Sinkhole filled, but Pasco residents still have that sinking feeling as their property values drop

by Michael Mosher on June 30, 2015

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Work crews pulled out from a home Monday afternoon on Neva Lane in Port Richey. Their work complete, two homeowners must now wait.
The crews had finished pumping in what is hopefully the last grout needed to fix a sinkhole at one of the homes that spread to the point where a depression opened and took out a driveway at  the other home two doors down.
Engineers will now come out to determine if the ground has stabilized and then report their findings to the homeowners, who have voluntarily evacuated their residence, and their insurance companies. When they return is then up to the homeowner, most likely following the lead of their insurance companies.
The indication right now is that could be anytime in the next two weeks.
But this is only the start of the problem for this neighborhood because the moment this sinkhole opened on Neva, the value of every property in the immediate area dropped.
“In the best case scenario they have lost 10 percent of their value,” said Greg Armstrong with Coldwell Banker F.I. Grey & Son Residential Inc. in New Port Richey.
Armstrong has been a realtor in Pasco County for 38 years and he says a sinkhole problem at one house is everyone’s problem.
“If somebody sells their home they have to divulge if they have a sinkhole in their property,” Armstrong said. “They also have to say if there is a sinkhole in any adjacent property, in front, back, caddy corner, sideways. That must be divulged.”
With our state and our area especially being susceptible to sinkholes, just how much has that cost Tampa Bay area property owners?
Armstrong said in a recent meeting with state officials they were told over a billion dollars.
So best advice for homeowners facing a sinkhole problem like those in Port Richey? Keep all the paper work, the engineer’s report and certification that it was fixed right. Because if you lose it and then try to sell, according to Armstrong, you are sunk, again.
“The property appraiser tells us approximately 50 percent of the value is gone,” Armstrong said.
His suggestion? Keep three copies of all that paperwork in three different locations. One of them, if you can afford it, should be a safety deposit box.
Full article…here

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