The cost of New Jersey homes continues to rise as the year’s pass. With the median home price surpassing $450,000, it’s no wonder new buyers are asking, “should I buy a house with an underground oil tank?” Homes with underground oil tanks sell at slower rates, giving buyers more room for negotiation with anxious sellers.
But what is the associated trade-off for cutting such a deal? Getting the deed to a property with an underground oil tank comes with associated risks whether you decide to remove or maintain it.
Before making the purchase, homeowners considering buying a house with an underground oil tank should be aware of expenses, removal costs, and environmental considerations. Read on to learn some home-buying tips to decide whether a house with an underground oil tank is right for you.
Why Do Some Homes Have Oil Tanks?
Oil tanks rose to popularity in the 1970s as an energy source for heating homes. Since natural gas pipelines and electricity became more common, many homes have turned away from using oil tanks.
However, some homes still have (and use) their oil heating system. Others remain buried underground despite not using them. In either case, the homes you’re looking at may have an oil tank buried underground or in the basement.
Benefits of a Home Oil Tank
If you prefer self-sustainability, you’ve no doubt asked yourself, “should I buy a house with an underground oil tank?” Installing an oil tank in your home will help you maintain energy independence.
The oil tank can provide a reliable fuel supply for heating your home. It ensures that you don’t have to rely on the gas pipeline system or power grid to have hot water available.
Risks of a Home Oil Tank
Purchasing a home with an underground oil tank is a financial risk. Oil prices fluctuate considerably, and underground tanks are difficult to maintain.
The cost of inspecting, refilling, and replacing your underground oil tank when necessary may become more than you anticipated. These costs only increase if there’s a leak and you experience soil contamination.
Oil Tank Maintenance and Associated Costs
Maintaining an underground oil tank and replacing it when necessary is essential to ensure it does not leak or break. You’ll need a full-service environmental company’s help to ensure the proper maintenance of your oil tank. All American Environmental offers oil tank services, including:
- Oil tank cleaning
- Oil tank removal
- Oil tank installation
- Soil testing
- Soil and groundwater investigation
You shouldn’t expect to do all these services at once. Your annual maintenance budget should include oil refills and cleaning services.
Every 3-5 years, you should budget for soil testing to ensure no contaminants have entered your lawn. Finally, expect to seek removal/replacement services every 10-15 years.
Do You Have to Remove Underground Oil Tank in NJ?
Some U.S. states have laws that require the removal of underground oil tanks due to their environmental threat. You do not have to remove an underground oil tank in New Jersey, though we recommend it.
Try an above-ground tank if you’re set on using home heating oil. It is easier to maintain and allows you to spot leaks and swiftly fix them.
Should I Buy a House With an Underground Oil Tank?
Answering “should I buy a house with an underground oil tank?” depends on your preferences. We hope that by reading this guide, you can consider the risks and benefits to answer that question for yourself.
But, if you need more support, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to New Jersey’s own All American Environment. We can provide you with professional insights into the world of New Jersey oil tanks and how it impacts your life as a homeowner. Contact us today to learn more!