sandmound can run $10,000-$40,000.

All things being equal, one would assume more tax revenue could be had on the sandmound.

I prefer having my well/septic at the house, no utility bills compared to the $119 w/s bill PER UNIT at my rentals....insane....

Lucky for you we are temporarily shacked up in the borough lawyer's office (due to our office burned) and he said there is no increase in taxes IN OUR AREA for w/s, be it new construction or forced tap on. Straight from the lawyers mouth. That will cost me a couple of hotdogs.....
 

RSW

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
My house is one of two or three homes in my subdivision that are are septic tanks. There are about 300 homes in my S/D. My water bill runs between $8 and $14 per month and I do not have to pay for sewage. The homes on public sewage in my area have water bills that run between $40 and $100 per month. I figure my savings per month on not having to pay for public sewage is well worth it. I have lived here for nine years and have never had any problems with my septic tank. Knock on wood!
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
as long as the unit is functional, there is no difference in value IN MY MARKET..
ditto here. the maintenance issue is offset by the monthly bill. I certainly would personally choose the septic system over the public sewer for a number of reasons. Cost, potential for "backing up" into the house, dealing with a municipality, etc. Ditto for well water over 'city' water. We have rural water. I have 2 taps but don't use them. My well water is great, adequate for most purposes, and that stew of alum and chlorinated liquid some in town calls "water" is unfit for human consumption.
 

aussie ken

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Australia
Thank you for allowing me to post this question and thank you in advance for any insight that you can provide.
I am in PA and we are getting public sewers. The assessment for the sewers "cannot exceed the benefit to the property" by law. The home was built in 1974, 4 bedroom, 1.5 baths. The market value is approx. $400,000, sits on an acre and cannot be subdivided. I understand the town will use a "mass appraiser" to determine the increase in the value. What do you think the dollar value would be for this "improvement"? Anyone ever been involved in this situation ? Any and all comments welcome. Thank you!

Hi Flat........from Down Under is the local public authority making it mandatory to connect to the sewer?............If not based on my local observations here on Sewered V Unsewered Values you might be wise to seriously not worry about connecting............your 1 Acre parcel is a generous size for effluent absorbsion.......... and I would suggest that at best any value increase from getting the sewer for a 1 Acre block would be immeasurable. Certainly, locally here authorities have had to make it mandatory to connect to the sewer where it has recently become available for some of the the small village locales I value..........simply because the locals would not do it as the cost of connection didnt justify any value improvement.
 
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