Explanations for Sinking Soil

Good home inspectors don’t just check out the interior of a home; they check the exterior and even the yard for clues that something “just isn’t right.”

So, when my client’s inspector noticed a depression in the backyard of their under-contract St. Louis Park home, he raised the possibility that the soil could be settling due to a problem with the main sewer line (essentially, the return from the home to the street or alley; when there’s a leak, the escaping waste water erodes the soil and causes the ground above it to sink).


The next step?

Hiring a drain and sewer cleaning service to run a camera through the sewer line to rule out a problem.

Given that that costs about $150 ” and fixing a sewer main can be $5,000 (or more) ” that’s a smart step for a prospective Buyer to take (and yes, they pay for it).

P.S.: Other, benign explanations for sinking soil:  a tree stump that was removed, or a kids’ swimming pool in that location.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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