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Old 02-22-2012, 08:01 PM
 
22 posts, read 145,658 times
Reputation: 21

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We have made an offer to a house (built in 1960s). The house has an oil tank above ground now. There used to be an Underground Oil Tank. When the seller bought the house in 2002, the house had an oil tank above ground already. Now there is no record about this old underground Oil Tank, nobody knows whether it is still under ground or it has been removed. I heard this problem can cause difficulty to insurance and loan application. We had a home inspection, and the inspector mentioned that the seller should find the record for underground Oil Tank. The thing is the seller claims he cannot find any paperwork. will this be an issue if we buy this house and sell it later? Can we still proceed to buy this house without paperwork of the old Underground Oil Tank? I guess this might be very common in NY area as a lot houses are old. Thanks for any info.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
1,497 posts, read 4,430,922 times
Reputation: 638
Your attorney should be all over this. Never, NEVER buy a house without figuring out what happened to that old oil tank or it becomes your problem. If it leaked into the soil, you are screwed.

Your inspector should be able to find it - there is a special device that can find it from what I recall.

I'll assume that this is in Northern Westchester since it's not very common to find homes in the 60's without gas.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:52 AM
 
22 posts, read 145,658 times
Reputation: 21
Thank you for the info. The home inspector said the special inspection is needed to detect the underground oil tank, as the equipment is diffirent. so we plan to ask the seller to do this inspection and provide the document of the underground oil tank status. If the oil tank is still underground, then it needs to be removed by seller. If the leak is in soil, then they need to fix it.
Our lawyer and agent all tried to minimize this issue and pushed us to sign contract. We decide to not move forward unless the seller has paperwork and inspection for this underground oil tank. If they refuse it, then we have to move on to find other house to buy. We will not pay for inspection to this oil tank, it is like Septic, Owner should pay for the inspection. Am I right? Thank you.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
1,497 posts, read 4,430,922 times
Reputation: 638
The inspection is not very expensive. You can ask the seller to pay, but they may tell you to pound sand, although I would guess they will run into this problem with anyone.

Two things, though. If there is a leak in the soil, just walk away. Really, you don't want to live there and deal with what could be a real nightmare. Second, you need a new lawyer and possibly new agent. Your lawyer is there to raise all of the what-if's. An abandoned oil tank is a BIG issue, and if it ever leaked, you may have to disclose it to the next buyers even though it's been remedied.

So, even though the chance of it being down there are slim...and even slimmer that it leaked, if the answer is yes to those, it's a huge problem for you. Don't buy someone else's problem or it becomes yours.

As for agents, there are agents that just want to make a sale regardless of the cost, and there are agents that always look out for their clients' best interests. The second is very rare, but what you ultimately want.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:41 PM
 
258 posts, read 662,975 times
Reputation: 88
Per jjinla, you absolutely need to get to the bottom of this before going through with your offer. If there is tank below ground and it leaks, you're looking at $$$big bucks$$$ to remedy the issue. And it absolutely would impact your ability to sell the property in the future. Even not having the info could impact your ability to resell. Always keep that in mind when you're looking to buy property. Do NOT move forward until the seller gives you definitive info.

I also wanted to chime in on the agents/lawyer pushing you to sign. It's hard to believe that these 'professionals' have your best interest at heart. Ask them if they'd move forward on an offer without that kind of information. Wait never mind, they'll lie to your face... hahaha.

Seriously though, get to the bottom of this and be prepared to walk if you don't get solid information and answers.

GL!
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:28 AM
 
22 posts, read 145,658 times
Reputation: 21
Thank everyone. Now we realize how important to get the bottom of this issue. I am so unsatisfied with our agent and lawyer. We have not signed the contract yet. our lawyer received the contract from the seller lawyer, and did not do a good job to review. I am wondering if we can still change our lawyer at this point if we want to buy this house, we do not have any verbal or written contract with this lawyer, he is supposed to be paid when the house is closed. We know we cannot change the agent for buying this house, but can we change the lawyer at this point? Do we owe him any money? Thank you very much for any input.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
1,497 posts, read 4,430,922 times
Reputation: 638
Depends on the attorney really. Ours only was paid at close, and we backed out of one house that was in contract without additional fees. He charged a flat fee.

You can always change agents, too, assuming you didn't sign a contract with them. As for the house, I still say run. For every one thing you find, there are 3-4 more that you will once you move in, I've found.
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