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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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When we first put the bid on our house, the seller disclosed they had the soil tested and small contamination levels documented. I'm not sure if the company that did the test had to report that to the State or not. I would assume so, only because when they finally took the tank out they discovered higher levels. As a result, the closing was delayed, they tested the soil by digging until there was no more oil, and we finally got in the house. I'd ask your lawyer and realtor that same question, I'm sure both have dealt with this before. Our agent said our closing was the top three most difficult in his career because of the tank. Best of luck!

Posted on: 2014/9/9 20:33
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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Tadco prices are higher than their competition. Try other bids.

Posted on: 2014/9/9 17:57
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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So, we had the soil tested with Tadco. Results came back, there is contamination, with an estimated 10k cleanup. Which I know is only an estimate since they excavate it could be more.

Then seller decided to have his inspector test the soil, results came back negative, no contamination.

Obviously we are not buying the house if they choose not to remediate.

My question is, does the State automatically get the contaminated result from the testing laboratory? As in, even if the sellers have this clean test result, would the State already have been informed of the contamination by the lab that got the dirty results?

thanks

Posted on: 2014/9/9 15:41
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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We have dealt with this many times. It comes down to how good of a deal on the house you think you are getting to decide if it is worth paying some of the cost to remove the tank. Of course never assume liability if there is contamination but if you are paying below market to begin with and a few thousand will get your dream home then offer it up.

We have fronted the money to be reimbursed at close, paid half of the removal fees and paid for the whole thing.

We also use Saf at Tadco.

Posted on: 2014/8/15 17:35
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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Yeah, we are definitely not buying the house without them getting the tank removed and making sure the soil is not contaminated.

We talked to our lawyer, he'll talk to theirs and we'll see what happens.

Our lawyer told us that the tank thing is the issue 'du jour'. Over half the deals he's working on right now are dealing with this same issue. So yes, the sellers would have to go through this whole process with another buyer in the future.




Posted on: 2014/8/15 14:10
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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Marullos, I think the last comment is the most sound. Do not take on the responsibility of cleaning/remediating the tank and soil. It will be expensive and it IS the responsibility of the owner. I wouldn't even offer to pay any portion of the costs, let alone half. They have a LEGAL responsibility to disclose this tank to any potential buyer. Sooner or later, they will take care of the cleanup and remediation if they really want to sell. Based on your comments here, I would guess that the seller KNOWS you are a motivated buyer and is probably hoping or assuming to use that to their own advantage. Hold firm on your offer, and put on your best poker face. They will fold. They don't have a choice.

Posted on: 2014/8/15 13:50
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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Don't give up so fast. Now that you have identified the problem, the owner MUST disclose it to potential buyers. No one in their right mind would blindly take responsibility, so it will ultimately rest in the homeowners hands. Wait them out and tell them through your lawyer that your offer stands pending a clean environmental report, from a company you pick. I used Lombardo Environmental, 1800 896 3390, very professional.

Posted on: 2014/8/15 13:37
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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Trust me when I say no house is worth the risk of badly contaminated soil underground, when you don't know how far it has spread. A huge gamble that could ruin you in one bite. Let go and find another one without a tank.

Quote:

marullos88 wrote:
ChampionSound, how did they finally realize the consequences of not pulling the tank?

We are having our agent talk to their agent, hopefully that will work.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Posted on: 2014/8/15 12:42
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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We used Saf at Tadco Engineering twice and we were very pleased with the process, with his manner, and his price. He's thorough and he's a pleasant guy. I recommend him highly.

Posted on: 2014/8/14 21:19
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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I'm sure their lawyer and real estate agent told them that they, as previous owners, were responsible of this and had to take care of it. The State already knew about it, so I think they were kind of stuck and had to get it rectified either way. I mean, we could have walked away, but we really wanted to get the house. The only choice they gave us was to have them put in another above ground oil tank (we wanted natural gas), which was better than not getting the house at all. The house was basically turn key. A lotos stress, but we finally got it and are happy with it.

Posted on: 2014/8/14 21:12
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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ChampionSound, how did they finally realize the consequences of not pulling the tank?

