Nice House, 1 thing......SINKHOLE....NEED ADVICE! - Posted by EJ

Posted by Nate(DC) on July 01, 2002 at 20:40:00:

If there is enough profit in the deal to support it, I would spend the thousand bucks or so it will cost for a local geotechnical engineer to come out and evaluate the situation.

If there isn’t enough profit in the deal to support that, I would recommend you pass.

You are not an expert in sinkholes and neither am I. I don’t think you would want to buy without the opinion of someone qualified to give one.

You should also check with an insurance agent. The sinkhole might make it difficult or impossible to get insurance on the property. (To make it easy, you could ask the sellers who their insurance agent is, and then call that person).

Good luck!

Nice House, 1 thing…SINKHOLE…NEED ADVICE! - Posted by EJ

Posted by EJ on July 01, 2002 at 18:20:59:

I am close to getting my 1st deal, at least i thought i was. I recently came across a nice sfh. It is very well kept. The owner has been there for about 15 years or so. They are motivated and are willing to negotiate. They are trying to move closer to there grandchildren. There is just one small thing. In the backyard there is a about a 4 foot SINKHOLE. This concerns me. I asked them how long has it been there and they said since they have been there. Now the thing that gets me is either they are telling the truth about just wanting to move or they know something about that sinkhole. She says that they were going to fill it but decided to just leave it as is. It is in the back of the yard. My question is do anyone know about sinkholes. I would really like to try and get this house but thats the only thing thats really eating at me. Advice please.

Re: Everywhere I turn there is a sinkhole - Posted by Dan-FL

Posted by Dan-FL on July 02, 2002 at 05:22:19:

There everywhere here in Fl.Some home owners have tried to just give me there house ( with no mortgage ) I don’t touch them.The home owner gets a geology report on repair costs.The repairs in most cases cost more then the house is worth,I have seen them go as high as $60,000.The Ins then pays off the home owner and then the homeowner is stuck with a house nobody will Ins fixed or not.S0 they try to sell it.There are a couple of investors in town that only buy sinkholes for next to nothing.They must of figured away to make money off them.I’ll pass.

Sinkhole or solution hole? - Posted by Bill

Posted by Bill on July 01, 2002 at 22:22:44:

By your question, I guess you’re in Florida.
Here’s some info . You can double check this with the county to verify.
Most of central and southern Florida is underlain by oolitic limestone.Florida essentially was an old reef that built up over time.The ocean levels went down and Florida arose from the ocean. This limestone is VERY thick. As in thousands of feet. As rain falls, it soaks into the porus limestone and becomes part of the acquifer in the area. An acquifer is a large pool of water underground.
In times of lower rainfall, the water level in the acquifer goes down. (Increasing population also causes this). When it does, the porus limestone develops air cavities(voids). Some of these voids are larger than others. Some are closer to the surface than others. When a void is close enough to the surface and the right conditions exist, it will cave in, forming a sinkhole. Sinkholes appear quickly, like almost overnight sometimes, and can be BIG, sometimes swollowing entire houses. If this happens, the events will usually play out within a period of a few weeks, at most. The central area of Florida is a prime area for these and you will usually read about several each year in the papers. Sinkholes are usually cone shaped with water at the bottom.

There is also another type hole that developes called a SOLUTION HOLE.
These holes are usually smaller than sinkholes and rarely over 50 feet in diameter or more than a few feet deep. They look like the limestone has just dissolved away. Often, a gator will make it’s home in these, if they are out in the country. These are caused by long term dissolving away of the limestone due to rain and are usually in low spots where the rain collects. The acidity of the rain dissolves the limestone over time and forms this type of hole. These type holes are usually harmless. Many farmers just fill them in. If your hole has been there for 15 years and is small and shallow, it’s probably a solution hole.
You can check this with the county.

Nice House, 1 thing…SINKHOLE…NEED ADVICE! - Posted by GL(ON)

Posted by GL(ON) on July 01, 2002 at 21:19:46:

I would like to know what caused it and how bad it is apt to be. Is there any sign of subsidence in the house, cracked foundation or slanting walls and floors?

In the past it was not unknown to build on old dump sites with minimal landscaping and these sites often had problems.

I heard of one case where a homeowner tried to dig a fishpond in the back yard and found nothing but rubbish. He kept digging until he dug up the whole yard. It was full of old cans, bedsprings,and similar junk. There was even a whole car, buried in one piece.

It turned out it wasn’t a dump or a junkyard. According to the neighbors a previous owner who had moved away some 20 years earlier, “liked to dig holes in the back yard”.

It could be an empty oil drum or the like that finally rusted through and collapsed.