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Old 10-17-2012, 03:12 PM
 
69 posts, read 144,216 times
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We are in the purchasing process and just completed home inspection and our lawyer/agent and home inspector are suggesting an oil tank sweep 'just to be sure'.
The seller says there is no oil tank ever since he's bought the house and I've called the town and they have no record of there ever being an oil tank on that propertly.

Is it still suggested that I spend $250 and get an oil tank sweep done?
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Randolph, NJ
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Did the inspector have any reason to suspect that there might have been an oil tank at any time? How old is the house?
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ
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The seller may not be aware if there is an underground oil tank. Sensitivity on this issue is relatively new, the prior sellers might not have disclosed oil tanks of the past. I would order a sweep. You only get to not make this mistake once.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:55 PM
 
291 posts, read 747,369 times
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I second the suggestion to have the sweep. IMO, $250 is well worth the peace of mind, and "insurance" against any possible issues in the future, which can be astronomically expensive and cause nightmares when the time comes to sell the home.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:14 PM
 
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Was the tank removed? who knows? who cares? is there a pipe in the ground? is there any evidence of one? People obsess over this stuff. So what if there is a tank underground and you never find out? Not sure what you are trying to accomplish. There could be dead bodies under the house too, perhaps buried treasure...all of which you will never know. Save the $250
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:44 AM
 
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Are we talking about a 10 year old house, or a 100 year old house? Is the heating system forced hot air or hot water baseboard (less likely that forced hot air was oil in the past, but not impossible)? Are there other houses in the neighborhood that currently use oil?

Without answers to those questions, its tough to say if you'd be wasting your money or not.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:56 AM
 
69 posts, read 144,216 times
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The house was built in 1950 and the heating system is forced hot air. The home inspector didn't really have a reason to suspect that there was an oil tank.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Northern NJ
6,359 posts, read 6,460,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodSchoolols View Post
Was the tank removed? who knows? who cares? is there a pipe in the ground? is there any evidence of one? People obsess over this stuff. So what if there is a tank underground and you never find out? Not sure what you are trying to accomplish. There could be dead bodies under the house too, perhaps buried treasure...all of which you will never know. Save the $250
Bad advice. Obsessing on this topic is a good idea. So let's address your question: "So what if there is a tank underground and you never find out?" Well here is what will happen: The custom of tank sweeps is just beginning. First a few buyers were doing it. Now, many buyers are doing it. Soon, ALL buyers will be doing it. So you buy a house today and fail to obsess. Fast forward. It's 2016, Romney is running for re-election and you want or need to sell. You put the house on the market and get an offer. Well guess what your buyer is going to do. Correct, he is going to do the tank sweep you decided was unnecessary. And what if he finds a tank? Now YOU have to dig it up and test for a leak, or you can't sell the house. And if you find a leak, which is quite likely all these years later with the tank deteriorating underground, YOU will have to remediate it to the tune of thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Game over. You get to die in the house or walk away from it.

Do the sweep. Obsess.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:12 AM
 
69 posts, read 144,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Paolella View Post
Bad advice. Obsessing on this topic is a good idea. So let's address your question: "So what if there is a tank underground and you never find out?" Well here is what will happen: The custom of tank sweeps is just beginning. First a few buyers were doing it. Now, many buyers are doing it. Soon, ALL buyers will be doing it. So you buy a house today and fail to obsess. Fast forward. It's 2016, Romney is running for re-election and you want or need to sell. You put the house on the market and get an offer. Well guess what your buyer is going to do. Correct, he is going to do the tank sweep you decided was unnecessary. And what if he finds a tank? Now YOU have to dig it up and test for a leak, or you can't sell the house. And if you find a leak, which is quite likely all these years later with the tank deteriorating underground, YOU will have to remediate it to the tune of thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Game over. You get to die in the house or walk away from it.

Do the sweep. Obsess.
Marc - we just looked at the town file today and it says that the house was built in 1957 and has been gas since then. Do you think there is a chance that there was a tank below the ground even before the house was built?
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Northern NJ
6,359 posts, read 6,460,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nj97 View Post
Marc - we just looked at the town file today and it says that the house was built in 1957 and has been gas since then. Do you think there is a chance that there was a tank below the ground even before the house was built?
Town files are often inaccurate and 55 years is a long time. If you were my client I would tell you to do the sweep. $250 is 2 tickets to a Broadway show, and the seats wouldn't even be great.
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