Why An Underground Oil Tank Lowers Your Property’s Value


Are you planning to sell your house in the near future? Is there an underground storage tank on your property? If yes, then there is some good and bad news for you. The bad news is that the presence of an underground storage tank commonly referred to as just UST not only lowers the value of your property but also makes it more difficult to sell it quickly. Lenders are reluctant to provide a mortgage for properties having underground storage tanks. Even your realtor may compel you to get it dug out and removed from your property to fetch the desired asking price. The good news is that you can get the UST removed from your property quickly and easily. 


What is an Underground Storage Tank

Many homeowners across the country are not even aware of the presence of a huge fuel tank buried deep inside the surface of their property. Modern homes do not have such fuel tanks, but they were common in homes built before 1975. Tanks made of steel were placed underground near the house’s foundation stone, and the oil was used for heating purposes. These tanks had a certain lifespan that was 20-25 years for tanks with the highest quality design and construction. If you are not aware of it and there is an underground storage tank lying underneath your property, it could be a big liability for you. 


Buyers are Reluctant to Buy Such Properties

If you plan to sell your house, the realtor would ask you if there is an underground storage tank on your property. If you are not aware of such a tank’s presence, the realtor would ask you to go for the detection of this tank on your property. Once confirmed, the realtor would ask you to get it removed from the property. There are solid reasons why realtors and buyers try to avoid properties with underground storage tanks. The experts at https://www.simpletankservices.com/ believe that the presence of an underground storage tank negatively impacts a property’s value. Even lenders hesitate to mortgage properties with underground storage tanks. Because of these reasons, owners find it difficult to sell their properties at the desired asking price. 


All Tanks Begin to Leak After Completing Their Lifespan 

It is a fact that all underground storage tanks, even though they are made of steel, start to corrode after some time. They ultimately begin to leak, releasing toxic oil into the soil near your house. Since they are underground, homeowners do not even realize that their tanks are leaking. They may not notice higher oil consumption for heating the house or see the leak because it is buried underground. According to the Environment Protection Agency, thousands of such fuel tanks are time bombs ticking fast. Oil contaminates the soil. It also pollutes the groundwater when it leaks into wells and drainage areas. Such a tank poses grave health and safety problems for the owner of the property. As a homeowner, a leaking underground storage tank starts to pinch you financially as homeowner’s insurance becomes costly. If you try to get it removed from your property, you have to pay a hefty sum of money if the tank is found to be leaking.  


Costs Involved in Detection and Removal

Underground Storage Tanks are like the elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. Sellers want to deny its existence and buyers want to make sure there is no underground tank in the property before closing the deal. An underground storage tank is a nightmare for both the seller and the buyer because of the costs involved with the detection and removal of such a tank. Buyers expect the owner of the property to bear these costs and lenders are reluctant to put their money on a property that has an underground storage tank. Papers can’t be signed and deals cannot be closed because buyers lay down the precondition of removal of underground storage tank along with any environmental hazards the leaking tank may have created.

If the seller is proactive and willing to spend money on removing the underground storage tank, they enjoy peace of mind later on when selling the house. But what are these costs? Let us find out. If the homeowner is fortunate and the underground tank is not leaking, the cost of removal is low and well within the budget. A professional underground tank removal company will charge anywhere in the range of $1000 to $1500 to dig and take out the underground tank.

When the tank is found to be leaking, the cost involved with its removal becomes excessively high. According to experts, the homeowner can expect to shell out anything between $30k and $100k to remove a leaking underground storage tank from their property. Even if these figures seem exaggerated to some readers, it is clear that the costs of removal of a damaged and leaking underground storage tank are pretty high. This is why sellers are not willing to sign the sale papers until the seller agrees to pay the cost of removing the tank. 


Clean-Up Costs Lower Property Value

One thing is clear. The older the underground storage tank lying underneath the property’s surface, the higher is the chances of oil leaking from it. Even the smallest of leaks can contaminate the soil in the vicinity and the groundwater that is flowing at some depth. You need a qualified and experienced contractor to remove the underground storage tank and clean up the mess caused by the oil spilling out of it. It is a prudent idea to get quotes from several contractors and finalize the contractor who has a proven track record of removing underground storage tanks. 


You may get a rude shock to know that your property’s market value is lowered if it has an underground storage tank lying below the surface. But it is a fact that you need to get the tank removed and the mess cleaned up if you are planning to sell the house at a high asking price. 


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