How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
Are there sinkholes in The Villages, Florida?
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Like most of Florida, sinkholes open up in The Villages due to the permeable karst underlayment that runs throughout the state. Unusually heavy rains can trigger them and four appeared after a particularly rainy week in May of this year. Two homes had to be evaucated as a result.
When the TV news reports several sinkholes at once in The Villages, people not familiar with the area assume that an epidemic of house-swallowing craters is occuring. Part of that perception is because anyone who has never been here visualizes the place as a typical retirement community with a cluster of several hundred homes around a golf course and rec center. But The Villages actually spans three counties, covers 69 square miles, has over 125,000 residents, 89 golf courses, 52 pools, dozens of recreation centers, and it takes over a half-hour to drive from one end to the other. It’s a big place. Also, although some sinkholes have caused houses to be condemned, others cause damage that is repairable, and many do not even affect nearby houses.
This area has a lower incidence of sinkholes than the cluster of four Florida counties nearby that are known as “sinkhole alley.” See our blog post Where are sinkholes most likely to occur in Florida? to learn more.
If worrying about a sinkhole under your home is keeping you up at night, we recommend purchasing a sinkhole rider to your homeowner’s insurance policy. Although most homeowner’s policies pay if a sinkhole makes your home uninhabitable, they do not cover lesser damage. The additional coverage will pay for any necessary repairs due to a sinkhole that damages, but does not destroy, your house—after a deductible, of course.
Also, for insight on what senior-friendly construction details are important for a retirement community home, read our post What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?.
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