Is it necessary to have a termite inspection for a condo?
During my last home inspection a debate was created regarding termite inspection for a condo. The conversation ranged from the condo association will cover termite remediation, just confirm with the condo disclosure docs. And headed towards it depends on what floor the condo unit is located. Finally the debate ended at crossing out the entire section on the contract if its 3rd floor unit or higher. As the debate grew many biased comments were made.
What to do? Do what is legal, what is ethically right, and what will protect buyers. The regional contract that I use does not have an option to not have a termite inspection for good reason. Termites that are found inside the condo unit may be the unit owners responsibility. Wood boring termites live inside paintings and furniture. If current tenants or residents of the unit have traveled and or purchased gifts containing wood; termites could be present. Only the subterranean termites need to return to the earth every night. So they limit how many floors they will travel within the building. Subterranean termites have been found as high as the 7th floor in a building. Also termites are not the only insect the inspector is looking for; the inspection looks for wood destroying insects which could be beetles, bees and ants as well.
Termite inspections are such a low cost especially for a condo. It protects buyers to purchase their inspection to control the reporting accuracy and have choices. If sellers want to pay then do it at settlement and allow the buyers to choose and pay for their inspection.
The law: do not cross out the pre-printed contract and or add your own wording. Ethics and buyer protection for me is combined. If the sellers want to pay then pay at settlement have the fee listed on HUD1; allow the buyers to choose their inspector.
In closing inspections do not provide full guarantees: walls, ceilings, and floors will not be removed. The visual inspection by trained and licensed personnel will provide buyers their due diligence in making an investment purchase over an emotional attachment.
Termite photos provided by Terminx