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Old 03-11-2017, 01:36 PM
 
4 posts, read 3,621 times
Reputation: 17

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We found a house we really like in Yorktown Heights. Made an offer and it was accepted. We didn't initially notice that the house uses a in the ground oil tank. We asked them to remove it but they do not want to, they said it voids the insurance they have on the tank.

the deal my realtor came back at them with is lower the price by $10k and we pay to have the tank and soil tested. If it passes we go to contract and as soon as we own it we get rid of the tank and put a new one in the basement.

I feeling very uncomfortable about buying the property even if the tank passes inspection. Closing will not be until June (we worked this out initially with the seller) and thats 4 months for a potential lack to occur (you never know).

We do really like the house but don't want to be stepping into a potential disaster.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!!
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:52 PM
 
2,400 posts, read 5,390,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carrjimi View Post
We found a house we really like in Yorktown Heights. Made an offer and it was accepted. We didn't initially notice that the house uses a in the ground oil tank. We asked them to remove it but they do not want to, they said it voids the insurance they have on the tank.

the deal my realtor came back at them with is lower the price by $10k and we pay to have the tank and soil tested. If it passes we go to contract and as soon as we own it we get rid of the tank and put a new one in the basement.

I feeling very uncomfortable about buying the property even if the tank passes inspection. Closing will not be until June (we worked this out initially with the seller) and thats 4 months for a potential lack to occur (you never know).

We do really like the house but don't want to be stepping into a potential disaster.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!!
I wouldn't be comfortable either. Yes, anything can happen.

And is that tank test 100% guaranteed? Does the company know with absolute certainty that there are no leaks at all when it "passes?"

And why would the seller lower the price by 10K? It costs a heck of a lot less to get the tank out (if it hasn't leaked) and install a new tank in the basement. We got our tank out for less than 2K. We converted to gas, but how much can a new basement tank hookup cost?

I don't understand the insurance issue. If the tank is leaking, the insurance company should pay their claim, correct?
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:55 PM
 
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From what I've read, tank insurance is not worth the paper its written on.
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Old 03-12-2017, 10:44 AM
 
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Don't do it!!! The accepted offer is contingent on inspection and it just failed inspection! If you really love the house, get a couple of actual quotes of what it will cost to have the tank removed and an inside tank installed. Have the contractors at and in the house. Then they can either pay to have it removed the self or you know what the adjustment cost is. Insist THEY pay to test the soil as well. What's up with your agent not insisting on this? This is likely to be an issue with anyone considering buying the house. Big red flag this wasn't made obvious before the accepted offer as well. What else don't you know? You did get an inspection right?
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Old 03-13-2017, 02:48 PM
 
2,400 posts, read 5,390,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleLC View Post
Don't do it!!! The accepted offer is contingent on inspection and it just failed inspection! If you really love the house, get a couple of actual quotes of what it will cost to have the tank removed and an inside tank installed. Have the contractors at and in the house. Then they can either pay to have it removed the self or you know what the adjustment cost is. Insist THEY pay to test the soil as well. What's up with your agent not insisting on this? This is likely to be an issue with anyone considering buying the house. Big red flag this wasn't made obvious before the accepted offer as well. What else don't you know? You did get an inspection right?
Again, if (and that's a big if) the tank is fine and there is no soil contamination, the cost to remove the tank and get the soil tested at the lab should be under 2K.

Seems like a plumber could install a new tank in the basement and hook it up to the boiler in less than a day. So overall, this is not a big deal.

Bottom line - it should be the responsibility of the seller to remove the tank and test the soil. You can quibble over the installation of the new tank, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal.

A leaking oil tank could be a HUUUUGE deal!
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:34 PM
 
1,830 posts, read 1,251,613 times
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The reason the seller doesn't want to pull the tank is because if he leaves it in the ground, he can move out without anyone finding out whether the tank leaked. If he is still the owner when the tank is removed, he would be on the hook for the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to remediate the soil contamination. Testing while the tank is still in the ground might not catch a spill underneath the tank.

Draw a hard line on this- don't listen to the dumb advice that your agent gave you. If you get a $10k discount but are stuck with the tab on a $40k spill cleanup, is he or she going to give you some of the commission back? No. Get the tank out while the other owner still holds title to the house so that he or she is on the hook if it turns out that there is soil contamination.

I'm working with an agent in Westchester right now and she tried to convince me to buy a house with the tank in the ground, but thankfully I have a very candid mortgage broker who grew up in upper Westchester and he told me that when he sold his house up there, every potential buyer conditioned their offer on having the tank removed prior to closing. It's only $2k and the houses up there are $700k+, so it's truly immaterial (which is why it's clear why the seller doesn't want to do it in your case- fear of the unknown).
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:51 AM
 
902 posts, read 885,889 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCresident2014 View Post
The reason the seller doesn't want to pull the tank is because if he leaves it in the ground, he can move out without anyone finding out whether the tank leaked. If he is still the owner when the tank is removed, he would be on the hook for the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to remediate the soil contamination. Testing while the tank is still in the ground might not catch a spill underneath the tank.

Draw a hard line on this- don't listen to the dumb advice that your agent gave you. If you get a $10k discount but are stuck with the tab on a $40k spill cleanup, is he or she going to give you some of the commission back? No. Get the tank out while the other owner still holds title to the house so that he or she is on the hook if it turns out that there is soil contamination.

I'm working with an agent in Westchester right now and she tried to convince me to buy a house with the tank in the ground, but thankfully I have a very candid mortgage broker who grew up in upper Westchester and he told me that when he sold his house up there, every potential buyer conditioned their offer on having the tank removed prior to closing. It's only $2k and the houses up there are $700k+, so it's truly immaterial (which is why it's clear why the seller doesn't want to do it in your case- fear of the unknown).

I agree with this advice. RUN AWAY if they are not willing to pull the tank. The cost to do so is so minimal, its not worth fighting over. If they will not, then they may know something. Just leave and find another house.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:36 AM
 
788 posts, read 704,670 times
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Walk away, huge red flag.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:15 PM
 
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Had the tank tested and it failed. Seller has to deal it.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:43 PM
 
2,400 posts, read 5,390,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carrjimi View Post
Had the tank tested and it failed. Seller has to deal it.
Glad you didn't listen to your realtor. Too late to fire her, unless you decide not to buy this house.

Legally, the realtor represents the seller. But I believe in this situation, she has to bring this to your attention front and center.
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