What is the White Pipe in the Front Yard?

We recently received a phone call from one of our first-time home buyers. He had closed earlier in the month and while he was cleaning out the landscaping in front of the home, he had found an open PVC pipe. He was really concerned that there was a problem.

The good news is that pipe is nothing more than a clean-out for the homes sewer system. If there is ever a problem with the sewer system, a plumber can use the clean-out to diagnose the problem. Many plumbers have a snake with lights and a camera on the end so they can find clogs or breaks in the sewer lines.

The bad news is that it should be covered. However, it was an easy fix. We took him down to our local hardware store and purchased a rubber cap and a large clamp. We went back to the home and had him fixed up and ready to go in 20 minutes.

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Photo Copyright 2012 Imaged2Sell 

Consider Winterizing Your Vacant House

While many people think that Texas is hot and dry, we do get a couple of hard freezes a year. For most people it simply means that the heat runs a bit more. However, if your house is vacant and the utilities have been turned off it could result in thousands of dollars in freeze damage.

Snowfall in Texas

Copyright 2011 - Imaged2Sell

I received an email from a client with a vacant house last week worrying about this issue because of a blast of cold arctic air that is supposed to drop temperatures into the teens and stay near freezing for a few days.

Rather than having him turn on the utilities, we suggested he have the property winterized. Locally, we often use Mark Kissee of Kissee Inspections to handle this process for our clients. Winterization usually costs less than $150 (a bit more if there is a pool or a really large house) in our market. This is far less than the time and expense of having the utilities turned back on.

Worried about your vacant house? Winterize it!

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR