TERMITE INSPECTIONS. HOME BUYERS SHOULD ALWAYS INSIST ON HAVING A TERMITE INSPECTION.

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Real Estate Agent with Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate 303829;0225082372

TERMITE INSPECTIONS.  HOME BUYERS SHOULD ALWAYS INSIST ON HAVING A TERMITE INSPECTION.

TERMITE INSPECTIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR GOVERNMENT GUARANTEED OR INSURED LOANS.  When you apply for mortgage financing, many lenders will require a recent termite inspection and certification as a condition for home loan approval. The inspection must usually be done within 30 days of settlement.  Many conventional loans do not require a termite inspection.  Many agents will require a termite inspection to protect our home buyers.  Most government loans, Veterans Administration Home Loans and FHA loans require a termite inspection. Your agent will usually schedule and attend the termite inspection and make sure that their buyer or seller clients are protected. 

CHECK WITH YOUR AGENT FOR THE PROCEDURE IN YOUR STATE.  States differ in the custom of ordering termite inspection.  In most cases, the buyer's agent or listing agent will make the arrangements for the termite inspection company to get access to the property and deliver the Certificate to the lender, the seller or to the agent who ordered the inspection.

A TERMITE INSPECTION IS THE BEST BUY IN TOWN.  Termite inspectors typically charge $50-60 depending on home size.  Inspectors inspect for active and past infestations and prior damage left by previous infestations. In many states, the buyer pays for the inspection and the sellers pay for treatment/repairs.  If the buyer is using a VA loan, the fee for the termite inspection will be charged to the seller.  Also, FHA financing does not always require an inspection.  However, if the appraiser makes it a condition of the appraisal, it will have to be performed. 

Since the customs covering termite inspections differ in many states, ask your agent or refer to your Contract of Sale for the procedure in your area.  If there is an active colony of any wood destroying insect, the contract generally will require that the seller have the infestation treated prior to settlement and any damage resulting from the infestation repaired. In many states, there is a limit of 1-2% of the purchase price to cover treatment and repairs. Rarely does treatment and repairs cost more than 2% of the contract price. The termite clause in the Maryland Residential Contract of Sale is negotiable. What isn't negotiable is that many lenders require a Certificate.

TERMITE INSPECTIONS TAKE ONLY MINUTES.  The termite Certificate is usually good for 30 days, so most agents will order the termite inspection approximately one-two weeks before scheduled settlement. If settlement is delayed beyond 30 days of the Certificate, it will have to be updated.  The inspection will take only 10-15 minutes.  Homes with crawl spaces may take longer, but due to the moisture available, this is a critical area for inspection.

MEET THE BOROSCOPE.  Termite inspections are visual and include the interior and exterior of the residential building and generally do not include fencing or out-buildings.  However, if a fence is attached to the house or within inches of the property, many appraisers will require that the fence be included in the inspection.  Many termite inspectors use a Borescope which enables them to inspect behind the walls in areas not accessible for a visual inspection.  Other high tech equipment uses heat sensors to detect insects behind the walls and baseboards. 

PRIOR DAMAGE.  If the termite inspector finds evidence of prior infestation that has been treated but damage has not been repaired, the Contract of Sale in many areas will require that damage be repaired by the seller prior to settlement. Home owners can avoid termite damage repair only so long.

TERMITES ARE VIGOROUS AND HARDY CREATURES.  Termites date from the Early Cretaceous about 130,000,000 years ago.  Humans are believed to have evolved only about 5,000,000 to 7,000,000 ago. 

Many states are home to some vigorous and hardy termite colonies. They thrive on a moist climate, wood frame homes and mulch that most home owners use in flower beds.  Wood frame flower boxes close to a home are particularly attractive to termites. Termite

PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY.  Home owners should have a termite inspection performed by a licensed company every year. Once you have had a colony eradicated, you never know when they'll be back. Better be safe than sorry. $50 is not much to pay for peace of mind.

Be wary of home sellers who claim that the house is "protected with a termite company warranty".  Quite often home owners neglect regular inspection because they have a "warranty".  The warranty will usually provide for treatment under the warranty if, during the warranty period, an infestation is discovered.  However, the inspection is critical.

"DIDN'T THOSE TERMITES READ MY WARRANTY"?

Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988,  

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Bridget Cella 07/28/2009 06:05 AM
  2. Gabe Sanders 07/28/2009 11:53 PM
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Brian.  You're right, of course,  I made the correction.  Thanks.  Actually, When I do a termite inspection, I just pay for the dang thing. 

Bridget.  Thanks for dropping in.

Frances.  Absolutely.  Always. 

Robert.  Thanks for the update.  No matter.  I wouldn't sell a home without a termite inspection.  We had one home with sill plates like confetti and the seller, although they knew, didn't disclose. 

Bill.  They are hardy creatures, sitting under the house, just looking for a damp stick to start chewing on.

Julie.  Thanks, thanks, thanks.

 

Jul 28, 2009 06:14 AM #8
Rainer
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Sharon Senger
tcDocs - Seattle, WA
Licensed Transaction Coordinator

Hi Lenn,

Thanks for the post and it is on my agent check list.  It also gives the client peace of mind and the agent can sleep at night.

