Pro Plumber Tip: Homebuyer Edition

Get ready to buy

Being a homebuyer is exciting. Whether it’s your very first home, or time for a change, the process is a roller coaster ride. First, you have the task of getting your finances in order and selecting a mortgage company. Then, you need to select a trusted real estate agent. Once you have your pre-approvals and the right person to guide you, it’s time to start the hunt! If you have children, looking in an area with good schools is at the top of your ‘must-haves.’ Retired with an empty nest? Perhaps a 55 & older community provides the security yet independence you want. Young professional just starting out in your career? Something close to work to cut down on your commute and close to nightlife may be right up your alley. Your Amston CT plumber has some tips to help you on the journey.

It’s nothing like “As Seen On TV”

I think we’ve all watched at least one of those house hunting shows. The ones where a happy couple has $X of budget and a list of ‘must-haves’ that far exceed it. They walk around expansive homes with gleaning appliances and multiple rooms. Their goals are to entertain guests and have room for their growing families. On the other hand, there are couples looking to buy some dirt cheap property, roll up their sleeves, and put in the work to flip a home. Their goal is to invest a little money to get a huge profit.

Sometimes, I cringe when I watch these shows. So often, the homebuyer will do a walk-through and make comments about not liking a wall color, or the colors of the stove and fridge. I want to shake him and yell PAINT IS CHEAP, APPLIANCES ARE CHEAP, GO LOOK IN THE BASEMENT!!


Do your homework

It’s rare, if ever, that I see the camera crew traipse down into the basements of these homes. When I do, it’s usually a side effect of ‘whoa, look at this plumbing leak we found when tearing down that wall you hated.’ You shouldn’t come across major plumbing disasters AFTER you’ve purchased a home and invested an upfront chunk of change.

When you and your real estate agent are planning tours of homes, try your hardest not to get too attached to the listing photos. Remember, even we look our best in the right lighting, or a little help from photo shop. Ask your Realtor to get more information on the plumbing and electrical systems of the home. 20-year old water heater? 40-year well pump? Right off the bat, you know you’ll be replacing those items within just a few years of buying that house. I can’t tell you the amount of times a homebuyer has called us with a plumbing emergency the DAY after the closing!

What a homebuyer should look for

Once you’re inside a home for a viewing, head straight for the basement. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200! Right to the basement.

Look at the heating system. Is it a boiler? Look for signs of water leaks, rust, or corrosion. Are there service records available? When was the last time it was cleaned and the burner serviced?


How about the water heater? Is there any dripping from valves? Rust? Are there service records for the anode rod?


Can you see any exposed piping or drains? Are there any copper lines that show signs of pinhole leaks? Are the ceiling support beams dry or is there water damage from a leaking toilet or tub above?


The “guts” of your home are found in the basement. Before you set your heart on a house because of the beautiful natural lighting or great room for entertaining, please be sure that failing mechanicals won’t put a dent in your budget.  An emergency plumbing repair bill is a killjoy in an otherwise happy homebuyer occasion.

Your local Amston CT plumber

Rapid Service LLC has seen many changes in the housing market over its 30 years in business. While we provide emergency plumbing services, we urge homeowners to be proactive. Free electrical and plumbing system checks are always available. This is a valuable resource. You can’t even sit down at your doctor’s office before handing over your co-pay! Our free system check provides up to two hours with a professional, licensed plumber or electrician.* A homeowner usually jots down a list of plumbing concerns and walks the plumber around the home to point them out. At the end of the visit, you’ll be left with a plethora of options and pricing. We believe in empowering our customers with ways to be proactive to avoid a plumbing emergency. Call 860-228-1036 to schedule your system check today!


* Free plumbing or electrical system checks are available to residential homeowners within our service area. Appointments must be within normal business hours.