Recently homeowners in Spring Hill Florida who owned a home that was a repaired sinkhole in Hernando County got quite a surprise when they received a letter in the mail from the Hernando County Property Appraiser telling them their home was going to be re-classified to be considered unrepaired. This letter went out to a total of 84 homeowners in Hernando County and caused quite a stir. The letter undoubtedly was prompted by the huge sinkhole which opened up in Lake Padgett Estates in Land O Lakes, and seems to be a knee jerk reaction to that event. As one can imagine letter caused a great deal of commotion and backlash, since the letter went out just a few days ago the Hernando County Property Appraiser has somewhat retracted and will no longer be calling these properties unrepaired but will now rather notate the method of repair and if it were grouted (a form of sinkhole remediation where a polymer concrete compound is injected into the grout to fill potential voids) or if it were underpinned (a form of remediation which focuses on installing steel underpinns under a foundation to create a system of pylons underground which stabilizes the foundation and prevents it from being susceptible to further ground movement or soil subsidence) Depicting with accuracy the scope of the repair type is probably a good thing on the Hernando County Appraiser’s part although it should be noted that the Engineering Completion Report which is generally in the possession of the home owner or a potential seller does clearly spell out the method of the repair and whether or not grouting or underpinning or both were utilized.
The initial letter that went out cause much panic in homeowners prompting many questions across social media sites like facebook. As you can imagine getting a letter stating your home is an unrepaired sinkhole can cause instant fear in the heart of a home owner, especially a new home owner who recently purchase their home thinking it was repaired. So are these homes really unrepaired? The answer would be no, well maybe, well yes but technically no. Wait say what? Let’s look at that a step further in an attempt to truly clarify this confusing topic. The initial decision on the part of the property appraiser was prompted by the following thought process, at least as far as I can tell anyway. Technically speaking the act of installing underpins does not resolve the underground soil condition since what it is doing is stabilizing the foundation with steel pylons and not necessarily focusing on filling the void. The goal in any sinkhole remediation is to ultimately stabilize the foundation right? So underpinning and grouting in theory should accomplish this and should stabilize the foundation assuming either type of repair was performed properly and in accordance to an engineers specification. Since the underpinning does not fill in a void one can technically then say the void was not filled therefore the condition of the potential void itself is not repaired. Does that mean if your home was underpinned it is really unrepaired? No of course not, underpinning has for many years been deemed an acceptable form on sinkhole repair. The focus of underpinning is not and never has been the purpose of the pins, but rather the purpose is to stabilize the structure regardless of the subsurface condition which may or may not exist. Short of something changing legislatively which is fairly unlikely it continues to be an acceptable form or repair which is why the property appraiser in Hernando County received as much backlash as they did.
So if underpinning is OK then why did the underpinned home in Land O Lakes fall victim to the massive sinkhole? The simple answer might just be Mother Nature. Mother Nature is a powerful and often unpredictable, unstoppable force. In cases where the sinkhole is or becomes so massive there likely not be much in the way of a repair that could be done to prevent such a catastrophic collapse. Would grouting have helped? Nobody can say definitively but it would be highly unlikely, maybe it would have bought a few seconds more of time, but reality probably not. Regardless of what may have been done with an event as catastrophic as the one in Land O Lakes it most likely would not be preventable regardless of any amount of compaction grouting, or number of pins or both. Its just one of those acts of Nature that man cannot control. The good news is these types of catastrophic sinkhole events are relatively rare and do not happen very often.
*My home was underpinned, now what do I do? Well the simple answer would probably be nothing unless you are noticing new damage or something that would cause immediate concern then start by contacting your engineer and contractor who performed the repairs. If necessary bring in another licensed professional for a secondary opinion.
* My home was underpinned, the Hernando County Property Appraiser has me concerned by first stating it was unrepaired now saying repaired. Is my home repaired or not? Regardless of the initial letter sent out, if the home was repaired via underpinning it remains underpinned and thus is repaired. Understanding the difference between a grouting type repair and underpinning type repair is important but being underpinned does not define it as unrepaired in the State of Florida. Being unrepaired under the definition would mean nothing was done or it was not done in acceptable manner under the supervision of a licensed structural engineer.
* I hear the County Property Appraiser may reduce my assessed value, does that make my home worth less now? No, it does not make the home worth any less or any more in the open market. Over the past few years market statistics show that repaired sinkhole homes are selling at or near the full market value. In some geographical pockets repaired sinkhole homes may actually be selling for more than their counterpart similar homes with no known sinkhole. The county assessment has little to no impact on the actual appraised value or market value. Assessments are strictly for taxation purposes and should not be used as a gauge for what a home may sell for or may appraise for in a real estate transaction.
E Loans Mortgage Inc
4117 Mariner Blvd
Spring Hill FL 34609
Disclaimer: Steve Fingerman is not a licensed contractor, engineer, attorney, news reporter, magic genie, or anything other than a Mortgage Professional and Real Estate Professional in Hernando County who is very familiar with the Spring Hill Florida Market and the topic of Sinkholes 🙂
There’s many myths about VA Mortgages and Veteran buyers that we need to dispell out there. Veteran home buyers are some the best borrowers out there and historically VA Mortgages perform better than just about any other home loan out there. I hear to often that a VA buyer’s offer is being rejected due to unsubstantiated fears regarding VA appraisals, and other factors, sadly most of these fears are born in myth from years ago and are simply not true today.
If you are listing a home, or selling a home please take a few minutes to watch the video below to learn more about VA loans and why you should strongly consider a Veteran Home buyer who is using his VA benefit to purchase a home.
