Home Buying in Orlando>Question Details

Thanks In Ad…, Other/Just Looking in Boca Raton, FL

Wood frame houses (and condos) in Florida

Asked by Thanks In Advance!, Boca Raton, FL Thu Jan 10, 2013

I already know many people say buy block in Florida, don't consider frame.

But I am wondering (especially given that some places I'm seeing in the lower price ranges are frame) if this is a total deal breaker? In your experience, do contracts on frame homes often fall through because pest inspections reveal termites? And are the inspections reliable, or do inspectors sometimes miss termites?

Help the community by answering this question:


Thank you, I appreciate everyone's taking the time to post such thoughtful responses.

I may decide it's too much of a gamble for me because I'm not an investor (who could average out gains and losses across several properties)--this would be my one home.

Does anyone know if manufactured homes have the same issues as wood frame site built homes? (Is their construction such that they are even more at risk for termites, or less so because they usually sit up off the ground?) I'm asking because I've seen a few listings in 55-plus co-ops and condo associations that appeal to me (apart from the wood frame issue).

I do already know they're very hard to find insurance for and the insurance is expensive due to their being at risk for damage in a hurricane--I'm wondering specifically about the termite issue with them.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2013

You have indeed stumbled across one of Florida home buyer's major points of concern. .."stick built" homes. They are more difficult to insure and finance and because of this are at best a difficult sell. There are several other issues associated with this type of construction: Wood destroying organisms(WDO's), the inability to withstand high winds during severe storms, and their deminished values lead the way as reasons why to avoid these housing options.

Hope this is helpful.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 10, 2013
Been selling property here for 18yrs and a Wood Frame ALWAYS gets less $$$$ when selling. Does this mean all Wood Frame homes are bad? Absolutely not. But you must be extremely vigilant in your maintenance of a wood frame home. Over the years have sold some great homes that were wood frame in the 1/2 million dollar range that were in immaculate shape. If you do purchase one that has been neglected or as Mark pointed out - has extensive wood rot you are in for an expensive project. You have to remember when an inspector goes through a home he cannot go through the walls nor can he damage the seller's house in any way. Most of the time they find them but yes sometimes they miss as they are only human. But if you like the home and really want it rely on your inspector and his reputation and your termite specialist.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 10, 2013
I have 11 Properties here in the Orlndo area. 7 of them are wood frame condos. If you would like to draw on my ecperience and the inspector that I use then I will gladly help. A Termite Bond is just that. In the unlikely event that the inspector misses the termits then the bond should cover the cost of remediation.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 10, 2013
Well, there is a reason they are in the lower prices ranges. Termites are not the big problem, it's the very long very humid summer we have here. Wood and water are not a good mix.

Clearly some people do buy them so it is not a total deal breaker. Just get a good inspector.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 10, 2013
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