My dream home has or had termite damage. What do I do?

Asked by Thomasina, Springfield, MA Sun Aug 30, 2009

I have found my dream home. After putting in an offer I found out from a friend of a friend that the house has/had over $30,000 worth of termite damage. None of this was disclosed to myself or my realtor. When I mentioned this to my realtor, she asked the buyer's realtor, who then said that the problem had been resolved because the home was gutted and rebuilt, and that the damage was present previous to the current buyers occupying the home. I plan on having my own inspection anyways. Should I still buy the home? Should I be concerned that the previous termite damage was not disclosed to me, even though the problem has supposedly been resolved? Are there any extra measures that I should take to prevent the home from further damage or further termite infestation?

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Christopher…, Agent, Woburn, MA
Tue Sep 1, 2009
Ask the seller first to show documentation for the last treatment from the reputable service company like terminix and if the warranty is still valid! The damaged area that is found by the inspection, was it repaired by a licensed contractor? Does he warranty the work?
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Michael Murr…, , New Jersey
Mon Aug 31, 2009
Great answers to your questions from all the realtors, I would try to have the seller reduce the price for the amount of the repairs or apply for a 203K loans to pay for the repairs.
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Rob Goodwin,…, , Easton, MA
Mon Aug 31, 2009
Good morning Thomasina:

There should be a transferable warranty from the termite Company . There should be a paper trail that describes what the damage was , when it happened and what the termite Company did to remedy the situation. There will be an annual cost to continue the preventative treatment. Your home inspector will look at the area that was repaired from the damage and determine whether you need a structural engineer to look at the repair.

If all that is in order I would still consider buying the home., especially where it is your dream home. Termite treatments are very effective so you shouldn't have additional damage going forward . There is some stigma with the termite issue attached to your home , but not a significant one.

Should you be concerned that this was not disclosed? Yes, as there is the possibility that if that issue was not mentioned there could be other disclosures not mentioned, however, it will be hard to hide any significant items from a good home inspector.

Good luck,

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Victoria Pan…, Agent, Miami, FL
Sun Aug 30, 2009
Get the inspection done, not just for termites, but a whole inspection of the house and after that; you have to find out if it is worth to buy it or not, you can always ask the seller to repair the house and you can inspected after the repairs were done. Or you can ask for credit at the time of the closings for the repairs if you want to be in charge of the repairs.

Do not get discourage, many termite problems can be fixed. Good Luck!!!!!!!
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Krista Wach, Agent, Arcadia, CA
Sun Aug 30, 2009
Hi Thomasina,

I agree with Cindy. Don't rely on hearsay. Get an inspection done and take it from there. If this is really your dream house you should take the necessary steps to resolve this instead of panic and cancel the transaction. Buying a home is a stressful process, but it's well worth it in the end.
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The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Sun Aug 30, 2009
First of all, get an inspection. That will give you an idea whether there is a current issue.

Further, the friend of a friend with the $30,000 dame could very well be exaggerated. Do your inspections and decide from there.
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