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Re: condition assessment

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Check with a good local real estate broker and see what the disclosure laws are in FL. Most normal RE transactions in VA are subject to disclosure/disclaimer laws; i.e. the seller must disclose any known flaws, or disclaim any knowledge (and subject to civil penalties, I think). Anything that has been properly repaired does not need to be disclosed, but any previous studies for which the recommendations have not been followed or otherwise addressed must be available for review by the buyer.

As to how much, it depends on the agreed scope. If it were me (and for the kind of fee normally negotiated) I would do a visual inspection - keeping an eye out for signs of subsidence - and state clearly the limits of the inspection in the report. If you're exceptionally concerned, you could put in a paragraph or two about local geology and the likelihood of soil instabilities if you feel qualified.

Christopher Banbury wrote:

I’ve been asked to do a condition assessment on a residence that is being sold by a bank due to a foreclosure. The house is in my neighborhood and I seem to remember that it may have had an issue with a sinkhole.

The bank is selling the house as-is and hasn’t provided any reports or studies. To what lengths should I go to discover the history of the structure? If the sinkhole damage was repaired by following an engineered study does the seller have any obligation to disclose its history?

I can base a preliminary condition assessment only on what is generally evident and exclude a consideration of sink-hole related activity but I’d like a few opinions.

Thanks in advance.


Christopher Banbury, PE



Ark Engineering, Inc.

PO Box 10129, Brooksville, FL 34603

22 North Broad ST, Brooksville, FL 34601

Phone: (352) 754-2424

Fax: (352) 754-2412