Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers


Termites – Who Needs Them

Posted in Due Diligence,General Information,Inspections,Realtor's Job by Jeff Dowler on April 23, 2007

This article is about termites, sort of.

I am NOT a termite expert; not sure I would know one if I met one (and as an agent I cannot put myself in a position of advising you on whether or not the home you are thinking about buying HAS termites and what specific damage they may be causing).  But there are experts out there, and this is about knowing your options as a buyer. And that I can advise you on.

As I understand there are different types of termites, depending on what part of the country you are in. They are much more problematic in some areas (such as here in CA) than elsewhere.

A home inspector can generally tell you if there is evidence of termites – either active infestation or not, as well as possible damage. You have the option of having an additional inspection done as part of your due diligence if they are a concern – and this would be advisable so you know what the problem is and how to correct it. Here in CA a termite inspection is customary – it is conducted by the seller who provides the buyer with a copy of the inspection results and the recommendations about what needs to be corrected. Generally the seller is responsible for taking care of Section 1 problems (i.e., active infestation and damage), to be done before closing so a clearance can be obtained from the inspeciton company (required for mortgage purposes). There may be exceptions to this process, and buyers and sellers may negotiate this. In other areas where termites are less common, it seems that it is up to the buyer to have an inspection, and then, if there are issues, the buyer and seller may need to negotiate appropriate resolution.

There are a number of ways that termites (and other wood-boring insects) can be dealt with. One method, which you often see, is to tent the home (humans and pets need to vacate for several days) and use a pesticide. Damage to beams or other wood caused by termites should also be repaired. A reputable termite inspection company will advise on what remediation method is recommended in order to eliminate the termites so a clearance can be provided.

BTW if you want to learn all sorts of stuff about termites, including how to deal with them, Wikipedia has a great write-up. You may not care about reproduction and that sort of thing, but the end of their article has some helpful information.

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