new sewer line value? (greenlake craftsman)

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new sewer line value? (greenlake craftsman)

Postby AndrewW » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:16 pm

Hi all,

This seems to be a group of smart real estate peeps so I thought I'd thow out this question to the masses. We're going to be selling our house in greenlake fairly soon, but as luck would have it we discovered we needed a new sewer line before we could sell this place. I'm thinking of it as a final 'send off' from the house to us, one final bill in a seemingly endless list of 'fixes' and 'upgrades.'

This is the most expenive single item that's ever been done to the house, $25k for everything. Rediculous. My question to you guys, how much value will we be able to get back out of this job for having done it? I know it won't be 100%, but I'm hoping it'd be at least half. From talking with realtors, these plumbers, and others in Seattle this job almost qualifies as maintenance, as every old house needs it done eventually- so what's it worth to you to have it done already?

Also, this has tought me to NEVER buy a house without a sewer inspection, and I'd almost go so far as to say I wouldnt buy a house without this already done, or else I'd subtract 25k from the offer price, no negotiation. Who else is thinking this way? It seems like this is becoming a common inspection item for knowlegable buyers, what do you guys think?
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Re: new sewer line value? (greenlake craftsman)

Postby ira s » Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:45 pm

Andrew,
A couple of things occur to me:
1. Please get at least one more bid on that sewer line. 25k seems like an awful lot of money to me. I've had sewer line work done twice, and neither time was the cost anywhere near that expensive. Of course the last time was 12 years ago...Also, you can either dig the trench yourself or hire people from the millionaires club to do it for ten dollars per hour instead of the plumbers 80 or 100. As long as you know where the trench should be dug ( and the plumber would be happy to tell you where), you'll save a ton of money that way. You can rent a trencher to save on back breaking labor. Which is what I should have done instead of doing the back breaking labor and being sore for weeks.
2. Sewers are something that you don't see or think about ( until you need to replace them), so you're not going to come anywhere close to recouping the cost by having this work done. No, not even close to 50%. It is important to think about sewers before you buy a house. A good inspector will routinely spend some attention on it..
In your case, if you've got the time, call three plumbing outfits and get bids/analysis of the problem. Maybe the guy you talked to has a boat payment to make, and someone else might determine that a less expensive repair is what is truly needed.
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Re: new sewer line value? (greenlake craftsman)

Postby AndrewW » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:45 pm

Ira, thanks for your reply. As we get deeper into this thing I'm definitely going to call a few other places. I really got pulled into this in the worst way. a $500 routine block turned into $2700 to replace a section of broken line, which went to 9900 when they realized it was broken more than they thought, which turned to 19,000 once they were able to scope the entire line and know that they had to dig out most of the line, instead of line it like they thought they'd be able to do. Every step of the way was "we'll credit you the old charge and give you a break, here's the new total." Well today we found the line is broken under the street. and in Seattle they make you pay for that part of the line. Long story short, we're in second mortgage territory - $40 -60,000 all said and done. At this point I need to pay them the money I owe, and get some second options. $60k for a bleeping pipe sound ridiculous, city street or not. Any suggestions?
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Re: new sewer line value? (greenlake craftsman)

Postby ira s » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:14 pm

Paul at Budget Sewer in Ballard does good work at reasonable prices.
It really does sound like you're paying for your plumber's yacht. Everytime he takes a breath it'll cost you another 5000 dollars. Not saying he's necessarily doing anything wrong, but definitely check out some other outfits.
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Re: new sewer line value? (greenlake craftsman)

Postby davidlosh » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:37 am

I use $100 per foot as a gauge for side sewer work. So 50 ft is $5K

Let's do the math for the 50ft. Permit $300, backhoe at $100 per hour for 4hrs, hand digging at $60 per hour for 10 man hours, is $300+$400+$600=$1300 plus materials leaves a profit. Even if you double it it's nowhere near $25K.

I like Budget Plumbing and also Raymark.
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