U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New Jersey
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-20-2008, 11:38 AM
 
17 posts, read 118,323 times
Reputation: 18

Advertisements

A house we are looking to make an offer on has an underground/buried oil tank of "about 15 years." Environmentally, these oil tanks can have issues if they leak (and the cost to clean up an oil leak is $$$). Most articles I've googled say the average tank lasts 10-20 years before needing replacement.

The homeowner notes there haven't been problems, no leaks etc. And the township offers an incentive program of up to $3k for the removal of the tank should you want to convert to gas/replace a new tank.

My question is - have any of you encountered this/had a home that needed an oil tank replaced/swapped out oil tank for gas?

Obviously it needs to be a factor in our decision, but can we offer less based on the fact that the tank is old (despite functioning fine) and would need to be replaced soon? Or, is that not really grounds for offering less?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-20-2008, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Vermont
4,748 posts, read 9,224,793 times
Reputation: 1960
There is a state fund to do this also. I don't know how it all works. Expect to front the money first and wait a while before you see it. We have a tank that has been filled/abandoned and I would love to get rid of it but have a hard time fronting 3k for a tank that has "supposedly" been properly abandoned. The grant is unclear about our situation, but a still in use tank be covered.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2008, 12:06 PM
 
17 posts, read 118,323 times
Reputation: 18
Since posting, I did some reading of similar questions on this and other boards and it seems clear to me that we should possibly consider asking the seller to abandon the tank before we agree to buy the house. Thoughts on this?

Down the road we'd ideally like to put in gas... any idea of the approximate costs of this? I know it's vague - we'd be moving to morris co.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2008, 12:08 PM
 
9,125 posts, read 23,748,232 times
Reputation: 3346
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodStuff05 View Post
Since posting, I did some reading of similar questions on this and other boards and it seems clear to me that we should possibly consider asking the seller to abandon the tank before we agree to buy the house. Thoughts on this?

Down the road we'd ideally like to put in gas... any idea of the approximate costs of this? I know it's vague - we'd be moving to morris co.
You don't want them to "abandon" the tank- you want them to pay to have it removed, and any contaminated soil remediated. If they abandon the tank and at a later time it's found that the tank had leaked prior to being abandoned, guess who's responsible???
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2008, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Stewartsville, NJ
7,577 posts, read 15,019,024 times
Reputation: 1186
OP..I am an environmental contractor and trust me when I tell you this - DO NOT BUY THIS HOUSE unless they remove the tank and remediate the soil if the tank has leaked! Also, do not allow them to abandon-in-place. This method does not tell you for certain if the tank leaked or not! My recommendation, let the seller remove the old tank and install a new, above ground tank.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2008, 01:20 PM
 
1,529 posts, read 2,966,032 times
Reputation: 431
Take Wiley's advice on this - don't buy a home with an underground oil tank! You are potentially buying a six-figure liability that will not be covered by homeowners insurance.

It sounds like the house still uses oil heat, and that that underground oil tank is still in-use. I would require the sellers to agree to allow you to have a search firm search the property for any other underground oil tanks, agree that they will REMOVE all underground oil tanks priod to closing, test the soil for contamination at removal, remediate any soil contamination PRIOR to closing, and put money into an escrow account with your attorney at closing if there had been contamination and the money will stay there until you receive the "all clear" NFA letter from the state.

If there has been soil contamination, the state will be notified (by law) when the tank is removed, and will eventually need to come around and inspect to make sure that the remediation has been done properly. If everthing has been remediated, the state will issue a No Further Action (NFA) letter, but that takes time and almost certainly won't be done before closing, so the sellers should be willing to place some money (at least 10K) into an escrow account held by your attorney until you get the NFA letter and are in the clear.

The underground oil tank can be replaced with an above ground tank in the basement for the time being, if you're going to stick with oil. That's probably the best bet, and then you can convert to gas at your own expense down the road whenever you like, without having to worry about an underground oil tank causing environmental problems.

I did a lot of research on this topic recently, and I would NEVER buy a home with an underground oil tank in place at the time I take ownership -- because when you take ownership of the house, you take ownership of the potentially devastating consequences of an environmental nightmare.

This is a buyer's market. There's no reason to take on that kind of risk.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-20-2008, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Stewartsville, NJ
7,577 posts, read 15,019,024 times
Reputation: 1186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusitan View Post
Take Wiley's advice on this - don't buy a home with an underground oil tank! You are potentially buying a six-figure liability that will not be covered by homeowners insurance.

It sounds like the house still uses oil heat, and that that underground oil tank is still in-use. I would require the sellers to agree to allow you to have a search firm search the property for any other underground oil tanks, agree that they will REMOVE all underground oil tanks priod to closing, test the soil for contamination at removal, remediate any soil contamination PRIOR to closing, and put money into an escrow account with your attorney at closing if there had been contamination and the money will stay there until you receive the "all clear" NFA letter from the state.

If there has been soil contamination, the state will be notified (by law) when the tank is removed, and will eventually need to come around and inspect to make sure that the remediation has been done properly. If everthing has been remediated, the state will issue a No Further Action (NFA) letter, but that takes time and almost certainly won't be done before closing, so the sellers should be willing to place some money (at least 10K) into an escrow account held by your attorney until you get the NFA letter and are in the clear.

The underground oil tank can be replaced with an above ground tank in the basement for the time being, if you're going to stick with oil. That's probably the best bet, and then you can convert to gas at your own expense down the road whenever you like, without having to worry about an underground oil tank causing environmental problems.

I did a lot of research on this topic recently, and I would NEVER buy a home with an underground oil tank in place at the time I take ownership -- because when you take ownership of the house, you take ownership of the potentially devastating consequences of an environmental nightmare.

This is a buyer's market. There's no reason to take on that kind of risk.
I must say...I am impressed : ) You now know more than most others in this field : ) One positive new note - there is a new program being tested by the NJDEP which will allow for a "No further action" letter in less than 10 days from the time you submit the paperwork. The old program can take years for the issuance of the NFA. OP - one other comment - no homeowner's insurance company will take you on as an insured with a tank in the ground.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-21-2008, 07:20 PM
 
1,529 posts, read 2,966,032 times
Reputation: 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by wileynj View Post
I must say...I am impressed : ) You now know more than most others in this field : ) One positive new note - there is a new program being tested by the NJDEP which will allow for a "No further action" letter in less than 10 days from the time you submit the paperwork. The old program can take years for the issuance of the NFA. OP - one other comment - no homeowner's insurance company will take you on as an insured with a tank in the ground.
:-) Thanks in no small part to you, I've had quite a bit of a crash course in underground oil tanks recently.

What's the NJDEP 10-day NFA letter program? I've never heard of it before - got any links to it?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-21-2008, 08:24 PM
 
1,024 posts, read 2,321,053 times
Reputation: 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
You don't want them to "abandon" the tank- you want them to pay to have it removed, and any contaminated soil remediated. If they abandon the tank and at a later time it's found that the tank had leaked prior to being abandoned, guess who's responsible???




That's exactly what I was thinking. Why take a chance on being stuck later???
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-22-2008, 06:52 AM
 
Location: OH->FL->NJ
2,741 posts, read 4,098,145 times
Reputation: 918
>You don't want them to "abandon" the tank- you want them to pay to have it removed, and any contaminated soil remediated. If they abandon the tank and at a later time it's found that the tank had leaked prior to being abandoned, guess who's responsible???<

Run away. Dont walk away.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:




Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New Jersey
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top