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Know what you're drinking

Being a smart homebuyer is more than settling on the right price tag. Water is at the top of the list when looking for your perfect home. As long as your system is working well, you won’t think much about where your water comes from, but if something goes wrong, you’ll care a great deal. Whether the house you buy has public water or a private well system will influence your costs and maintenance responsibilities for years to come.

It will also be mandatory for your water to be tested depending on the loan program you are using. FHA and VA loan programs require wells to be tested. I strongly feel that testing your water before buying a home is necessary whether required or not. It gives you peace of mind at the end of the day.

Drummond, Montana is unique in a way that nobody has a city water bill in town. Every

residence is on a private well, whether it is the sole well for the property or a shared well with a neighbor.

Here’s a breakdown of City Water vs. Private well systems:

City Water

  • You pay for it either through your taxes or a regular bill.

  • The condition of your water is on public record. Your local health department makes sure it is healthy to drink.

  • Your water comes from a large source shared with the community.

  • Your town is responsible for delivering water services to your property line. You are responsible for conditions on your property.

  • Mortgages favor city water.

  • It works all the time for everyone. If something fails, the town is responsible for giving access to clean water and waste removal.

Private Well

  • You buy the water and the septic system when you buy the house or pay to have your own drilled. Your costs are electricity for a pump and maintenance or repairs.

  • You only way you know the condition of your water is if you have it tested.

  • Your water comes from your own ground. And your neighbor’s water can be fine while yours could be filled with toxins. (smart to have it tested)

  • You’re responsible for access to your own water system. Your local health department will have rules about how you maintain it.

  • Your mortgage lender will want proof your water is bacteria-free.

  • Wells can go dry. Systems require replacements. If your electricity goes out, you will not have water.

City water and private wells both have advantages and disadvantages, but on the upside… If your community is on private well systems you won’t have any Looney Toons like ISIS slipping in and contaminating your water source!

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