Home Buying in 08833>Question Details

Wayne Happ, Other/Just Looking in Califon, NJ

buried Propane Tank

Asked by Wayne Happ, Califon, NJ Sun Dec 30, 2007

A house I'm looking at in North Jersey has an old buried propane tank in the back yard. I suppose from the days before utilities ran lines to each house. No one knows if there's anything in it. What's the best way to deal with these things? Dig it out? Leave it in place? My impulse is to tell the sellers to dig it out. But other people tell me it's not a hazard and not worth the effort to dig out. i.e. ($$$$)

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Have you scanned for any other USTs? Any time I represent a seller of a property that has had structures (past or present) for a number of years, I explain to them that most buyers are going to scan the entire property for any type of UST. Any time I represent a buyer, I strongly advise that they do a scan.

How do you know there is a propane tank? Because it was disclsoed, or because you found it in a scan? Are you under contract?

The State of NJ provides grant monies for the removal of oil tanks. I don't believe it applies to propane, but you could check.

More buyers than not will probably want the propane tank removed. You might also consider that since you will someday have to deal with this as a seller.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 30, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
Wayne, I'd be inclined to ask the Seller to remove it as well for the very reasons that Deborah and Elvis cite. They always have great and right on answers!

Good luck with your daughters wedding!
Web Reference: http://www.toddnorsted.com
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 30, 2007
My thought would be to have it removed as their is potential toxicity at some point in time. The new homeowner would be liable for it's removal.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 30, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
Best case scenario, it will eventually deteriorate, collapse, and probably cause a sinkhole. I'd want it removed. Worst case, the wedding scenario below...

2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 30, 2007
If it were my decision, I would prefer to have it removed, rather than having it pumped empty, and then filled with sand (another common solution)... as the new owner, I'd rather not have it on the property at all, to worry about.

If it's empty, it's not truly a hazard, but empty tanks can often make their way to the surface as soil conditions change, and you don't want that puppy popping to the surface at an inopportune time... say maybe the week before you're going to set up for your daughter's outdoor wedding ceremony on the lawn?
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 30, 2007
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
I would recommend having the sellers remove the tank. It happened to my seller. The buyer was testing was the septic system and after digging up the septic tank, we discovered the abandoned oi tank. My sellers had the abandoned tank removed. To everyone reading this, I have just discovered a company that utilizes a grant that allows homeowners to remove the tank for under $1,000. The company requires the money and a very long application but we have done it twice and the company is amazing. Email me at justink@remax.net for more information....Good Luck Wayne!
Web Reference: http://www.agentjustin.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 30, 2007
As a Buyer you will one day be a Seller. Make it simple and request the Seller remove the tank, then you won't have this problem.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 17, 2010
When the home inspection found one on a home inspection he did with one of my clients, he suggested that the tank be left in place and filled with sand.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 30, 2007
My buyer is dealing with one right now, and i think the best thing is to remove it.
If it's a concern for my buyer; it will most -likely be the same concern when my buyer decide to sell. The seller is getting it removed.
Flag Fri Jun 13, 2014
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