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.
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,