Land for Sale with Well and Septic in VA?

Land for sale with well and septic in VA

If you’re searching for land for sale with well and septic in VA, then you’re probably in an area where much of the land inventory doesn’t have access to public water and sewer.

This is not unusual for Northern Virginia, especially as you make your way into some of the more distant suburbs in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and beyond.

More often than not, land is sold without well and septic. It is usually the buyer’s responsibility to install the well and septic before building a home. Occasionally, however, the lucky buyer comes across land for sale with well and septic in VA.

Alternatively, some buyers look for “tear down” homes instead of raw land—in other words, a property with an existing house with little or no value. Once the home is demolished, they may be able to salvage the existing infrastructure, which often includes a well and septic.

Whatever your preference, it’s good to be familiar with the pros and cons of well water and septic systems, as well as the basic due diligence items associated with each.

Well Water

When you buy land or a home with well water, you should properly investigate the system as part of your inspection or study period.

You should have two tests completed:

  • The first is a water quality test, which can be completed by your home inspector. The inspector will collect a sample and send it to a lab for analysis. The report usually comes back within a week, and it will show you how the water quality compares to EPA standards.
  • The second is a water quantity test. This will be completed by a specialist. It should measure three metrics: 24-hour volume availability; flow rate as expressed by gallons per minute; and recovery rate.

One of the major advantages of well water is that you’ll have free water. The downside is that you need to have the water quality regularly tested, and you also need to maintain the well pump. At some point in the future, you might have to install a water filtration system. Additionally, if the power goes out and you don’t have backup power, then you can lose water access.

Virginia land for sale with well and septic

Septic Systems

First, let’s consider what it means to be connected to a septic system instead of public sewer.

If you’re connected to the sewer, water and waste are transported by sewer pipes to a wastewater treatment facility handled by the local municipality.

When you have septic, waste water goes to a tank in your yard and then out to a drain field (also known as a leach field). The drain field disperses the water evenly, removes contaminants and impurities, and returns the water to the ground.

The benefit of a sewer is that it is much lower maintenance. Sewers also enable you to have a garbage disposal. Septic systems and garbage disposals often don’t work well together, but increasingly we are beginning to see septic friendly garbage disposal designs.

The disadvantage of a sewer system is that you have to pay for your water twice—once coming in and once going out. If you have a sprinkler system, you pay twice again. So you can end up with some pretty big water bills. It’s also a closed loop system and doesn’t return water to your local ecosystem.

With a septic system, your water bills should be considerably lower, but there are maintenance costs. The system should be pumped once every two to three years and – depending on the age and condition of the system – there’s always the possibility that you’ll have to replace it entirely. Replacing a septic system is a major expense.

In conclusion, if you can find land for sale with well and septic in VA, you should certainly consider it. Just make sure to do the necessary due diligence before closing on the property, and educate yourself on the pros and cons of these systems.

As always, if you’ve got any questions about buying land in Northern Virginia, please contact me any time at 202-750-4050 or

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