Hudson Valley NY Real Estate


Underground Oil Storage Tanks - Should I Not Buy This House?

underground oil tanksMany times buyers will turn away from a home simply because the heating oil tank is underground.  They don't want the worry of whether or not it is leaking or will leak in the future.  But what if this home is your dream home or meets all of your criteria in what you are looking for in a home? 

In the grand scheme of things oil tanks can be tested,,removed and/or replaced relatively inexpensively.  It should always be handled by a professionalTank management companies ensure that everything is properly handled and that there will be minimal risk to the environment should they discover any type of oil leakage. 

Underground storage tanks can possibly develop leaks due to erosion of the tank itself over time and the material held inside the tank.  If such a leak does develop it can contaminate the surrounding soil, drinking water and ground water.  This could become a health hazard for your entire neighborhood.

When looking to purchase a home with an in-ground oil tank you would have the tank tested as part of your home inspection.  If the tests prove satisfactory you can than choose at that point to have the tank removed and an above ground tank installed.  This would eliminate any future worries of an underground tank.

So the next time you see a home that could be your dream home and it has an underground oil tank...don't let that turn you away from a possible purchase where you could spend many happy years! 


house, oil tank







Debbie Walsh, GRI, CNE, CHMS, REM | Office (845) 283-3036 |

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WINNER 2015, 2016 & 2017 Hudson
Valley Five Star Real Estate Agent

Top Agent Magazine Honoree 2015 & 2016

Comment balloon 10 commentsDebbie Walsh • January 13 2013 10:45AM


Hi Debra, great article and good advise for buyers to at least keep an open mind of what is involved in mitigation.  One would want to know all there options especially if it is THE home they have been looking for!

Posted by Bruce Walter (Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana) over 7 years ago

Great post Debra. I agree with you; the buyer can have the tank inspected and ask the seller to fix it if there is a problem with it.

Posted by Wika Hutchinson, Broker, CRIS, SFR, CDPE over 7 years ago

Debra  Thanks for sharing as this is important information for buyers.  I have hired Environmental Assessments for properties and as a rule everything can be fixed.  I have had sellers escrow money at closing to repair, replace or fix something they did not want to do before closing.  Escrow a couple thousand dollars and it the expense is only $500 they get a refund.  But, always use a professional.

Posted by John G. Johnston, An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO (John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC) over 7 years ago

Hard enough to find that perfect house at that perfecgt price.  Don't let it go just because of a repair/correction that will only cost you a couple thousand to correct, but yes do your due diligence, have it inspected and corrected before you commit and do it professionally. Great advice and great post.

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) over 7 years ago

Bruce - Thanks for commenting!

Wika - Negotiations are a great way to make a deal!

John - Thanks for stopping in!

Leah - Thanks Leah!

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) over 7 years ago

I am writing to provide a word of caution about tank testing.  An in use tank should never be pressure tested.  It can cause a week spot in the tank to errupt causing a leak.  Any test only tells you that the tank is not leaking at the time of the test.  Homeowners are given a faulse sense of security.  If the tank is 20 years old or more, do not waste money on testing.  Have it removed or properly abandonded. 

Posted by Toni Hokanson over 7 years ago

Underground oil tanks are very good reasons for home buyer concerns and you have provided excellent advice for those situations.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 7 years ago

Great info - oil tanks are very scary for buyers.  My husband and I were concerned about them when we were house shopping.

Posted by Kate Talarico, RESA, Top Orange County Home Decorator & Stager (Kates Home Staging and Interior Design) over 7 years ago

Toni - Thanks for the words of caution!

Roy - Thanks for stopping to comment!

Kate - The majority of people are - very stressful!

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) over 7 years ago

Thanks for commenting!

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) about 3 years ago