NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Buying a home can be stressful. You certainly don’t want to also worry about your home getting swallowed up by a sinkhole. There’s a new bill at the state Capitol to make this process easier for homebuyers.

If you bought a home in Tennessee, you’ve seen the disclosure form. If there’s a sinkhole on the property, the seller has to check a box on the form and let you know. One lawmaker wants to help out home buyers and simplify that form.

There’s no denying that the terrain of Middle Tennessee is beautiful, but under that beauty, there is danger. In Maury County in 2020, a horse fell into a sinkhole, but he was rescued. In Gallatin last summer, a sinkhole opened up in a family’s backyard and revealed a turtle inside. And who can forget the massive sinkhole in 2014 on the Austin Peay football field?

The Volunteer State is one of the top places in the U.S. for sinkholes, according to the American Geosciences Institute.

“You need to be prepared that we have a lot of sinkholes,” said Ann Hoke, a real estate agent and owner of Ann Hoke & Associates Keller Williams.

Hoke says that folks moving here from other parts of the country aren’t aware of our sinkholes.

“They look at Middle Tennessee as being a solid bedrock, and they don’t understand the formations and the caves and the underground springs, and all of that. They don’t have a clue. So, yeah, they are very shocked when you start educating them.”

Here’s what House Bill 623 wants to change: In real estate, the current sinkhole disclosure form has two parts. One, the seller knows there’s a sinkhole. And two, the sinkhole is identified on what is called a plat map of the property. This bill gets rid of part two.

Rep. Darren Jernigan wrote the bill because a lot of older homes don’t even have sinkholes labeled on plat maps.

“What we did was to just drop that part. And leave it to where that you know there is a sinkhole on your property, you have to disclose that,” said Jernigan. “As a homeowner, it makes it a lot easier for you to be able to prove that someone did not show a sinkhole on their property.”

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The legislation is expected to get to the House floor next week.