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Old 02-17-2009, 03:38 PM
 
3 posts, read 11,407 times
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I would agree as well. I almost considered a property with an underground storage tank. The costs for removal, remediation kept growing and post remediation, you cannot rule out contamination 100%. If there are any residuals, or contamination to the neighbors property, you will have a legal nightmare on your hands.

My friend actually went through this about 2 years ago. His relative was trying to sell his father property who passed away. Unfortunately, the were stuck with a tenant who found pleasure in playing with the oil tank that was stored in the basement. It was a hazmat nightmare which lasted about a year or so.

Sprint away. It really isn't worth it. Good luck with your search.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Shohola, PA
755 posts, read 2,003,037 times
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I believe there is also a grant program through the state (I could be wrong on that) where you pay a fee of a couple of hundred $$$ and they pay for the whole removal of the underground tank and installation of a new tank and testing. Here is the info that I was given by a realtor in Sussex cty. My sister went through this and I think she said it cost her something like $800.


The company in Sparta is ATS (Advanced Tank Services) www.atsenvironmental.com . When you call them, ask about the NJ grant for oil tank removal. 1-800-440-8265
One question to ask them is that if your tank is leaking, what is your cost? There is also a website that I found regarding this grant…Underground Storage Tank Removal Funds Available to New Jersey Homeowners


Not sure if this is still valid but definitely worth looking into.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:30 AM
 
74 posts, read 388,183 times
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In NJ no one should shy away from buying a house with an underground heating oil tank. The reason is that NJ has grant money that pays just about all of the expense to remove and install a new tank. Qualification for the grant funds are that you earn less than $250,000. Even when the tank has leaked the grant will pay the entire bill. In an effort of full disclosure, my company and other companies have helped people file for the grant money. If you are buying the house with a UST have a testing company evaluate the tank & soil and once you take ownership file for the grant for replacement of the tank.
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:37 AM
 
1,536 posts, read 3,885,249 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by actank View Post
In NJ no one should shy away from buying a house with an underground heating oil tank. The reason is that NJ has grant money that pays just about all of the expense to remove and install a new tank. Qualification for the grant funds are that you earn less than $250,000. Even when the tank has leaked the grant will pay the entire bill. In an effort of full disclosure, my company and other companies have helped people file for the grant money. If you are buying the house with a UST have a testing company evaluate the tank & soil and once you take ownership file for the grant for replacement of the tank.
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
I'm sorry, but I'm calling this out as flat-out wrong, unless you can prove otherwise. If a tank leaked and contanminated the soil, it is the owner's responsibility. And I know of no government program that will pay for all of the costs of decontaminating/remediating the soil (and potentially that of surrounding properties).

No buyer should buy a home with an underground oil tank -- to do so would be taking on a potential 250K liability that will not be covered by your homeowner's insurance.

Any owner who already owns a home with an underground oil tank, yes, you should look closely at what the NJ state grants can give you for reimbursing the cost of removing the tank. Your choices basically come down to (a) take the tank out and cross your fingers that nothing leaked (although your homeowners insurance may pay for it, if your policy was written before all this became a major issue and they insurance company didn't exclude it, or if you're still an oil heat customer you may have specific tank insurance that would cover it) or (b) keep the tank in the ground, understanding that every day it remains underground the chances of a leak/contamination increase, and that you're banking on being able to sell your property with the ticking time bomb to some foolish buyer.

Buyers - do not buy a home with an underground oil tank. Insist that the seller have it removed on his watch, while he owns the property, so that if there is contamination he's the one left holding the bag and you can walk away.
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:03 PM
 
74 posts, read 388,183 times
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Lusitan is the one that is wrong. NJ has a grant program and I have been personally involved in getting individuals their money back from NJ for clean-up cost that were not paid by their insurance company. Some of these claims involved a great deal of money. To summarize NJ will pay for tank removal, tank install and clean-up but you must not earn more than $250,000/year.
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Stewartsville, NJ
7,577 posts, read 19,252,699 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusitan View Post
I'm sorry, but I'm calling this out as flat-out wrong, unless you can prove otherwise. If a tank leaked and contanminated the soil, it is the owner's responsibility. And I know of no government program that will pay for all of the costs of decontaminating/remediating the soil (and potentially that of surrounding properties).

No buyer should buy a home with an underground oil tank -- to do so would be taking on a potential 250K liability that will not be covered by your homeowner's insurance.

