…but city ordinances as well can impact our business. Here are two proposed ordinances that are up for likely approval soon by the the City of Austin. In the first one the City will inspect up to 190,000 sewer line laterals to homes in high risk areas for sewage backups and other issues. The City estimates it could cost homeowner’s $10-$3,000 to repair sewer line damage uncovered by their inspections. The City will set aside money for grants and loans to assist homeowner’s in paying for these repairs. If this ordinance passes then I need to determine how to make the buyer aware of this potential expenditure on certain homes and/or how to properly disclaim it. Granted, the general purpose disclaimer of ‘can’t inspect hidden damage’ will likely suffice but I do want those customers that are purchasing in the high risk areas to be aware of this potential issue while limiting my liability.
In the second example, the City is proposing to be one of the national leaders in energy conservation, reduction and the fight against global warming. On page 2, under Homes & Buildings Plan it states “Require disclosure of historic energy use, facilitate and require energy efficiency improvements in existing homes and buildings at point of sale.” Although the exact improvements that might be required are not yet spelled out this could potentially cause a buyer or seller to incur very substantial costs to upgrade A/C, insulation, heating, etc, etc and will become another negotiating task for the buyer and seller. The local Board of Realtors has just come out strongly against the 2nd proposal, at least the “at point of sale” clause (no surprise there).
Both of these may also allow for additional services to be promoted by HI’s as well, i.e. energy conservation audits, sewer line video inspection (by subcontracting to a licensed plumber?), etc.
Austin sewer.pdf (21.4 KB)
mw_acpp_points.pdf (31.2 KB)