We are having our agent talk to their agent, hopefully that will work.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Posted on: 2014/8/14 21:02
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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That's what happened with us in initially. The sellers were like: Tough, we will just pull off the market. We wanted this house bad and were completely crushed. However, when they realized that not doing anything would really limit them in terms of selling, especially in this neighborhood, I guess they figured they would do whatever they had to. We lucked out, it could have gone on for months. Best of luck, oil tanks suck. Hopefully you will come out on the better side.

Posted on: 2014/8/14 21:01
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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The dig showed what looks like an oil venting pipe.
So, the tank sweep and the dig show evidence of oil tank.

Now the sellers say they won't do anything about the oil tank and if we want the house we take it as it is. Why let us do a tank sweep in the first place then?

I'm so sad, we really love this house. We are going to see if we can negotiate, offer to pay half of the removal cost as long as no contamination is found.

I wonder if they are just thinking, well, another buyer will come up and NOT do a tank inspection and we'll sell it to those people without telling them anything. Because I doubt anyone else will buy if they tell them about the tank. It's so freaking shady.

Posted on: 2014/8/14 20:51
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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That's so interesting, thanks for the info and the support!

Posted on: 2014/7/29 18:18
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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Quote:

marullos88 wrote:
Update:

We did the sweep today and they found a large metal object about 3 fet deep.

Inspector will have to come back later this week to excavate and find out what it is.

I assume it most likely is an oil tank. Although I wonder, were people in the habit of burying other kinds of large metal things in their property?


Yes. While cleaning up the yard in a house we renovated several years ago in Bergen Lafayette, I uncovered a very large, double-basin, enameled cast iron sink. It weighed a couple of hundred lbs and would probably have looked like an oil tank in a sweep.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Posted on: 2014/7/29 18:11
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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Update:

We did the sweep today and they found a large metal object about 3 fet deep.

Inspector will have to come back later this week to excavate and find out what it is.

I assume it most likely is an oil tank. Although I wonder, were people in the habit of burying other kinds of large metal things in their property?

Posted on: 2014/7/29 18:05
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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Quote:

gordonh wrote:
We used Safwat Taurus of Tadco 201-852-3764. He took care of permits and was very professional.

FYI, if he had found a tank, we would have walked away from the sale.


I second Tadco. We have used them a few times for tank removal.

Posted on: 2014/7/23 19:28
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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We used Safwat Taurus of Tadco 201-852-3764. He took care of permits and was very professional.

FYI, if he had found a tank, we would have walked away from the sale.

Posted on: 2014/7/23 18:44
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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You can contact the building department and ask for permits pulled and inspections done - there should be both for the oil tank.

Useful to do before closing on a property too - a leaking oil tank can be a huge liability when it comes to clean-up (including of neighboring properties).

Posted on: 2014/7/23 18:37
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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A neighbor recently had their oil tank removed. How can I check to see if it was done legally?

Posted on: 2014/7/23 18:29
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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Quote:

marullos88 wrote:
Ok, that's what I was thinking. We'll definitely get a sweep done. Any recommendations?

If we do find an oil tank, what do people do? Negotiate with seller and ask them to remove it? I would imagine that once it is known that there is an oil tank, they would have to tell any future buyers about it, and therefore it is in their best interest to just get it removed, no?

Meaning, I love this house I don't want to lose it!

thanks!


We used Lombardo Environmental for our search and were very happy with them. (We also did an OPRA search of the property records.)

Definitely don't buy it if there's a buried oil tank. The seller removes it (legally, with certification) or you walk away. Google the horror stories if you need convincing. (You're correct, though, that once they know they'll have to disclose to other potential buyers. The real risk is that they can't afford to sell at all, not that they won't sell to you b/c you don't want the tank.)

In any case, I believe you're unlikely to find a lender who will finance a house with a buried oil tank or an insurance co. who will insure it.

(My parents live in Somerset County and recently removed their buried oil tank because they were told the property is essentially valueless with a tank - since no one can borrow to purchase it or get insurance on it. Their tank was 40 years old and had been consistently insured and well-maintained. Despite that, they found a small leak and the removal cost several thousand dollars out of pocket (beyond what insurance paid). They now have a tank in the basement, since their property is not serviced by gas lines. This is just to say that even the best-case scenario of a known tank with insurance can cost more than you'd like - an unknown/abandoned tank can be a nightmare.)

