Post # 1
I hate super long posts, so I’m going to try to keep this as short as possible.
After about two years of looking, we finally found what we thought is our dream home. The yard has had some trees planted to make it more private. Being nosy, I squeezed between them to try to see what was behind them. I realized that right on the other side there was a big yellow post marking a buried pipeline. I got a bit closer and saw that it’s some sort of petroleum transmission line.
From some research, it seems it’s not a natural gas line, but likely carries gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, or home heating fuel. My best guess without more information is that this pipeline is probably decades old. Unfortunately, I don’t know where the pipeline is exactly located, what is flowing through it, and how old the pipe is.
We love the house inside, alot; it feels like home and we haven’t even moved in yet. This pipeline has me very concerned.
Would it concern you? What would you do?
Post # 2
I woud go to the municipal office and get a detailed map including underground utilities fir a start.
Post # 3
If it’s the perfect house, I would have your agent ask for more information.
Post # 4
Make a conditional offer and if it gets accepted investigate the pipeline marker during your due diligence time frame. FYI, there are pipelines buried through any development that has natural gas lines. It could be that simple.
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California
If is the perfect house, I would make an offer contingent upon a survey or something similar.
That is highly concerning to me & should absolutely be addressed!
Post # 6
I am very experienced with environmental issues and property, and I wouldn’t buy a home with any kind of petroleum pipe running behind it. PM me if you want to talk details.
Also, the pipeline could impact your ability to sell it in the future.
p.s. a survey won’t tell you if there have ever been any leaks. And if the company responsible is no longer solvent, then there is the issue of who pays to clean it up. Not to mention, there is always the risk of future leaks.
Post # 7
It would be a hard no from me, for the same reasons zl27
Post # 8
Hard pass my friend. If this thing leaks into your yard, it could cost hundreds of thousands to millions to clean up. Not to mention, no one will ever buy that house from you and you will have essentially wasted all of your money.
Post # 9
I would assume that if you go under contract you will have a title commitment run and can see what easments encumber your property. If the pipeline is in fact on the property or the easement for it falls in thr property line, you will be able to get copies of the legal documents involved to get an idea of what’s there. If it isnt actually on the property, then you’ll need to do a bit more research. Ask your agent (or if your state requires real estate attorneys for residential closings, talk to them) for guidance. In certain areas these kinds of things are common, so I wouldnt worry quite yet without more info.
Post # 10
Idk. Seems like a pretty common item. Electrical, water, sewer, natural gas, fiber optics… buried lines. How do you think the amenities get to every house?
Post # 11
Is this pipeline actually running through your property or just behind it? I’d definitely go to the municipality and get more info before considering the house.
Post # 12
I would want to know 100% what it IS, how long it’s been there etc — all the details — before I made a decision. I would be suspicious of the fact that the trees were clearly planted there specifically to hide people’s knowledge of the pipeline’s presence.
Post # 13
I would do more research first. Search “your county gis” as a starting point. If they have a decent gis system set up, you might be able to see who owns the easement and go from there. Not sure what state you’re located in but in my state, you can call a statewide number to have underground utilities marked. Barring access to those two ways to get information, I would speak to the agent to see how you can find out more about it.
Post # 14
You don’t mention where the house gets its water supply. If it’s from a well, and that pipe leaked… you really, really don’t want to live there. Also if it’s a gas line after all, it comes with an explosion hazard, and if it’s petroleum, there may be leaks that can cost a ton to clean up, and may introduce toxic vapors into your home. You may or may not end up paying for cleanup – it depends on whether you can claim you didn’t know there’s a problem (and, well, the pipeline is visible, so you kind of know) and if the owner of the pipeline is responsible, getting them or their successor to admit responsibility and pay up can take years.
At the very least, make sure you get any available environmental studies and test results the current owner has, and have an environmental professional look at them. But really, I think it may be simpler to walk away. You could sink lots of time and money into figuring out if there’s a problem, and if you find one, you’ll still need to walk away.
Post # 15
Thank you all very much, you’ve given a lot to think about. This is a very frustrating sitatuion to be in.