How important is termite disclosure in deciding whether to buy a house? Disclosure of a house currently shows dry wood termites, subterranean

Asked by Dreams, Fremont, CA Mon Mar 10, 2014

termites are present in some parts? Is it a concern?And it's chimney is shaking too? Should I avoid buying this one because these reasons or, what more should I check for regarding these issues?
Please suggest. Thanks,

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The Medford…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Mon Mar 10, 2014
Time for some straight talk from someone who is immersed in the Fremont market - first of, an answer to your first question:

Q: How important is termite disclosure in deciding whether to buy a house?
A: VERY. Be grateful that the seller was kind enough to provide a report up front. You will know BEFORE you write an offer what the issues are, not find out once you are in escrow like many other properties. You want a termite report for every home you plan on buying - whether it's provided up front or once you get into escrow.

Here are some important tings to consider:

(1) First of all, termites are VERY common in Fremont. If a home doesn't have them yet, it will. The trick is to stay on top of them and understand what you are looking at when you look at a report. Your agent should be helping you decipher the report. Termites in and of themselves should not be a concern.

(2) Just because it says "Termite Report" does not mean that everything reported in it will pertain to termites. Termite Reports are subdivided into 4 categories - Section 1 - anything that has actually damaged the wood structure of the home, Section 2 - anything which, if left un-repaired, could lead to Section 1 damage, Section 3 - "Further Inspection and Section 4 - "Other."

Section 1 is what you are most concerned about and not everything in Section 1 will be concerning termites (or wood-boring beetles). Fungus also attacks wood and, in my opinion, is most often a worse issue than the insect damage. ALL Section 1 damage CAN be repaired - it's just a matter of how much it will cost.

(3) The market in Fremont is beyond HOT - if you want the house in Fremont, It WILL be "AS-IS" and you will more than likely be paying over asking regardless of the condition. The fact that someone below suggested you can take the cost of repairs off the price is simply not going to happen. Someone else suggested that you could ask for a Section 1 clearance - again, not going to happen

(4) They have provided you the report up front as a courtesy so you know what you are getting in to when write your offer. Once you get into escrow, I recommend you also order your own set of inspections: Termite, Property, Roof AND chimney. Just because a chimney is shaking when a person grabs it and shakes it does NOT mean it will fall down or is damaged. It should probably be braced, but that is true of most masonry chimneys. The chimney inspector will be able to tell you what is up. Most chimneys can be repaired if they have problems. Again, it's an issue of how much will the repairs be.

(5) There are some strange answers below, but Elva's response is spot on: if termites are only in one location, you deal with them where they are. If their actual location cannot be determined, then you treat the whole house - typically by tenting and pumping in Vikane gas. If you don't need to treat the whole house, don't. Talk to the inspector to get their recommendation - this is what they do for a living. They will not insist on a whole house treatment if you don't need one. Once you are moved in, get frequent inspections to stay on top of things.

(6) If you pass on this house, remember that you will encounter termite report issues again. The issue is not termites or dry rot - it's how much it will cost to remedy the issues when you treat them. Over the years you live there, provide preventative maintenance so it won't be an issue down the road.
2 votes
I could not have said it better -- I was going to write on this, but this explanation is easily one of the best and most comprehensive you will find.
Flag Mon Mar 10, 2014
Simon Watson, Agent, Walnut Creek, CA
Sat Mar 15, 2014
Comes down to the Cost to fix problem and is the house worth it?
0 votes
John Juarez, Agent, Fremont, CA
Mon Mar 10, 2014
Read Carl’s comments and read them again.

If you got disclosures from the seller before writing an offer it is because the seller wants you to write an honest, intelligent offer with knowledge that the house has repair issues with which YOU will have to deal if you buy the house. You already know that the seller wants an “as is” sale. Do not expect to get into contract and then ask the seller to make repairs as if you were not put on notice as to the house’s deficiencies. If you want this house, write an offer that shows your level of desire for it and know that you will be making some improvements (repairs) if the house becomes yours.
0 votes
Dawn Rivera, Agent, Fremont, CA
Mon Mar 10, 2014
Hi you should find out how much the total cost to get the section one termite clearence. Then you can have your realtor try to negotiate with the sellers realtor to get all or at least half of the cost paid by the seller. As for the shaking chimney I would get a inspection on it and ask for it to be fixed. I don't know the details but it could be a health and safety issue. As Stated below you have the report before you make an offer you should keep in mind if there is the section that says other or further inspection required the termite and or wood rot damage they find could be costly or it could be minor to nothing. Offer what your willing to pay considering the risks, ask your realtor to see if you can find out the last time the house was treated for termites and received a section one clearance. .... Dawn
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0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Mar 10, 2014
Termites are very common in parts of California. Here in San Diego, they are very very common.

Do you have a Realtor? Are you under contract? If so, ready your contract carefully to see what the terms of the deal are.

Consult with your own personal Realtor. Best of luclk.
0 votes
Nina Daruwal…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Mon Mar 10, 2014
Hi Ch-Sac,
It is most common to find Termites at a home in CA as we are build on where there were orchards once! It is good to have them now, so you can get the Termite Treatment completed immediately upon closing on the property, clean up and then move your family into the home, and not have to worry about Termites for a while! As for the Chimney, sometimes they crack due to earthquake would have to get that fixed....
Ask your Realtor to guide you further...if you are Not working with one, please feel free to get in touch with me. All the Best,
Nina Daruwalla
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0 votes
Elva Wormley, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, San Jose, CA
Mon Mar 10, 2014
Even though you're purchasing the property "as is" it's a good idea to order a home inspection and I would speak with the termite company who did the inspection to gather more information. Certain areas are more prone to termites than other areas.

Best regards,

Elva A. Wormley
Mortgage Consultant
Office (408) 615-8500
C2 Financial Corporation
2845 Moorpark Avenue, Suite 209
San Jose, CA 95128
NMLS #331981 / BRE #01274093
0 votes
Alexander Gr…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Mon Mar 10, 2014
You can always request that the cost of the repairs be subtracted from the purchase price. Just send me an email if you have any further questions.

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079
0 votes
You have never had a contingency clause in any of your purchase contracts? I would be more than happy to show you how. You can have any of the following: kick-out, home sale, financing, appraisal, inspection, etc. The inspection contingency is where the termite inspection along with many other things will be.
Flag Tue Mar 11, 2014
The standard CAR contract, page 4, Section 9 states: "...(1) the Property is sold (a) in its PRESENT physical ('as-is") condition as of the date of Acceptance..."
Flag Tue Mar 11, 2014
The question said nothing about as is. Since it says nothing about that I am assuming there is a termite contingency just like any other purchasing agreement
Flag Tue Mar 11, 2014
Please tell us exactly how you would go about that in this very strong seller's market in a transaction the buyer already knows is "as is".
Flag Mon Mar 10, 2014
Dreams, Home Buyer, Fremont, CA
Mon Mar 10, 2014
The clause is to buy 'as is' basis. Even if I am ready to pay the repair costs... I am worried about the termite reason.. What if it will be worse in future or cause structural damage to house?
0 votes
Walter 'Skip'…, Agent, Brea, CA
Mon Mar 10, 2014
You can ask the seller for termite clearance and ask to have the chimney repaired.
Good luck,
0 votes
Good luck with that in today's very strong seller's market.
Flag Mon Mar 10, 2014
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