Any owner who already owns a home with an underground oil tank, yes, you should look closely at what the NJ state grants can give you for reimbursing the cost of removing the tank. Your choices basically come down to (a) take the tank out and cross your fingers that nothing leaked (although your homeowners insurance may pay for it, if your policy was written before all this became a major issue and they insurance company didn't exclude it, or if you're still an oil heat customer you may have specific tank insurance that would cover it) or (b) keep the tank in the ground, understanding that every day it remains underground the chances of a leak/contamination increase, and that you're banking on being able to sell your property with the ticking time bomb to some foolish buyer.

Buyers - do not buy a home with an underground oil tank. Insist that the seller have it removed on his watch, while he owns the property, so that if there is contamination he's the one left holding the bag and you can walk away.
actank is somewhat correct..there is a grant program for the cleanup activities as well but it's a little more involved than just saying "you can't make more than 250K/yr". Your net worth comes into play as well - less than 500K not including your primary residence or retirement plans...plus you must prove that it's a financial hardship. The grant program is still thru the njeda but you must go thru the NJDEP first. If anyone is interested...you can find the information on the NJDEP SRP website under UST fund. There are also loan programs available for those who do not qualify for a grant. But I'm with you lusitan... let it be the sellers nightmare - let them go through the process before you take ownership of the home. It can be very stressful!

here's some info.: [SIZE=3]NJDEP SRP - UST Fund FAQs[/SIZE]

Last edited by wileynj; 02-18-2009 at 01:31 PM..
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:04 PM
 
1,536 posts, read 3,885,249 times
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ok actank thanks for the info that's news to me. But my recommendation still stands -- it's a nightmare, a headache, and many people won't qualify for the state aid, so don't take a risk and buy a house with an underground oil tank.

In this market, there is absolutely no reason to do so.
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:30 PM
 
74 posts, read 388,183 times
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The hardship qualification (this does not mean destitute) has not been difficult to obtain approval of. The company I work for prequalifies individuals & most qualify. Yes your net worth cannot exceed $500,000 not including residence and pension. The only grant applications that go through the NJDEP are for tanks that have leaked and require clean-up. If it is a clean removal and install it goes to the NJEDA. With the recent change where the NJDEP accepts the contractor (if licensed by the State) paperwork that the soil is clean the NJDEP will issue the NFA within a couple of weeks. The NFA cycle that took many months and sometimes years has been shortened to a few weeks after the clean-up has been completed. Yes if you can get the current owner to take care of the UST let them do it. But if this is a great property to buy and the owner will not take care of the tank removal you should have the tank and soil evaluated before you buy. If the tank and soil are acceptable you can have it removed when you take possession and be paid for it by the State. You should note even if the property is sold “as is” if during your inspection you find the soil is contaminated the current title holder is responsible. So always have the tank and soil evaluated before purchasing the property.
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:37 PM
 
1,536 posts, read 3,885,249 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by actank View Post
You should note even if the property is sold “as is” if during your inspection you find the soil is contaminated the current title holder is responsible. So always have the tank and soil evaluated before purchasing the property.
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
It's my understanding that it is not possible to determine with 100% accuracy whether the soil is contaminated or not until the tank is removed from the ground.

In other words, if you test the soil with the tank still in the ground, you may get a clean test result but when you go to remove the tank you may find contamination.

Alternatively, when you test the soil you may get a dirty test that would seem to indicate contamination, but it's not possible to determine whether the contamination is minor (e.g. costs 1K to clean up) or serious (250K).

With all that uncertainty, I see no reason to buy this headache. If it's so simple, the seller can remove it and deal with the risks involved.
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Stewartsville, NJ
7,577 posts, read 19,252,699 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusitan View Post
It's my understanding that it is not possible to determine with 100% accuracy whether the soil is contaminated or not until the tank is removed from the ground.

In other words, if you test the soil with the tank still in the ground, you may get a clean test result but when you go to remove the tank you may find contamination.

Alternatively, when you test the soil you may get a dirty test that would seem to indicate contamination, but it's not possible to determine whether the contamination is minor (e.g. costs 1K to clean up) or serious (250K).

With all that uncertainty, I see no reason to buy this headache. If it's so simple, the seller can remove it and deal with the risks involved.
This is 100% correct! Even the tank testing companies will only guarantee 99.9% accuracy - the other 0.1% is CYA!!!
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