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  • Writer's pictureLarry Thompson

Value Shopping

The real estate market in the Piedmont region of North Carolina is hot, and I am getting calls every week from people who are looking for property to build upon. The more challenging areas for septic systems that I work in are Anson, Union, Stanly, Cabarrus and Montgomery counties. Anson is located in the Triassic Basin and the other counties are part of the Carolina Slate Belt - the geology of both areas tend to yield very shallow, poorly drained soils.

This week alone, I received two inquiries on properties that I evaluated 18 years ago! Both of these lots were originally deemed unsuitable for septic system installations by the local health departments. After evaluating the properties, I made the recommendation that we consider pre-treated drip dispersal systems, which was a very expensive option at that time. My clients were getting $30k quotes to install these systems and opted not to build upon the lots at that time.

Fast forward 18 years... the cost of drip dispersal system installations have dropped by as much as 25 - 30% (due to a combination of lower cost treatment options and more experience with the system). At the same time, we have owners who have been sitting on property for 20 years+ that they are ready to unload and they know that the cost of a septic system is going to be extremely high. Now we have a buyers market! There are good values out there, you just need to look for them. Most of these properties are easy enough to spot. They are the ones with the ancient "For Sale" signs on them or they are the vacant lots in an otherwise developed subdivision.

If you are looking to build your dream home but are discouraged by the high cost of land, I encourage you to take a look at properties that have been previously denied a septic permit. Whatever you do, definitely have the property evaluated by a professional with the appropriate experience before purchasing, and do not be afraid to negotiate the cost! Are you ready to go value shopping with Thompson Environmental Consulting?

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