Sinkholes and “sinkhole homes” (homes with repaired or active sinkholes on the property) are remarkably common in the state of Florida. With all of the tropical storms that Florida experiences, sinkholes form easily. In addition, certain kinds of human activity, like pumping of groundwater to irrigate oranges and other crops, can make sinkholes appear.
This means that if you are buying a home in Florida, there is a good chance that you are buying a home with a repaired sinkhole. If this is the case for you, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.
There is nothing wrong with buying a home with a repaired sinkhole. However, buying such a home does require a level of caution and diligence. In fact, buying a home with a repaired sinkhole may turn out to be in your favor. These homes can be more affordable than homes with no known sinkhole activity.
Homes with sinkholes that aren’t repaired should be avoided. These homes are usually priced very low, and an unaddressed sinkhole can be very dangerous. The longer the sinkhole is left without repairs, the worse these issues might become.
In order to protect yourself and ensure that your future home is safe for you and your family, there are a few key things to remember about buying a home with a repaired sinkhole.
Check the property for visible surface depressions – concave areas, low spots, etc. While these may be natural, it is a good idea to have them looked at by an expert.
Be sure to ask the seller if the home has had an insurance claim or investigation in the past. If any information about previous investigations exists, the seller is legally obligated to disclose it.
Once you receive a copy of the insurance report from the seller, you need to understand it fully. If any part of this report seems confusing to you, be sure to have it evaluated.
There are a lot of companies that capitalize on sinkholes and claim to be able to fix them. Some of these companies do not have quality repair methods. Make sure that the repair was done by a reputable company like Foundation Professionals of Florida.
Be sure to conduct a thorough records search. Find out what sort of repairs have been done to the home. Check your Florida County Property Appraiser and Florida Clerks of Court websites for information on various permits and repairs to homes.
Make sure that the home you are planning on buying can be insured. If any of the previous owners took out a large insurance claim and did not use it to repair the sinkhole, it could create complications.
When doing your inspection of the home’s interior, keep track of cracks and other problems you find. Be sure to ask whether these were existing issues or whether they were caused by the sinkhole.
If you are concerned about sub par sinkhole repairs or if you think there is an active sinkhole on your new property, call Foundation Professionals of Florida today. We offer expert sinkhole remediation throughout the entire state of Florida.