This question comes up pretty often, A Veteran is seeking to purchase a home with a VA Mortgage and wants to add his girlfriend to the loan or vise versa. Maybe they are engaged and not married yet, sometimes the plans for the wedding are for a date that will come after the purchase of the first home. More often than not we hear lenders telling a Veteran that it is not possible to add a non married non veteran co-borrower to a VA Mortgage and that they must get married in order for them to both be on the loan. That is actually false, but there are a few caviats.
What started out as a simple gesture by Patrick DeFeo, a Realtor in Manatee County, Florida has quickly turned into a national movement. He shared his story and gesture with his friend, Steve Fingerman from E Loans Mortgage and the gesture of kindness to local law enforcement quickly turned into a national movement with over 30 loan officers nationally now participating
What happened in Dallas rocked all of us and once again showed us, just how fragile life can be. It also serves a reminder to all of us of how our local and state Policemen and Policewomen put their lives at risk every day to serve their communities. Most of us go about our lives and never give that risk a 2nd thought until something as tragic as Dallas makes it difficult, if not impossible to ignore.
What started out as a simple gesture by Patrick DeFeo, a Realtor with The DeFeo Realty Group in Manatee County, Florida has quickly turned into a national movement. Patrick had an idea that he wanted to give back to his local Sheriff’s office as a way of simply saying thank you for all they do for his community. He decided that he would buy the Sheriff and his deputies’ pizza, 30 of them to be exact, along with a simple note:
“Thank you Deputies for all you do for our community, I support you!”
He shared his story and gesture with his mortgage friend, Steve Fingerman from E Loans Mortgage who had the idea to turn into a national movement and shared his plan with a group of Mortgage Loan Officers across the country. The group consists of some of the most trained Loan Officers in the Country who network to collaborate through the group and share ideas and knowledge. That’s when one of its members, Michelle Dugan of The Mortgage Connection in Madison Mississippi suggested the group pick this up and do the same in their respective towns and states. The suggestion caught on immediately and before long the Loan Officers in this group who are spread across the country started collaboration and agreed to participate.
Within a couple of hours over 35 of the top mortgage professionals in the country started coordinating efforts to send Pizza’s to their local Sheriffs, Highway Patrol, and Police Departments as a way of saying thank you and showing support.
Evan Wade of Movement Mortgage in Egg Harbor Township in New Jersey says “I saw the idea posted and immediately thought, heck yes let’s do this” He goes on to say, “Our brave men and women in law enforcement put themselves out there every day, and I know many times it could probably be a thankless job, so when I saw the opportunity to give back, I thought it was fantastic”.
Jeff Powers of Nations Reliable Lending in Cincinnati Ohio whose brother is a police officer hopes this effort will continue to spread and helps change attitudes toward Police. Jeff says “There seems to be too much of a negative tone towards Police with all that’s been going on. I want to remind people that the .001% of bad does not out weight the 99.999% of the good Sheriffs, Highway Patrol and Police Officers who put their lives at risk for us daily.” He goes on to say. “That’s why I quickly jumped aboard and why I hope this effort will continue to spread through my community and others to bring more people and law enforcement together.”
Indeed what started out as a single gesture from one person was now growing into a national movement picked up by a group of Mortgage guys who decided that they as a group can make a bigger impact.
Chasity Graff of LA Lending LLC in Baton Rouge, LA says “she got in on it hoping it would inspire others around the country to do similar things. I don’t necessarily want people to send pizzas or even spend any money, I know not everyone can do that, but what I do want is for people to be aware. Be aware of what your local law enforcement officers go through daily and be thankful in a way that they can see it. If all of us went out of our way just a little bit to show our appreciation and support it would have the potential to bring tremendous positive change and that is what I think the country needs right now” Chasity was on to something because when these Loan Officers, reached out for help from their local community other people and businesses starting to jump on board by offering their foods at cost or providing other things that their local Sheriffs, Highway Patrols, and Sheriffs needed more of.
While many people tend to think they can’t make a difference in the world, this group of mortgage pro’s scattered across the country is proving otherwise. Their joint effort and collaboration has resulted in over 35 people in 35 different towns across the country bringing localized awareness and gratitude to their local Sheriffs, Highway Patrol and Police Departments.
Thank you to the following Loan Officers and Lenders across the country!!!
Michelle Dugan The Mortgage Connection Madison, MS
Steve Fingerman E Loans Mortgage Spring Hill, FL
Chasity Graff LA Lending, LLC Baton Rouge, LA
Evan Wade Movement Mortgage Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Corey Roediger CrossCountry Mortgage Ferndale, MI
Alex Jimenez AJ Nashville Team for Hancock Mortgage Partners Franklin, TN
Lori Saucier CrossCountry Mortgage Brecksville, OH
Markita Woods Queen of Mortgages Woodbridge, VA
Elizabeth Rose Hancock Mortgage Partners Grapevine, TX
Staci Stanley Fairway Independent Mortgage Denver, CO
Brian Swanson First Mortgage Company West Des Moines, IA
Kelly Belcher Key Mortgage Ink Plymouth, MI
David Goldberg CBC National Bank Shaker Heights, OH
Chris Burleson Guaranteed Rate Knoxville, TN
Gareth Beale Power Mortgage Baton Rouge, LA
Jeremy Lewis AMP Lending Austin, TX
Katy Parsons Finance of America Mortgage Portland, OR
Scott Edwards Augusta Financial Inc Santa Clarita, CA
E Loans Mortgage is proud to serve our local Florida Veterans. In honor of Veterans day, we will be waiving all origination fees for all VA borrowers who apply for a VA Loan in the month of November.
For more info call us at:
E Loans Mortgage