Septic Tank Inspection and Maintenance

Many country homes and a few city homes feature septic systems for sewage disposal.

Lovely country home w/ a septic system

Lovely country home w/ a septic system

The 1st home I sold back in the early 1990’s was in Charlottesville, Virginia and had a septic system instead of being connected to the municipal sewer system.  Over the years I’ve heard lots of different ideas on septic system maintenance from placing a dead possum in a new septic tank to get the bacteria going to doing nothing as long as it’s working to pumping ever 3, 5, 15 years.  Both the Virginia Health Department and Virginia Cooperative Extension share info on living with septic tanks & septic tank maintenance.

 

Getting ready for a septic inspection/pumping

Getting ready for a septic inspection/pumping

Several types of septics systems can be found in Virginia:  gravity or pump systems;  Biofilters; Wisconsin Sand Mounds; etc.  Knowing the type of septic system in use remains important to developing a maintenance and use plan.

Inserting the probe/camera into the septic line.

Inserting the probe/camera into the septic line.

The first challenge consists of finding the line from the home to the septic tank and checking it for obstructions etc.  On this day a probe with camera was inserted into the clean out and worked down the line both ways.  We found some roots growing into the main line.

Following the probe in the septic line to the septic tank.

Following the probe in the septic line to the septic tank.

Above ground we followed the probe and located the septic tank.  This eliminated digging multiple holes in the back yard to locate the tank!

Opening/checking the septic tank & distribution box.

Opening/checking the septic tank & distribution box.

After locating the septic tank, the serious digging began!

We found the septic tank!

We found the septic tank!

We opened & checked the tank prior to pumping.

Opening the septic tank!

Opening the septic tank!

This septic tank looked pretty good!

Locating and opening the junction box.

Locating and opening the junction box.

After checking the septic tank, we checked the distribution box which also looked good.

Often homebuyers will have a septic contractor inspect the tank and lines.  During a recent pre-purchase inspection, the contractor inspected the line from the house to the septic tank and from the tank to the distribution box.   The contractor also dug down and opened the tank and box for inspection plus pumped the septic tank.  When buying a home with a septic system, please consider hiring a septic contractor to inspect and pump the system (they might as well pump while on site with the tank open!).

 

Posted in Country Living, Farms, First Time Home Buyers, Friendly Real Estate Advice, Homes, Real Estate Partners and Vendors | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

2014 Virginia Department of Forestry State of the Forest Report

Can you see the forest?

Can you see the forest?

The Virginia Department of Forestry just released the 2014 State of the Forest report.  In the Commonwealth of Virginia we often take forestry for granted.  With over 60% of the state in some type of forest (the report shows over 60% of the forests land owned by families/individuals), Forestry continues to play an important role economically and ecologically.  The photo above contains many different types of forests (urban, industrial, private, etc.).   I enjoy taking our grandchildren to the local State and National Forests, trout fishing, walking in the woods plus our family has one tree farm left (we sold one in Augusta County a few years back).  Get our and enjoy a walk in the woods.  If you’re interested in owning a small wood yard, tree farm or rural property, let’s talk!  I am here to help.

Posted in Central Virginia, Country Living, Farms, Forestry and Wildlife, Friendly Real Estate Advice | Leave a comment

Whole House Generator Replacement Time

Here’s the latest in our 10+ year adventure of having a Whole House Generator.  After 10+ years of use, our current generator began experiencing starting challenges during outages.  The last thing you want to hear after the power goes out remains backfires & sputters instead of a quiet smooth purring generator.

Old Generator w/ 10+ Years of Service

Old Generator w/ 10+ Years of Service

Living in the country, we experience power outages from time to time.   Many outages last less than an hour.   Since we’re the last home on a rural Dominion Virginia Power line, we’re had outages up to 14 days.  Annually our Whole House Generator logs at least 30+ hours of run time (Some years many more.  During prolonged outages, we turn the generator off at while sleeping.).   After 10+ years of faithful service, it was time to rebuild or replace our 12 KW generator.  What to do?

Out w/ the Old Generator

Out w/ the Old Generator

We evaluated rebuilding the existing 12 KW generator vs. replacing with a new generator.  With the advancements in generator and the switching/load management technology, replacing with a GE 20 KW Generator priced out a little more expensive than rebuilding.  Since the 20KW generator and new switching provided more power and the ability to run two heat pumps plus the well pump, lights and appliances (very important when living in the country!), we opted for replacement.

Working from a home office most of the time, I need a consistent power supply for internet access, routers, printers, computers, etc.  Having a Whole House Generator allows me to get information to home buyers and sellers during power outages.  I’ve written purchase contracts during outages when others couldn’t print the paperwork!

The Replacement Generator Arrives

The Replacement Generator Arrives

Before selecting an installer, we interviewed three local firms and had them independently evaluate our needs before providing a written proposal.  Once selected,  Lakeside Electric arrived early on a rainy December day to remove the old generator and install our new 20 KW generator.   We were very happy to be moving forward with the project!

Rainy Installation

Rainy Installation

The installers came prepared to work all day and into the night removing the old generator and switching panels followed by installing the new equipment!  The installers from Lakeside Electric worked very neatly on a rainy muddy day.  They didn’t track any mud onto our newly installed basement carpet  and restored the lawn covering with straw.

Replacement Whole House Generator Installed & Working

Replacement Whole House Generator Installed & Working

We’re ready for the next power outage with our new 20KW GE Whole House Generator (not that we’re hoping for a power outage anytime soon!).   We’ve got a 500 gallon liquid propane tank that Southern States Orange – Madison Coop has never let get below 20%.  Southern States comes out in the snow/ice if needed to fill the tank if needed.  Remember, your generator isn’t much of a benefit if you don’t have the required fuel!

