Home Buying in Germantown>Question Details

Manish, Home Buyer in 38138

Saw an otherwise great house today that has been treated for termites. Should this house even be on my list?

Asked by Manish, 38138 Fri Jan 4, 2008

Saw an otherwise great house today that has been treated for termites. Should this house even be on my list, or just steer clear? I am a first time buyer. Thanks in advance!

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Inspections, Inspections, inspections!

Hi Manish,

I remember my fist time buying a house, it was pretty overwhelming. back then the Realtors only represented the Seller and I was on my own. I would not strike this home off the list for the treatment issue. Actually I would feel a little better knowing it was treated (recently) . If you are more nervous regarding this issue, get 3 Termite inspection companies to look at it. In my area they only charge between $ 50- $75 to do an inspection so it would be money well spent. I have had problems found in crawlspaces that the first inspector missed. And if and when you buy get a yearly inspection contract with a reputable insurered Pest Control Co. . That way they will inspect once a year and treat any new active infestations that arise free of charge.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
Hi Manish,

Add the home to your list. Termite treatments work. For more info on termites see the website I pasted below

Good luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
Please consider this house! Previous termite evidence is very common in homes. Just have your inspector estimate the damage and consider having a licensed contractor give you a structural report (you agent can help you with this).

If the evidence has been treated and no structural problems or repairs - then no worries! Termites of this severity are an easy fit.

On the other hand...if the evidence is "the worst an inspector has seen in a while" then consider getting out of the deal! OR re-negotating the terms and price to reflect the cost of this undertaking....

Who knows......you may be able to get a great deal and really "steal" the property!

Web Reference: http://www.TheRoopGroup.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 11, 2008
Wow Lavy, I really disagree! Would you call an oil change "engine work"? My experience indicates that termite treatment is almost as common an issue. You are right about there being a lot of inventory, but if a vast majority of the inventory either has been treated for termites or will be treated for termites, what does moving on to another house do for the buyer? Stacey
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
I would say stay clear from that property, only becuase you so many choices now with so much inventory in the market. My analogy is would buy a car and the ad indicates recent engine work performed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
In addition to teh excellent advice offered by the others (in the mid atlantic area it isn't so much if, but when you will get termites), let me add two things:

1) What exactly does "previously treated" mean? (last year, 10 years ago?) It may be time for another treatement for preventative reasons.

2) Is there any damage that has been unaddresses, or improperly addressed? If it was all repaired properly, you are good to go! If it was minor or incidental damage, also good to go! If it is throughout all the floor joists and they were not repaired, well, that's for your inspector to discuss with you.

Get recepits (if they have them) from the treatment company so you know what was done, when, and any warranties that may apply.
Web Reference: http://www.sherlockHI.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008
New homes are treated for termites as they are being built - just because it has been treated does not mean it ever had active termites, or even any damage - I would check further to see why it was treated - I recently sold one that had to be treated, because termites were found in the fence post - away from the house - I was told that was the only way to handle it, so now this home has drill marks all around the porch and the garage - no termites were found in or near the home, but in the fence post!
Web Reference: http://www.billwootan.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 5, 2008

I agree w/ the prior posts that state there is no reason to remove this home from consideration. However, I do recommend that through a general inspector and a "termite" inspector, you ask them to tell you about what damage, if any, was caused to the structure. Also, ask the seller to disclose if any damage was noted in the report when the discovery of termites was found, and what repairs were made.

Again, even if there was damage and repairs, this still may be a good property. Wood destroying insect infestation is not that uncommon in the Northeast or MidAtlantic. You just want to make sure that it is treated, and any damage caused has been repaired.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
Hi Manish,
No need to take this home off your list simply because of prior termite treatment. As the other real estate professionals have stated, have the home inspected for active infestation, and for damage caused by prior infestations. Negotiate any findings with the seller, and make a purchase decision from there. No home is perfect, and prior treatment is no reason to be scared off. Simply ensure any active infestation is treated, and any major damage resulting from it is repaired or credited.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
Hi Manish,

In many areas of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, wood destroying insect infestation is common. Heavily wooded areas provide ample oppty for these insects, including termites, carpenter ants, etc. I have commonly seen great homes have 'termite' problems. Even if you are lucky enough to buy a home that has not had termites, you should have your home checked regularly once you own it.

So, no, don't axe a property off your list because it had termites and has been treated. But, still, by all means, have another inspection to know the current status. And, have both the termite inspector and your general inspector look for any damage the prior infestation may have caused. Are there any repairs to the structure that need to be made as a result of the infestation? If the termites were there for a while before being treated, there might be some needed work to fix their damage. If that damage is minor, then ask for it to be repaired by the seller. If that damage was substantial, get a clear understanding from the inspectors what repairs will entail and make sure you are comfortable.

The mere presence of prior termites should not be a reason to steer clear. Even minor structure damage is not a red flag to steer clear. Be guided by the advice of your inpsectors. Ask lots of questions so you feel comfortable with your decisons.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
Hi Manish, I would add to Marvin's answer that termite treatment should not summarily remove the house from your list - inspection by licensed professionals is the place to start. The follow up piece is just as important. Once you have completed the transaction and moved in, have the house reinspected on a regular basis - in some areas they recommend more often than in others - to be sure the house remains free and clear.

I live in the Northeast and was shocked to learn ten years ago that the house we were purchasing had some termite damage. Seller repaired and treated, now we have it checked every 2 to 3 years - no problems since then. Best wishes on your purchase! Stacey
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
Inspection is the keyword. A full and complete inspection along with a termite inspection to double check. If you have doubts, talk to pest control folks to ensure that it is free and clear.

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2008
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