What Is a Sinkhole?
For most people, their home is the most valuable and expensive possession — and the biggest investment. However, what happens if their home is damaged by sinkhole activity? Is it still possible to sell the house?
A sinkhole is a localized depression in the ground that is caused by water dissolving the rock away. Sinkholes can be quite small (only a couple of feet in diameter and depth) or large. Sinkhole homes are quite common in certain areas, including Florida. The worst thing about this type of home is that they are stigmatized for the rest of their lives. Even if the sinkhole is repaired, Florida law requires homeowners to disclose the sinkhole if they are planning to sell their property. Also, if the sinkhole remains unrepaired, it may lose up to 80% of its value and become unsellable on the real estate market.
What Causes a Sinkhole?
There are three situations that may cause a sinkhole to appear:
- A sinkhole may appear if the rocks below the surface of the earth are made of materials that easily dissolve in water, such as gypsum or limestone.
- Another scenario is when the rock below the surface is made of small grains that can be easily carried away by underground water.
- In some cases, sinkholes can be caused by water movements aboveground. These movements are usually caused by frequent floods or rainstorms.
What Are the Signs of Sinkholes?
Sinkholes do not appear suddenly. It usually takes months or even years for them to form. Here is a list of warning signs that you should pay attention to:
- Window, door, and cabinet problems. A little unevenness is totally normal for houses because it takes years for them to settle over. However, if you suddenly notice the appearance of subtle warning signs, it may indicate that a sinkhole is forming. These signs include the following issues: doors stop latching, windows become hard to open, and cabinet doors will not close properly.
- Noticeable cracks everywhere. If you notice cracks on the walls, around the doors and windows, it may also indicate that you are having a sinkhole issue.
- Slanting floors and separating walls. If your walls and ceiling start to have gaps, it is another sign of a sinkhole. You should also call a professional if you notice that your floors are bulging, sagging, or warping.
- Water in places it shouldn’t be. If you constantly experience flooding or leaks during rain, it may indicate serious foundation problems that are often caused by sinkholes, especially in Florida.
- Changes in the yard. You should inspect your yard regularly because there might be obvious signs of a sinkhole. They include new ponds of water that you have not seen before, water around the foundation of your home, and slanting and sagging fences or trees.
- Cracks in the concrete and pavement. If you notice new cracks on your pavement or driveway, it is also a warning sign that you should not ignore. A cracked chimney or sinking porch also indicates a serious foundation issue.
How to Sell Your Sinkhole Home
If you can’t prevent the appearance of a sinkhole on your property and now you want to sell it, it can be hard but not impossible.
The first thing you can do is repair your home before trying to sell it. In order to do this, you need to consult a licensed engineer, who will inspect your property and will tell you how much it will cost you to repair your home. If the damage is not too serious, it may be possible to repair it for under $15,000. However, in some cases, the costs can be much higher — between $25,000 and $50,000. Moreover, even after repair, there is still no guarantee that you will be able to sell your home for the right price.
Sell Your Sinkhole Home to a Cash Buyer
Another method is selling your property to a home investor for cash. If you have a sinkhole home in the Tampa Bay area that you want to sell as quickly as possible, but you do not want to invest time and money into repairs, the team at KM Home Buyers is ready to help you. We have helped hundreds of homeowners in challenging circumstances and are ready to assist you as well. We buy all types of properties in any location and any condition. Sinkholes are not a problem for us at all. Since we are not dependent on lenders or banks, we will buy your home immediately and pay you cash. If you have any questions or want to start the selling process, feel free to contact KM Home Buyers online or call us at 813-213-4884.