How a Termite Infestation can RUIN your Home Investment
And they simply make good business sense.
Drywood Termite Droppings
A drywood termite infestation isn’t always this obvious – you need a professional to find all their hiding places. Subterranean termites, on the other hand, are easier to find, but can cause more catastrophic damage to your home!
So, you’ve made an offer on the house of your dreams and the seller has accepted it. Your deal is now in the “contingency” phase and it’s time for professional property inspections – these are crucial to protect your interests and ensure a smooth, fast transaction before the close of escrow.
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Four Reasons Home Buyers Need a Termite Inspection:
- Lenders may require it
- Avoid expensive surprises after you move in
- Gives you negotiating leverage
- Termites are nasty
Just take a look at this termite queen video.
Do you want to be living with her and her termite minions in your new home?
There are many real estate home inspections to consider: roof, foundation and chimney are a few; but the termite inspection is an important key among them because some lenders, typically FHA and VA, require a report and repair of active infestation before they fund a loan.
Even if you’re paying in cash, it’s always in your best interest to have your property be inspected within 30 days prior to the close of escrow.
The condition of the property you’re buying is NOT guaranteed by the seller. Make sure it’s not full of termites.
The purchase agreement only obligates the seller to make the property available to you for inspection.
Subterranean Soldier (Left) & Swarmer (Right) with Workers
(Image: Dr. Miller, Virginia Cooperative Extension)
Although the seller is required to disclose known material facts that affect the value of the property, the seller may not be aware of them all.
Also, the seller is NOT OBLIGATED to inspect the property for your benefit or pay for any known defects – or previously unknown defects discovered by you or your inspectors – before or after the close of escrow.
Severe Damage from Termites: Left untreated, the wood in your house could look like this!
Termite Inspections 101
There are 3 designations for termite inspections:
“Section 1” documents any active infestation or damage by either drywood or subterranean termites.
“Section 2” lists conditions likely to lead to infestation or damage, but there is currently no evidence of damage.
“Further Inspection” describes damage that likely exists, but cannot be seen unless something is pulled up, like the linoleum under a sink. The official report your inspector provides is often referred to as a TERMITE LETTER and will include, along with the findings, a bid for performing the work required to fix any termite damage.
Reminder: Termite letters include only the main residence, not other structures on the property, unless specified to the inspector.
We once spoke to a new homeowner that had a situation arise from the previous owner. The home was inspected and treated for termites, but detached portions of the property, in this case a car port, were not. The other termite company did not warn them about the potential. Avoid the nightmare of treating your home for termites prior to moving in only to discover later that your detached garage is crumbling away and needs thousands of dollars of repairs!
Drywood Termite Immatures
(Image: University of Arizona – Entomology)
So what are your options if major termite damage is discovered during the contingency period?
- Pay for the termite damage repair to get your loan.
- Go ahead with the sale knowing fully well the condition of your house.
- Cancel the deal within the stated contingency period.
- Ask the seller to pay for the repairs before escrow closes – sellers sometime do as an incentive!
- Negotiate with the seller to reduce the sales price of the home to cover the cost of repairs.
Information is Power – A Termite Letter Gives you Leverage
Your minimal investment in hiring a termite treatment professional to prepare a termite inspection report, officially termed the Wood Destroying Insect Inspection Report, prior to purchasing a home could save you thousands in the home buying process.
You’ll have leverage in your negotiations and protect yourself from unexpected repairs – repairs you may not be able to afford – after the deal is done and you have no recourse.
SCHEDULE A TERMITE INSPECTION WITH FRANZ TERMITE CONTROL TODAY.
At Franz Termite Control, we are committed to eliminating your termite problem – and back it with our termite-free guarantee. You’ll feel safe and confident when you move into your new home knowing you have no unwelcome guests!
If you’re in Santa Clara, San Mateo or Alameda counties, give us a call.
We offer a 1-year limited warranty on all of our localized treatments, and will be glad to come back and tackle the problem again if it resurfaces.
Our home inspection service for termite damage is cost effective and thorough.
Besides our Full Inspections for real estate transactions, we offer FREE Limited Inspections for when you notice some signs of termite activity and want us to take a look.
Limited termite inspections are quick and come with our written recommendation on how to proceed. Since termites eventually return, the limited inspection is a proactive way to assess potential damage if it has been over two years since your last termite treatment.
Franz Termite Control offers all termite services real estate agents, buyers, and sellers need to evaluate, market, and buy or sell property. We are keenly aware of your needs as an agent, and we quickly respond to meet your tightest deadlines.
Sometimes you need inspections yesterday, reports the next day or repairs immediately. All of us at Franz Termite Control are here to make this part of the real estate transaction as smooth as possible for you.
Not only are we a licensed termite control operator, we’re also a licensed general contractor specializing in rot and termite damage repair, remodeling of rotted areas and repair, and replacement and modification of structural elements of buildings. And, we are Diamond Certified, which further attests to our high-level service and performance.
IT DOESN’T HURT TO GET A SECOND OPINION…
FREE Competitive Bid Inspections
Let us review your existing termite inspection and we’ll check the areas where damage was noted and make our own recommendations. And whenever possible, we try to meet or beat our competitor’s price!
Learn more about our competitive bid termite inspections.
CALL US TODAY for details and to schedule your FREE consultation.