House Hunting WWYD: There's a pipeline in the back yard…

posted 2 years ago in Home
  • poll: What would you do?
    Go for it : (14 votes)
    25 %
    Run away : (10 votes)
    18 %
    Run far away from it : (23 votes)
    40 %
    Other : (10 votes)
    18 %
  • Post # 2
    47436 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I woud go to the municipal office and get a detailed map including underground utilities fir a start.

    Post # 3
    3939 posts
    Honey bee

    If it’s the perfect house, I would have your agent ask for more information.

    Post # 4
    662 posts
    Busy bee

    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
    2676 posts
    Sugar bee
    • 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
    4476 posts
    Honey bee

    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
    7403 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    It would be a hard no from me, for the same reasons 

    View original reply
    zl27  mentioned.

    Post # 9
    1608 posts
    Bumble bee

    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
    2551 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    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
    289 posts
    Helper bee

    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
    2909 posts
    Sugar bee

    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
    7625 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    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
    629 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    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.

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