If you haven't removed ALL contingencies then you should be able to cancel based on outstanding contingency items. If you have removed ALL contingencies then a good listing agent would probably advise their seller of their option to keep the deposit.
That being said, in SoCal, you can fumigate a house for days and within days after removing the tent you can have termites again. Termites are no big deal. They don't go much into dormancy like they probably do in Jersey City in the winter. Just get a pest control contract and have the little buggers blasted every few months.
As far as contingencies, I would have a serious talk with your agent.
PS: Piggybacking on Joe's answer, if termite companies can't be responsible for inaccessible areas, it sounds like your inspector now made the area accessible if he can see evidence of termites. Have the termite company come back!
Hope this helps..
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Are you talking about subterranean termites? I would advise you to talk with the termite company and get their opinion on the different treatment options. I have never had a termite company tell me that a treatment isn't available. As the other agents have stated termites are a norm in CA. They are killed off and then they eventually return. It is something you will most likely face w/any property in So Cal.
CA DRE 01338444
Hopefully you can have your agent negotate for a full tenting of the property. By doing that, you can be assured that the termites in all locations have been eradicated.
So, before you freak out that this inaccessible area is going to cost you & arm & 3 legs, get a 2nd opinion. Ask your agent for a referral or shoot me an email..
An inaccessible area is usually a garage, 2 or 3 car, 400-700sqft, just get it fumigated & close. In the long run, I'm sure the deal you're getting at the super low interest rates of today is going to outweigh your cost to deal with it now.
Shoot me an email directly if you'd like to talk to me some more. I don't look back on this same Trulia thread for answers posted after mine.
Realtor Since 1996
Main Street Realtors
Termites are very common in wood framed homes in the Southern California areas. The dry wood type (ones that fly) more so than the subterranean I believe. I have been told they swarm 2 times a year looking for new places to live (and infest). When a pest company inspects for termites I doubt if there is a company that will find them all due to the inaccessible areas in a house. I believe the inspection report states something about that.
The subterranean termites are not as common in my area but I have come across them a few times. They can be much harder to get rid of and are harder to treat and I would recommend follow up inspections. I believe in the East coast the fear is related to the subterranean type more.
The point I am trying to state is that I do not believe you will be able to find a wood framed house in Southern California totally free of termites.
If you do not want this house because of termites then make sure you realize the next house will likely have termites too. The tenting of a house will kill the dry wood termites and other bugs, spiders, etc, even the ones in inaccessible areas. Regular maintenance and general care of the exposed wood on a home will definitely reduce the risk of wood pests like termites but I don't know if you can eliminate it completely for an extended time period.
If you do not want to continue with the purchase for this or any other reason and if you removed ALL your contingencies you have money at risk. Review your contract, it addresses what the amount could possibly be based on certain factors.
You really need to get your Realtor involved and maybe their broker too. There are many variables here and a lot depends on the sellers.
Brian Wilson, Realtor
Real Estate Broker DRE 01406986 MLO 248651
How much is 1/2 the deposit vs tenting the home?
It would seem that you might be able to spend the money to tent the house vs just leaving 50% to 100% of your deposit behind. Tenting WILL take care of inaccessible areas.