Environmental Phase 1 for a small office building

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Hi Guys, I'm in contract to purchase a small office building in downtown Allentown. I'm buying the building without a bank loan so I'm not required to do a Phase 1 report. The seller has been occupying the building as an office for the past 60 years so I doubt there is any environmental issue but there is an above ground oil tank in the basement which is used for heating. I'm not sure if there has been any dry cleaners next door many years ago but I don't see any around the block currently. I'm debating if it's worth to pay $2k-$3k for a phase 1 report? Just wondering if anyone has ordered a phase 1 report and then realized that it's not that useful. 

Its always seems like as soon as you do phase 1 they find something that makes you jump up to the next phase so just be ready to pay more money.

I have done a couple of these and I think they are a huge waste of money, but the lender I used required it.

One them they said a liquid substance was on the parking lot and unable to determine what it is so they required more money and then when they returned it ended up being a dried up puddle of water. 10k later to tell me its water.


Second one I did was by a railroad track and they made me go the full blown process because they found some coal on the property.  10k later they said it could be coal that fell of a passing railroad car.  NO kidding!!!!



Thanks @Tim Johnson for sharing. I've also seen cases in the Bronx where Phase 1 report doesn't provide any conclusion and only suspicion because there used to be a dry cleaner on the block 50 years ago, that obligates owner to do a Phase 2 which cost tens of thousands which conclude that it's clean after. On one side it can be a protection and on the other hand it's also like opening a can of worms.