should I get a termite report when purchasing a condo?

Asked by Leigh, San Francisco, CA Wed May 6, 2009

In the process of buying a condo in San Francisco - 9 years old building. I'm definitely planning to get a home inspection report but should I also get a termite report? (note: lender does not require it)

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Lori Jeltema, Agent, Suffolk, VA
Thu May 7, 2009
assuming you don't have an agent - if you do, disregard and consult your agent! Get the termite inspection. The condo fees you pay may cover the termite policy but may not cover some repairs if there is damage that has been going on for a while. A lot of what you are allowed to do WITH the results of that termite inspection depends on what you negotiated in the purchase offer. If you didn't ask to be allowed to perform one and have the seller either take care of treatment or ensure the condo association will prior to closing, you may not be able to ask for it now. having the inspection is the right thing to do - making the seller deal with what you find is dependent on the contract. Since you haven't done the home inspection yet, have the termite guy come out at the same time and try to negotiate those repairs under the protection of the inspection guidelines. If the condo association covers treatment and repairs, get it in writing, have the seller ensure it gets done prior to settlement or see if you can have money escrowed and mutually released after the work has been performed by the two cents.
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Vicki Moore, Agent, Roseville, CA
Thu May 7, 2009
It's a good idea. With the amount of money you're spending, it's worth it. The pest inspector will also look for water damage, leaks, termites, beetles and mold. Wood can come from the lumber yard with termites included.

Congratulations Leigh!
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Emmanuel Sca…, , Collin County, TX
Thu May 7, 2009
Hello Leigh,

I would most certainly have a termite report performed even on a condo. I do not perform termite inspections (they are licensed inspections in Texas) but I advise all of my clients to have a Wood Destroying Insect (WDI) inspection, even if the home is new.

If you choose to have one performed I would recommend though that you contract with the WDI Inspector to also inspect surrounding, visible, common areas to make sure WDI is not present elsewhere. It does not take long for WDI to spread and cause damage. If CA WDI Inspectors will not do this then I would speak with the management company/Condo Association Board to find out when they last had one performed of common areas, and potentially individual units. Also ask them if they regularly inspect and/or treat for WDI as a preventative measure. While you are asking them this you may also wish to ask how they handle their normal "Other" pest management issues.

Good luck!

Emmanuel J. Scanlan
PS Inspection & Property Services LLC
214-418-4366 (cell)
TREC License # 7593
International Code Council, Residential Combination Inspector #5247015-R5 (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Building)
Certified Infrared Thermographer (ASNT-TC1A Standards)
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Texas Residential Construction Commission, Inspector, County Inspection Program
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Knowledge is power, but sharing knowledge brings peace!!
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