What if the house I want to buy has termites?

termitesTermites are common here in New York, and can cause serious problems if they get into the home. Termites can get into wooden furniture, compromise the structure of your home, and can even chew through siding. Once they’ve established a colony you will have to get a professional termite control specialist to remove them. Home buyers should consider getting a termite inspection before they purchase a home.  

If you’re buying a home  the owner of the home may not even know if the home has termites, so it won’t necessarily be in the seller’s disclosure. The home inspection may reveal signs that termites are present, or you may have seen signs yourself.   If your home inspector sees some signs of either active termites or termite damage, then a termite inspection should be done. To make sure, hire a qualified termite control specialist to inspect the home. Traditional home inspectors are not specifically trained to recognize the presence of termite activity or structural damage caused by termites. If the inspection shows that termites are active, you don’t need to abandon the idea of purchasing the home. Instead you should request that the seller have it fixed.  Most sellers will be willing to have it treated and set up an annual plan or they may also negotiate the home price if termite damage is found.

The cost of a termite inspection is approximately $100, but it is well worth the price and could save you thousands of dollars in repair costs down the line.  The treatment itself can cost between $750 to $1,500.  If there is damage to areas such as structural posts or beams that could cost a lot more and a licensed carpenter should be consulted for those repairs.


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