Is it a bad idea to buy a repaired sinkhole home?
So you’ve fallen in love with a house and your realtor informs you that it’s a repaired sinkhole home. If you’re thinking about panicking, don’t. This one statement doesn’t mean the home is doomed to sinkholes, and the fact that your realtor advised you of this fact just means that you have a good realtor that can help you make good decisions based on well-researched facts, as opposed to committing to a situation and being blind-sided.
Your realtor is your greatest tool
If your realtor has proven their worth by not only discovering the house you’re interested in is a sinkhole repaired home, but also being transparent about it, therefore leaving you and your family the space to make your own decision about the matter, keep them! You’ve been fortunate enough to find a good realtor. The benefits of a good realtor don’t stop there, either.
If you want to continue your research on this home, your realtor may suggest hiring an engineer to examine the house. A professional engineer will run you a couple hundred dollars, and depending on the situation (for example, if the seller is desperate to sell the home), you may be able to get your seller to cover this cost. If you go this route, make sure there is testing on the repaired sinkhole home itself and the house next door; a lack of testing between the houses means you may have incomplete information. For example, a sinkhole could open underneath several homes, but only express symptoms in one of them prior to opening.
Another tool your realtor could utilize for you is the neighbors. If they’ve lived in the neighborhood for a considerable period of time, they’re the most informed about any sinkhole activity happening in the area, as they might have gotten their homes tested as well. Your realtor may be comfortable approaching them on your behalf – while some people may not be so helpful, you don’t want to miss crucial information about potential sinkholes just because you didn’t ask!
Some sinkhole repaired homes are great investments
Don’t judge a home based on a sinkhole history. While sinkholes can be huge and destructive, sinkhole repairs could just reference a sinkhole spotted before it opened and repaired appropriately, which results in minimal damage and strong defenses against future sinkholes
As always, gather as much information as you can. This means information like whether or not a sinkhole actually opened or if the home just had cracks in the wall, what kinds of repairs were actually utilized (which can reflect the seriousness of the sinkhole activity, or whether or not the repairs will prove effective in the long run), how long ago these repairs occurred, the sinkhole history of the surrounding area, etc. The more educated you are about your repaired sinkhole home, the more confident you can be in purchasing the home of your dreams.