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How To Sell A Sinkhole Home

How To Sell A Sinkhole Home| Rapid Home Deals 352-480-0955

Good morning. It’s Friday once again, and it’s time for Fan Mail Friday, where we take questions from sellers, just like you. All right, today’s question came from a owner who had a sinkhole on his property and was looking to sell the home because they did not want to live there anymore. How do you sell your sinkhole home?

Sinkholes are prevalent in certain parts of Florida, especially in Levy County, one of the areas that we operate in, but we have bought and sold homes in the Alachua, Marion and Sumter County areas. We buy sinkhole homes for cash. Then we fix them up by having the foundation pinned. We’ll get into that a little bit later. The repair will be designed by an engineer, and then it will be actually done by a licensed contractor.

What is the cost of repairs in a sinkhole home?
The average cost for repairs in a sinkhole home in this area runs about $25,000 to $50,000. If you’re pinning your foundation, then that’s going to run about $1,700 per pin. All right, I have actually seen one house that it cost $250,000 to remediate the sinkhole. It could be very, very expensive.

Now, the question is, do you pin it or do you grout it?
The most common method when repairing a sinkhole is grouting. With grouting what you do is they drill holes all around the house and then they pump pressurized concrete underneath the foundation to stabilize the foundation. But with grouting, even the best engineers don’t know where that concrete goes once it’s pumped into the ground. It might end up in your neighbor’s yard. It might end up down the street. You don’t know. I know of one house in particular, not far from where I live, where they grouted underneath the house and it actually filled up the storm drain that ran underneath, not underneath their house, but along the side of their house and out to the golf course. And they had to send a crew in there to basically chip out the concrete after it was filled up. They really don’t know where this concrete is going. They just assume that it’s going to be underneath your foundation. All right, the other thing about grouting is that it’s not warranted against further sinking. I’ve actually seen a house that was grouted after a sinkhole was discovered underneath the house. And three years later, the living room sank about four inches and actually broke a water line that was in the slab. That was not a good deal at all.

Pinning is the other method that’s commonly used for fixing sinkholes. And what a sinkhole pinning does is it basically takes steel rods and they drive them all the way into the ground down to solid bedrock. And then after that, they have these things that are called helical coils and they have this huge machine that turns that screw and raises your foundation up to where it needs to be.

Now pinning versus grouting. Pinning is obviously going to be more expensive than grouting. Insurance companies will want you to take the grouting method as opposed to taking the pinning method because it is cheaper. The other thing though is pinning many times is warranted against your house sinking again. There’s a big advantage in having it pinned versus grouted. We’ve even used pins in a slab where a house was built on fill that we purchased. And we started having some problems with the ceramic tile cracking. We had the engineering company come out there and pin the foundation to stabilize that slab since it had a lot of excessive settling due to being built on the fill.

Now, what will a seller need to provide?
What you’re going to need to provide to a buyer like myself is the engineering report. The engineering report’s going to show the expanse and depth of the sinkhole. All right, if you do not have an engineering report at this point, then we’ll need to negotiate between the two of us for the cost of that engineering report. The other thing that a seller needs to understand or bring to the table is an understanding that the price that we’re going to offer is going to be low because, not only do we have a very expensive foundation repair to do, but we’re also going to have other repairs to make inside the home as well. The offer is going to be cash, but it will be low, but your house can be sold. And if that’s what you’re looking to get done, then call Rapid Home Deals at 352-480-0955 or go to our website, www.rapidhomedeals.com. And we’ll see you next Friday.
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