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Buying a House with Termites

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I'm buying a new home and at inspection it has termites. When the owner gets rid of them, will this be an on going problem? If so I will back out.

Thanks,

Chris from NJ

Best Answers

These answers have been rated the best for this question.

By Lynda (Guest Post)12/18/2006

I was a Realtor/Broker for many years when I was younger. A NEW home with termites? It would be a very Red flag to me. I'd keep looking around.

Remember that the seller's agent, unless otherwise
stated, works 100% for the seller and the seller's interest. If the seller is also an agent, that fact must be disclosed in the beginning of your first conversation in most states, I understand. If no agents are involved, you open yourself up to a tremendous responsibility which you might regret for the rest of your life. I'd get a "buyers broker", who will work 100% for you and your best interest.

It might have been built with cheaper wood and possibly on an old construction site trash pile like older neighbors say ours was when we bought it over 30 yr. ago.

Termites are two feet under the ground ALL OVER THE EARTH, except in volcanoes and oceans, I'm told by exterminators whom I worked with.

Regardless, there are homes with warranties against
such things, not ALL new homes have termites! Existing ones are only controllable if you pay companies enough money to warrant them, and assume responsibility to keep up with when they are to "inspect" for them. It could be that the house was excavated poorly, has poor drainage, has poor soil
beneath the foundation, has it's own AND the neighbor's termite colonies breeding, equal to a
WHOPPER of a problem, you bet! Worse if there's
Carpenter Ants that follow to eat the termites AND the wood! It would be wiser to find perhaps an older home built in the late 80's when the wood was really
good, strong, and not in short supply from all the
natural disasters America has suffered in the past few years. Get the picture? Their rooms are usually
bigger, floorplans very functional, and generally
very much in demand, even if you have to offer much less and update it with the difference, which should be much less than a new one WITH TERMITES. The older one will have had MANY inspections/treatments and proof of this in writing
for your consideration. Although newer ones SEEM
more exciting, exotic, fancier, I'd strongly suggest
that you search for the biggest and best of the 80's
available, especially if in a VERY nice established
neighborhood where values are still holding/rising.
Location is EVERYTHING, as well. Remember to
know/inquire/learn about:

*flood/natural disaster history
*school districts' reputation proximity
*sexual predators nearby/ratio
*homeowners' associations
*public transportation proximity
*local complete shopping/medical facilities
*future plans for highways/tollroads/easements in
immediate/surrounding areas via city planner
maps, council proposals, bond programs, eminent
domain
*total taxes required/previous years utility bills
*seller's disclosure statement/all papers fully signed
*any ailing foliage (Winter is the "cover-up" time of
the year for unscrupulous sellers to sell to
unsuspecting buyers)
*neighbors o.k., any tantrum throwers, dog breeders,
high crime, motorcycles/gangs/partiers/deaths/unusual
behavior
*proper insulation
*age of major equipment/appliances/meters/add- ons
*major repairs/improvements/upgrades/brickwork
*can you get a copy of the original blueprints of house and property lines from sellers/last appraisal
*check with neighbors about hostory of house to verify what you've been told/read
*had lots of animals INSIDE house
*what did sellers hope to do to house before deciding to move/why moving
*room sizes/house sq. ft. accurate and as advertised
*list of anything that stays/bill of sales for anything
purchased from sellers
*title company/appraiser/inspector/repairmen all
friends or favorites of either the seller or agent and
are they current, dated, warranted in writing
*how long did sellers live/own the home
*Check city records for any inspection approvals,
permits, sewer or water work done
*in local airport or military base flight pattern
unusual city laws
*any out-buildings/storage sheds/pool or cabanas/guest quarters and are all equally inspected and on good foundations/in good condition
*any sinkholes/landfills/hazardous material dumps or polluters nearby
*ages of most residents/children in area of house
*fence have termites/what is the fence age
*any electric wiring replacement/aluminum wiring or
asbestos in the house
*concrete/driveway/sidewalks repaired in last ten years
*existing liens/leases/sub-leases/indebtedness/subordinate agreements/outstanding taxes/conflicts in dates

Try to get all of the above topics/questions answered, or as many as possible in writing, as well as any original papers/warranties for your own protection/consideration. Work as quickly as you can, or get a good agent working for your interest. If you do not, it could mean kicking yourself for having expenses of going to court later should you find out afterward and need to try to recoup some of your losses.

It could also be considered your own fault by a judge
should you fail to get this in writing prior to buying house. Should you buy from the owner directly, you
may both forget something essential because it is very complex nowadays. Have any contracts, legal documents looked at by your attorney!

Sorry that I am not qualified to give you legal advice
but this is the sort of thing I tell folks to help when I can, that I can remember.

Hope this helps you, although this list is not all inclusive, check your local laws and ordinances, particularly deed restrictions that may be hidden in the original restrictions or added later on by the city. Good luck and God bless you.

By David Valley (Guest Post)12/18/2006

All houses with Termites can absolutely be corrected.

As long as the damaged portion of the structure was properly repaired or replaced by a licensed Carpenter and an exterminator has treated the building for Termites and an ongoing annual Termite inspection is scheduled, The Termites will not return.
Be sure to get all paperwork (for work performed) at close of escrow.

David Valley
Certified Massachusetts Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By David Valley (Guest Post)09/26/2007

You can obtain additional information (regarding Termites) by going to my website at...

http://www.masscertifiedhomeinspections.com/index.php?D=84

By Vince02/15/2007

If the house is a wood structure, seriously consider walking away.

By Barb (Guest Post)12/18/2006

And, by the way, don't try to save money on termite prevention treatment by trying to do it yourself! If you want to protect your home, hire a licensed professional to do it!

By Barb (Guest Post)12/18/2006

I'm an experienced real estate agent in a part of the country where termites are common. IF the termites are properly treated by a licensed pest control technician, it should not be a recurring problem. Many pest control professionals will provide some type of warranty to help ease your mind.

It is important to note that, while the termites that are currently there can be treated, you also need a good termite prevention program. You see, even if you kill the termites that are present now, you also need to do everything you can to keep new ones from showing up. And remember, if you choose not to buy this house because of previous termite investation, termites can show up at any other house you may buy!

By Holly [350]12/18/2006

Yes, it will be an ongoing problem because the stuff that was used to kill them is no longer sold because it was very hazardous to human health.

You probably live in a termite infested region.
My suggestion is that you go to Home Depot and look in their pesticide aisle. They have baited traps that can be put in foundations that you HOPE will work and which will require refilling. Also have a good talk with 2 different termite control companies and find out what you can do for prevention and cure.
And then decide if you want the house.

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