I would highly recommend some type of generator for country living.  Your individual needs will dictate what type of generator and size best fits your home.  If you have questions on generators or our experiences living in the country, let’s talk!  I am here to help.

 

Posted in Central Virginia, Country Living, Farms, Homes, Real Estate Partners and Vendors | 1 Comment

Secure Your Home

 

Missing Outside Heat Pump Unit

Missing Outside Heat Pump Unit

With the downturn in our economy, stealing mettle items to sell for scrap continues to rise.  Recently a home in Southern Albemarle County, Virginia became the target of thieves.  In addition to taking the real estate for sale sign, they took the outside heat pump unity, large chest freezer from the basement and kitchen appliances.  If you have a vacant home or are going to be away over the holidays, make sure you secure your home.  Should thieves target your home, please make sure you report the crime to the local police/sheriff’s office.   With the holidays coming up and people traveling away from home, we may see an increase in theft from occupied dwellings.  Be safe and careful!

Posted in Central Virginia, Homes, Moving - Relocation Tips & Resources, Residential Investment Real Estate | Leave a comment

Cold Weather Tip

Winter Recipe for a Water Leak

Winter Recipe for a Water Leak

With the arrival of cold weather, don’t forget to disconnect your outdoor garden hose.  Also, some outdoor water lines have a shut off inside the house/basement to help prevent freezing and water leaks.  Check your home inspection report.  It may have info on water shutoffs etc.

Posted in Central Virginia, First Time Home Buyers, Friendly Real Estate Advice, Homes, HOUSE MONEY TV Show, Zion Crossroads | Leave a comment

232 Champions Pointe Terrace, Spring Creek, Zion Crossroads, Virginia 22942

Lake & Golf Course Views

Lake & Golf Course Views

Lovely 3 bedroom 2.5 bath home in Spring Creek .  Take the virtual tour and then call James 434-466-4663 to schedule a personal tour.  In addition to the 1st level owners suite, chef’s kitchen and full unfinished terrace level there are many upgrades from built in bookcases to wood floors.  Enjoy life in one of Virginia’s prime communities with views of the championship Spring Creek golf course in Western Louisa County.  SOLD 3/2017!!!

Chef's kitchen opens onto breakfast & living rooms.

Chef’s kitchen opens onto breakfast & living rooms.

Breakfast Room

Breakfast Room

Living & breakfast rooms plus chef's kitchen

Living & breakfast rooms plus chef’s kitchen

Luxurious Owner's Suite

Luxurious Owner’s Suite

Enjoy the panoramic lake and golf course view.

Enjoy the panoramic lake and golf course view.

Check out the Spring Creek golf course.

Make this house your next home!

Make this house your next home!

Please take the virtual tour and enjoy all the photos of this lovely custom home!

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Charlottsville Area Association of REALTORS releases 2014 3rd Quarter Market Report

One of many lovely homes currently for sale.

One of many lovely homes currently for sale.

On October 13, 2014 the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS released their 2014 3rd quarter market report.   Click this LINK to explore the complete report!

So what does the report disclose?  Across Central Virginia the median sales price increased and the number of homes sold decreased when compared to the 3rd quarter of 2013.  The numbers of home sales  increased in Louisa County and Greene County when compared to the same timeframe in 2014.

Since real estate remains local and most people want to know what’s going on in my neighborhood or a neighborhood where I’m interested in moving, please give me a call 434-466-4663 or e-mail James@VirginiaHomesFarmsLand.com to discuss specifics.

There’s lots of info in the report, so please take some time to review.  If you have questions, let’s talk.  Let’s talk isn’t just an invitation – It’s the first step to reaching your real estate goals!

I'm here to help!

I’m here to help!

 

Posted in Central Virginia, First Time Home Buyers, Homes, Zion Crossroads | Leave a comment

!st Time Home Buyer

 

James Dickerson, was in one word, excellent. From his flexibility in meeting with me, to his promptness in returning phone calls and emails, to his knowledge of the entire process. I came into the process a first time home buyer and am very glad that James there to help throughout.
-Sam

1st Time Home Buyer in Crozet, Virginia

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Another Fall Project

Have you disconnected your hose?

Have you disconnected your garden hose?

I hope you’re enjoying the cooler fall weather.   Soon we’ll have temperatures dropping below freezing in Central Virginia so it’s important to disconnect your garden hose to prevent the water line/hose bib from freezing.   The water leak resulting form a freeze can be expensive if the house and/or personal property are damaged.  Take a few minutes to disconnect your garden hose before the first freeze hits!

Posted in First Time Home Buyers, Friendly Real Estate Advice, Homes | Leave a comment

Septic Systems Info

Lovely Virginia Country HomeSo you’ve decided to move from the “city” to your dream county home.  There are a few things different about county living than city living with one of the majors being septic systems.  The good news: Most of the homes I sell now have indoor plumbing! I can remember using “outhouses” in the 1960’s.  For this post we’ll consider existing traditional gravity fed septic systems and explore alternatives and choosing the type of septic systems in a future posts.

For years we’ve been using home septic systems in Virginia but have you ever wonder how they work?  Here’s  a link to how septic systems work! I’ve lived in the country with septic systems for years but my bride hasn’t.  We often have “discussions” about what to put down the kitchen sink.   I’m often say, “Don’t put anything down the sink you wouldn’t put in your stomach.” (animal fat, bones, egg shells, etc.).  So here’s what the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Extension Service have to say about  septic system.   I also like this quick reference.   If you have specific questions, contact your local health department and/or Virginia Cooperative Extension!  Ask lots of questions and see if you can locate the original and any additional septic permits for your home.

 

 

Posted in Farms, Friendly Real Estate Advice, Homes, Land | 1 Comment