Tag Archives: Settlement Damage

Can You Buy Sinkhole Homes and Use Seller’s Insurance?

Can you buy sinkhole homes and repair them with the seller’s coverage?

This is a very complicated situation that can go the way you want, but it is advised that you be careful. Buying a home with a known, unrepaired sinkhole can put you in a difficult situation if you can’t afford to get it fixed, nor can you get insurance coverage. So what should you know if you buy sinkhole homes with the intention of fixing them with your seller’s insurance policy?

When insurance can be transferred

The general rule is that the insurance claim already filed may be transferred to a new owner, but the insurance policy has a whole is not transferred. Be sure to be educated on what the insurance policy says because how the insurance company responds to this situation is almost impossible to predict.

It’s important to understand that insurance claims, while defined by the insurance policy, do not stay with the policy when the home transfers ownership. Therefore, when a homeowner sells their home with an open insurance claim, they lose their insurance but keep the insurance claim.

First things first, though, is to keep the lines of communication open with the insurance company. Most policies have a “consent to assignment” provision, meaning you can’t just transfer policies or claims without the insurance company signing off first.

What happens when you buy sinkhole homes

When purchasing a home with a known sinkhole that has not been repaired, you could potentially be putting yourself in a difficult situation. Theoretically, the homeowner already knows what repairs are necessary and how much they cost so you can assess whether or not purchasing the home is a good decision.

Therefore, you should be purchasing the home for significantly less than the home’s actual retail value, as you’ll be putting in a considerable amount of time and money into bringing the home to a livable quality.

At the end of the day, as always, the first priority is contacting the insurance company to find out about any caveats regarding transferring an open sinkhole claim between owners. While it can be done, you don’t want to buy a home and find yourself unable to afford to fix it!

Can Weather Changes Effect My Home?

Can weather changes worsen building damage?

Regardless of whether the origin of any settlement damage is sinkhole-related, the transitional months tend to bring on more and more damage to homes. Sinkhole activity – as well as other, shallow soil issues, such as organics and expansive clay – all react to changes in the water table.

Therefore, your answer is yes: if your home has damage, the shift from wet weather to dry weather can worsen said damage. This means that you need to remain aware of the status of your home and keep your eyes peeled for any threats.

What happens?

If you are experiencing sinkhole damage, the change from constant rain to extreme dryness can cause the water table to drop and increase the dissolution of the limestone. The dissolution of limestone can then cause more sinkholes to open, or cause already open sinkholes to grow.

Or, if you’re currently dealing with expansive clay or soil, a shift in how much rain the soil comes into contact with can cause the volume of the soil to change. When the soil under the foundation of your home changes, it can mean trouble by way of cracks and similar damage.

Prepare your home

Above all else, I always recommend you stay educated on the state of your home.  Take the time to review the overall condition of your home. Pick a particular date where you take an hour or two and inspect the condition of your home for any cracking. Sometimes, this is simply an indication of a need to paint your home or to take other steps to assure your home is waterproofed.

If you find your home needs more attention than this, the time to investigate the effect of this shift in weather on your home is now. You may even be able to stop a sinkhole from destroying your home if you take the appropriate precautions!