Best wishes

Sharon

Jul 28, 2009 06:14 AM #9
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Paul.  Indeed.  We had a seller try to interfere with our inspection only to find out that, behind the walls, was a serious infestation.

Sharon.  IMO, having a termite inspection is just good risk reduction.

 

Jul 28, 2009 06:16 AM #10
Rainmaker
461,609
Crystal Kilpatrick
Team Leader -Crystal Kilpatrick Group - Austin, TX
CHLMS,CNE, CRS - Austin & Central Texas Home Sales

Hi Lenn,

I agree! I always recommend a termite inspection.  It's better to be safe than sorry!

Jul 28, 2009 06:21 AM #11
Rainmaker
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Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Lenn, our company has a bolded paragraph in our Buyers Disclosure strongly recommending a termite inspection. We have never sold a home where the buyer did not do one, sometimes we have had them do two. Northeast Florida has mostly frame construction. When you go further south, it is mostly block. Great information for buyers. I am familiar with a moisture meter and an infrared camera for detection, but have never seen a borescope used.

Sharon

Jul 28, 2009 06:28 AM #12
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Lenn Harley
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Crystal.  Indeed.  The cost is nominal and the risk is high.

 

Jul 28, 2009 06:29 AM #13
Rainmaker
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John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Lenn - In GA you can't transfer a property without a termite inspection, and that's a good thing, because we have some pretty pesky termites.  And many termite "guarantees" just guarantee re-treatment, not repair--something to check before hiring a pest control company.

Jul 28, 2009 06:31 AM #14
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
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Sharon.  The termite inspector I use in Loudoun County VA uses one.  He inserts the tube through the opening at the electrical outlets.  I love this stuff.

John.  Good info.  Thanks.  I deliberately tried to make this post generic and not MD or VA specific. 

Jul 28, 2009 06:33 AM #15
Rainmaker
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Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Hi Lenn

Outstanding information, having a propery inspected for termites is a must, and I can tell horror stories on properties that were not inspected.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Jul 28, 2009 06:34 AM #16
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Lenn Harley
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Lou.  So can I.  Not going to happen to one of our buyers.

 

Jul 28, 2009 06:51 AM #17
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Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Hi Lenn !

It amazes me how many people dont see the value of doing the annual re-treatments. In our area they are about $100 each year, but for peace of mind it's money very well spent.

... I saw a swarm of them the other day at one house, they can get in a pin hole !

Nice reminder.

Cheers !

Sheldon

Jul 28, 2009 10:14 AM #18
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Lisa Udy
Platinum Real Estate Group - Logan, UT
Logan Utah Realtor

Hey Lenn, 

I agree 100%! The cost for the inspection compared to having to repair rotting wood, isn't even close. It's well worth it, and I do recommend it to all of my buyers. If there is any sort of hint of termites, or that there might be a problem, I get the inspection. If they pay for it so be it, if not I usually cover it. :)

-Lisa

Jul 28, 2009 10:21 AM #19
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
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Sheldon.  For the cost involved, this is negligible.

Lisa.  Indeed.  I meet the termite inspector just in case there is an infestation or past damage and pay them on the spot.  This is pennies.

Jul 28, 2009 10:54 AM #20
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

In Georgia a termite inspection should never be waved especially with all the EIFS (Synthetic stucco) homes we have.   Damages could be over 100K on a 180K home.  Termite retreatment repair bonds are also a very good idea.  They include annual or quarterly inspections if they have a Sentricon system.  If structural termite damage is found, the home will be retreated and repaired under these bonds.   They are very reasonable in costs.  A home can be bonded for anywhere from $750-3500 and following years the annual inspection fee is about $150...depending on the company.

Jul 28, 2009 11:15 AM #21
Rainmaker
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FN LN
Toronto, ON

Munch, munch, munch, munch, mmmmm, what a tasty house...

Lenn - When I first entered real estate, I was very fortunate that my local board had a termite course taught by a termite company owner.  The course is held extremely rarely.  In certain large portions of the Toronto area, it is strongly recommended to have termite inspections.  We were also provided with a map that showed a number of small areas where termites had also been found.  It was a real eye opener since I had never lived in a part of the city where termites even existed and thus, had minimal awareness of termites.

Munch, munch, munch, munch. munch...

Jul 28, 2009 02:18 PM #22
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Lenn Harley
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Jim.  Yes.  Atlanta has all the incredients for a termite stew, a lot of warm, moist wood.  EIFS is one thing I don't sell.  Those things are termite desert.

Marc.  I'm surprised there is termite risk that far north, but there it is.  Thanks. 

Jul 28, 2009 09:13 PM #23
Rainmaker
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FN LN
Toronto, ON

Lenn - The termite company owner said that we have termites because they arrived via a ship around the 1940s and have been spreading ever since that time.

Jul 28, 2009 10:47 PM #24
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
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Marc.  I believe he may be partially right.  The FORMOSAN termite is said to have arrived by ships from the far east following WW II.

They started munching in New Orleans and have been spreading slowly since.

 

Jul 28, 2009 10:53 PM #25
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Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks Lenn, great post and very true and relevant in today's market.  I'll be re-blogging this one.

Jul 28, 2009 11:52 PM #26
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Lenn Harley
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Gabe.  How nice.  Spread the word.

 

Jul 29, 2009 12:34 AM #27
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