While termites may not be on the minds of most first-time home buyers as they begin the process of becoming homeowners, maybe they should be. By some estimates, the cost of controlling or preventing termites in the United States currently exceeds two billion dollars per year. Since residential housing is a prime target for termites, home buyers will want to learn how to prevent these insects from threatening the value and safety of any home they plan to purchase.
Begin with a quality termite inspection
Termite activity is so prevalent that many mortgage lenders require a satisfactory termite inspection report in order to fulfill underwriting requirements to complete a home purchase transaction. Since recognizing the signs of current termite activity and past damage from a previous infestation takes experience and training, home buyers should always seek out a licensed termite inspector to perform the pest inspection on any home they plan to purchase.
Understand that the presence of termites is not always a deal-breaker
Infestations of termites occur frequently, even in homes where the owners store firewood and lumber well away from the home and have taken proper precautions to seal openings in their foundation that might allow these insects to easily take up residence. Even homes where the soil was pre-treated for termites at the time the home was built can have problems years later as the effects of the insecticide diminish.
Buyers who receive a termite inspection report showing either old termite damage or the presence of an active infestation can often successfully negotiate a solution to the problem with the seller. To ensure that this possibility will be available, home buyers should always word their offers carefully, making them contingent upon a satisfactory termite inspection result. Most sellers understand that mortgages require a satisfactory termite inspection report and will be motivated to help assist the buyer in achieving that goal by agreeing to pay for treatment or repairs, if needed.
Homes that are found to have termite activity or damage at the time of the termite inspection will likely have to provide evidence of satisfactory treatment, repairs, or both, in order to satisfy mortgage underwriting requirements and move forward to close on the home.
To learn more about termite activity in your area and how it could affect the home ownership experience, prospective buyers should contact a reputable pest control company like EMCO Pest Control in their area. These professionals will be able to help buyers find a licensed inspector as well as help them develop a plan to keep the home they purchase termite free throughout their ownership.