My suggestion would be for you to make some kind of record of the damage, either through photographing the damage along side a ruler, and noting the date. Go back to the same damage weeks later, with the same ruler and photograph the damage again. This will provide you a basis to fully understand the nature of the damage, and whether it is active.
I would suggest going to the county of a home where you are interested and obtaining a copy of the building department file, and search the building permits. While you are at it, you may want to do the same thing for the homes on the lots adjacent to the home, to see if there has been any damage. Sinkhole problems are very common in Central Florida, and it is worth taking these additional steps before you commit to buying a home.
There is a hole in my yard and my neighbor thinks it may be a sinkhole, but I think it’s just an ordinary hole. Who is right? Sinkholes are one of the only causes of damage actually defined by Florida sinkhole laws. One of the reasons there had to be a legal definition, is that…
Recently we have seen a dramatic increase in sinkhole claims reported in the Ocala area. The homeowners we speak to are often shocked to learn that sinkhole activity is as prevalent as it is in their surrounding area.
The State of Florida keeps rather detailed data on all reported sinkhole claims and several governmental entities have used that data to create maps exhibiting the most prominent areas for sinkhole claims. The Florida Geological Survey provides a Florida sinkhole map (PDF).