Posted on: 2014/7/23 18:19
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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It nuts bc the actual removal and soil replacement is rather quick. However, the red tape with the state of NJ is what holds it up (in our case, although we were able to side step it and move in). We are still waiting for an NFA letter, which takes upwards of 3 to 4 months.

Posted on: 2014/7/23 18:13
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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My situation the owner of the house had it removed but she had her insurance company pay for it, it took 4 months to remove it and the price was about 85k. If you really love the house you might have to wait 4-8 months before it actually closes.

Posted on: 2014/7/23 18:03
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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We fell in love with our house, put a bid on it, and during the home inspection the oil tank situation came up. The owner said they would take care of it, even convert to natural gas. We were thrilled. However, when the cost came up, their tune changed. We went back and forth and they eventually ended up getting the contaminated tank/soil out, and put a new tank put in our basement.

It is in their best interest to remove it, but it's a gamble, bc you have no idea how much contamination there really is, and therefore the costs can realistically be upwards of $100K. You can research some horror stories, there are plenty out there. If you really want the house (like we did) and you are prepared for anything that may pop up, wait it out. It could have been a deal breaker, and we closed 1 day before our actual moving day, so it was stressful as hell. We are happy we waited it out, as this house is our dream home.

Posted on: 2014/7/23 18:00
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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Ok, that's what I was thinking. We'll definitely get a sweep done. Any recommendations?

If we do find an oil tank, what do people do? Negotiate with seller and ask them to remove it? I would imagine that once it is known that there is an oil tank, they would have to tell any future buyers about it, and therefore it is in their best interest to just get it removed, no?

Meaning, I love this house I don't want to lose it!

thanks!

Posted on: 2014/7/23 17:48
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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I agree w/ user1111. Get a sweep done. We knew there was an oil tank on our property, and the previous owner had the soil tested before we moved in. We are in GV and the house was built in 1890. Prior to the removal, the tank had only minimal contamination according to the reports. After it was removed (tank was partially in our driveway beside the house) however, more contamination was discovered and delayed our closing. Thankfully, the contaminated soil was taken out and virgin soil put back in only two days. We didn't have to pay for it, but if you do, it's not cheap either way.

Posted on: 2014/7/23 17:25
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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We hired an structural engineer (who is also a home inspector). It cost ~$500 for the oil tank scan. PM me if you want the information.

Posted on: 2014/7/23 17:21
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Re: Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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Quote:

marullos88 wrote:
Hello all!

I'm under contract for a property in JC. Inspector suggested we find out if there is an oil tank in the property.

Seller (who has only owned property for 6 mos, he bought it as a foreclosure and is flipping it) says that his understanding is that the property was only ever served by natural gas.

My broker says we can find out more by either doing an OPRA request and/or paying for a sweep.

I'd like to hear people's thoughts and suggestions on this issue. Is an OPRA request enough? Or should I get a sweep done regardless?

The house is definitely quite old, likely pre-1900.

Thanks!


I would get a sweep done, I was under contract for 1889 old Victorian here in GV.

The owner swore there was no oil tank. I later found out that there was one, and the owner was sweet old lady who purchased the house in 1981 did not know there was one when she purchased it because it was so well hidden. It was completely buried under the front porch under some shrubs.

Posted on: 2014/7/23 17:12
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Oil Tank - How do I find out if property has one?
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Hello all!

I'm under contract for a property in JC. Inspector suggested we find out if there is an oil tank in the property.

Seller (who has only owned property for 6 mos, he bought it as a foreclosure and is flipping it) says that his understanding is that the property was only ever served by natural gas.

My broker says we can find out more by either doing an OPRA request and/or paying for a sweep.

I'd like to hear people's thoughts and suggestions on this issue. Is an OPRA request enough? Or should I get a sweep done regardless?

The house is definitely quite old, likely pre-1900.

Thanks!

Posted on: 2014/7/23 17:07
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