â€œIs the locally treatment enough to solve this problem? and the report doesn't tell how severe the damage to the joists.â€
There are two primary types of termites that I am aware of here in CA: Drywood, which colonize WITHIN the wood members of the building and Subterranean, which colonize in the ground and construct mud tubes to gain access to the wood members of the structure.
Drywood termites are typically addressed by tenting the COMPLETE STRUCTURE. In my opinion, spot treating for Drywoods makes little sense due to the fact these termites colonize within the wood members and â€œDrywood Termite X-ray Vision Glassesâ€ are not commercially available ;-) [Subterranean termites are normally addressed by destroying their mud tubes followed by injecting the soil around the dwelling with a chemical barrier.]
â€œMy agent will only pay $380 to do the treatment. should i continue to buy this condo?â€
I think you have some homework before YOU decide whether to move forward with the purchase. I donâ€™t think a â€œspot treatmentâ€ will successfully eradicate the Drywood issue. Tenting the entire property is the reasonable move if one seeks to address the issue prudently.
Typically, when it comes to termite repair, I recommend my Buyers request the correction be performed by the Sellers to reduce liability exposure. The fact is that you really do not know how serious the infestation is until you start tearing out the damage. Visually, a wood member can look fine, but then a poke with a screwdriver demonstrates otherwise.
In the case of a Condo or other attached home with Drywood termites you may not even have the luxury of tenting the unit you are buying since you cannot tent a single unit (subterranean termite treatment can be applied individually). In these cases, it would be typical that the HOA has responsibility and the HOA will control when the work takes place since all affected owners would need to vacate for about 72 hours. The underlying question is how long it will take the HOA to address the corrective action requiredâ€¦.
Your primary task at this point, and one of the toughest things to do when purchasing a Condo/Townhome, is to obtain a clear definition of the "line of demarcation" between HOA and Owner responsibility. Meaning, from what specific point in the construction of the Condo does responsibility / liability end for the HOA and begin for the Owner.
For example, I have had instances where exterior walls are under the HOA, but interior walls are the condo owner's responsibility. In other cases, it has started at the interior face of the drywall. You need a definitive definition, in writing, in order to make your decision. In my experience, CC&Rs predominately do not provide enough clarity in this regard so you (your agent) may have to send multiple emails until you obtain a clear answer and can make your final decision.
My assumption is that the HOA would have responsibility; however, itâ€™s your job to find out if they actually do! Also, if this is true, try to find out when the HOA is planning to tent the structures and whether this treatment has already been budgeted.