Two Options for San Diego Homeowners: Fix or Sell Your House with Plumbing Issues

by | Jan 25, 2018


How Can You Tell if It’s Time to Replace Pipes?

There are a few things you can do to ensure you replace your pipes as a homeowner before things go south. To start, know your pipes. Supply pipes, for example, are normally made of brass, copper, or galvanized steel and have a lifetime of about 70-100 years. There are also drain lines, which are made of cast iron and polyvinyl chloride (the latter only has a lifespan of 25-40 years). If your home is an older home, this is definitely something to consider and keep your eye on.

There are a couple of other pipe types that should be removed and replaced, no matter how old they are. These two pipes are lead pipes and polybutylene pipes, which are either potentially hazardous to health or can break easily.

If your home and pipes are in fact older than 60 years, then begin to consistently look for warning signs. Some of the warning signs for old pipes include stains, flaking, dimpling, and discoloration.

If you’re interested in replacing or fixing your old or leaky pipes before you list your house, consider whether you’re taking on the project alone, or if you have other renovations to do at the same time. The reason we recommend this is because, in order to get the pipes to be exposed, this many times means breaking open drywall and getting into your walls. If you’re already taking on renovations, replacing the pipes may only be $1,000 versus upwards of $6,000 if done alone.

Buyers Will Look at the Following Plumbing Red Flags:

  1. Leaky toilets: While a leaky toilet may be difficult to detect during an open house or showing, it is possible. Any signs of discoloration around the toilet area or if the floor feels soft may be a red flag for buyers.
  2. Old water heater: A water heater can cost a homeowner between $600 and $2,000 to replace, so buyers will be on the lookout for the age and condition of your water heater. A water heater lasts about 10 years, so if yours has retired or is getting close to it, you may want to consider replacing it before you list.
  3. Leaky pipes: pipes that were not installed correctly can lead to serious damage. Buyers will check to see if there are any pinhole leaks or galvanized pipes. Pipes need to be the right size and be properly insulated in order to function well. If your pipes are not up to par or are in bad condition, this is another thing to consider replacing pre-sale.

It is a good idea to disclose any plumbing problems to potential buyers if they are not fixed. Even if the problems are smaller, like leaks and clogs, they could turn into something worse.

Want to Avoid Fixing Your Plumbing? Sell Your Plumbing Issues with the Home

If you aren’t in the position to pay for your plumbing issues to be fixed prior to listing, you’re still able to sell your home as-is. There are some buyers who won’t be afraid of the renovations required, but you should be sure to disclose the issues to them right away. The more upfront you are, the less likely they are to assume you may be hiding additional problems. If you’re going to sell to a traditional buyer who is willing to take on the work, be sure to list the home appropriately (with that expense in mind).

You can also find a guaranteed buyer from someone like a cash investor. Unlike most traditional buyers, investors seek out properties that need some fixing up, and won’t be alarmed by a list of repairs. By selling direct to a buyer, you can literally sell the home exactly as it is, plumbing issues (and whatever also) and all.

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