For homeowners looking to buy a new house there are traditional steps to the house buying process. A real estate appraiser will come visit the property to set a value to the home based on condition, improvements, location, and nearby comparable properties. Once a number has been set and a buyer has made a deal with the seller of the home, there will be a home inspection. The inspection is performed by a professional who will hand over the inspection report to the potential buyers. The report will include a thorough examination of the foundation, the roofing, the HVAC system, and the plumbing throughout the house.
Omitting major problems can not only anger buyers, but may even lead to legal issues down the road. Thus, the inspection is very important, so that the buyer knows exactly what type of property they are inheriting, and what potential problems may arise. For buyers looking to purchase older properties, they have to be aware that more structural problems may exist and need to be repaired. Compromises will be made from a price standpoint post this home inspection.
In New Jersey, another important component of a home inspection is an oil tank search. The seller of the home might not always be aware that an oil tank is underground on their property. Perhaps it was an old way prior owners had used to heat their homes long ago. A majority of people nowadays use a gas or electric furnace, and so this may be the case with the current homeowner. If the homeowners are aware that the oil tank is on their property, it is imperative by law that they release this information to the potential buyers. Oil tanks can have dangerous environmental impacts and it’s important that the new buyers know what they will potentially have to take care of.
However, some homeowners will have no idea that an underground oil tank is on their property. This is why an oil tank search is so important. An oil tank search is performed by a professional who will begin to look for clues as to the presence of an oil tank. Examples may be an oil fired furnace, pipes or lines indicating oil lines, or oil burner switches. After searching for clues the professionals will use detection equipment to hunt for any buried metal objects. This type of equipment can detect metal up to eight feet below the surface. Thus, this detection equipment acts as a second line of defense when it comes to trying to find an oil tank on a property prior to buying a home.
What to do now that you have found an oil tank on the property? If an oil tank is found, the first thing to determine is whether the tank is active or decommissioned. If active, the potential buyer can discuss with the owner whether they would like the oil tank removed or not prior to move in. In both cases, active and decommissioned, it is important that there is a thorough check for any potential oil leakages. This includes soil sampling as well as an examination of the tank itself. If there have been any oil leaks, the current homeowner will likely be responsible for any of the cleanup costs prior to the new homeowner moving in.
To avoid potential legal hassle, it’s smart for homeowners to check for an oil tank before ever putting their house on the market. This way they can fully disclose all information and speed up the selling process. As a home buyer, be smart about the way you buy. Take all precautions and know all the potential risks that can accompany an oil tank. Give us a call today at Oil Tank Solutions for any service needs regarding your residential oil tank.