- Appraisal – the appraiser IS NOT a Wood Destroying Organisms(WDO) inspector. So he would not be liable. The most he could have done is mention “evidence of WDO may exist” or something along those lines. But that’s a judgment call. Read the appraisal and see if there is any mention of WDO or termites. If so, the lender would have requested a WDO inspection. If they didn’t, they missed it. Talk to the lender to see if there is anything that can be done.
- Home Inspection – if you did a regular home inspection, again, this would not necessarily have been detected since he is not necessarily a certified WDO inspector. He would not be liable either.
- Termite Inspection – you probably did not do this. But if you did, they definitely should have detected this problem.
You probably won’t get too far with the choices above. Even if you find that someone should have detected the problem, hiring a lawyer would probably cost you more than the problem itself. So here are some possibly more practical solutions:
- Look into refinancing into an FHA 203K rehab mortgage loan. This loan is designed to provide the financing for these kind of problems and finance it into the same mortgage. However, it may be too soon for you. Talk to your lender to see if they offer it. You may have to wait 3-6 months.
- If you don’t have the $$ to fix the damage, at least stop the bleeding – hire a pest control company that specializes in getting rid of the WDO. They will put a tent over the entire house and will spray a chemical to kill the termites. You will have to vacate your house for a few days. This will probably cost between $750-$1500 depending on the area and the size of the house. Then when you have the $$ or maybe if you qualify down the road finance the repairs.
- Talk to your insurance company – they won’t cover the repairs. This may be a long shot but they may cover your living expenses for a few days under their “loss of use” clause while the house is being treated.
At the very least, you need to find a way to treat the house and stop the termites.
Florida Mortgage Coach
“We Coach You Through the Mortgage Process”
Because of the quickness that a termite infestation can occur, termite inspections are recommended to take place closer to the actual closing.
Your focus should be: was the seller aware of this condition before the property was sold and if you had a termite inspection, why wasn't the problem identified at that time? If you didn't have a termite inspection, did your agent make you aware of the importance of having a termite evaluation?
It may be time to contact an attorney for their input.
An FHA mortgage doesn't guarantee the condition of the property so this is why FHA recommends that you hire an independent inspector.
If you indeed hired a Home Inspector you may have some recourse against that home inspector--unless there was no way he could have discovered the "structural" issues you just found.
Also you may want to get a second opinion in case the professional that is advising you is incorrect in their assessment about structural damage.
First, call a professional and have the damage repaired and the termites treated.
Second, check to see if there was anything you could have done to be aware of the problem.
Third, fix it, learn from it and enjoy raising your family in your new home.
Was there anything in the sellers home disclosure? How about your home inspection?
The sellers property disclosure is required and required to be accurate. Please realize that it would be possible to be unaware of the problem until the termite situation results in damage and could be difficult to say that the seller "knew". That would depend on information that I do not have.
The other protection that you have is your home inspection before closing. Did you have one done? Even if you did not contract a termite, a home inspecter should recognize termites as well as wood rot in his inspection.
Debbie Albert, PA
Keller Williams of the Treasure Coast
The FHA Inspection is done by the appraiser and it is very abbreviated and basically they just take a quick look at any visible issues, i.e. bad roof, bad plumbing, electrical wires exposed, etc.
I like the suggestion to get a 203K FHA fixer upper mortgage if you don't have any saving to make the repairs.
Wells Fargo does 203Ks and they have the best track record as far as getting the money to pay your contractors.
PS What did the Wood Destroying Organism WDO report say?
I'm very sorry to learn of the damage to your home.
If you had an inspection for WDO try to contact the company and see what they think about the problem.
I do not expect them to remedy the problem, but if any damage was hidden they may be able to identify that.
You want to find out is this something that was un detectable or was it covered up or hidden from the next owner.
The good news is that with an FHA mortgage, your initial costs for purchasing the home should have been close to what you would have paid to secure a rental.
Your first step should be to examine your paperwork carefully--what did the inspection say? If you did not receive a copy, your Realtor should be able to secure one for you. If you purchased directly through a seller, your options may be more difficult, but even so you should be able to see a copy of anything which you paid for, and you would have had to pay for an FHA inspection, so check with the lender.
Hope this helps, and good luck to you!