Today we provided a termite inspection in Trumbull, CT. The clients were a young family purchasing their first home. The home was built in 1950 and we found termites in the garage sill during our inspection.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with construction the sill plate is the first piece of wood that sits on top of the foundation. Attached to the sill plate are the floor joists and the band joist. All three of these components are critical to the structure of the home.
The termite damage we found during our inspection was not severe, but the prospective buyers were very turned off by the home solely because it had evidence of termites. Everything else about the home was presumably exactly what they’re looking for.
As a termite inspector I’m often confronted with this situation. In most cases, but not all I find that the buyer who is completely turned off by the fact that a home has termites is a first time real estate investor. I thought that since this situation comes up so often that I would explain what we tell people who are purchasing homes with evidence of termites found during a termite inspection.
1. Its not the only house in the neighborhood or town that has termites
Just for a moment let’s assume that you’ve got a 1950’s style home in a town like Trumbull, CT. Let’s also assume that you chose Trumbull because it’s a great small town, has a great school system and it’s close to I-95 and Rt-15.
If you walk away from this house and expect to find another home in the same town of similar age and style, then you had better be prepared for another house that may potentially have termites. The reason is that termites are a neighborhood problem. Once one home has them there’s a better than average chance that other homes in the neighborhood will also be effected. The same can be said on a larger scale for a town.
Lesson: All things being equal, if evidence of termites is the only reason your walking away from a home, think again.
2. Not all termite damage is created equal
I’ve been in the pest control industry for almost 20 years. In that time I’ve seen the worst termites can do. However, you should know that not all termite damage is structural damage and most structural damage can be repaired.
Lesson: All qualified home inspector or home improvement contractor should be able to tell you if the damage in your prospective home is structural. If it turn our that it is a structural issue then you must know how bad the problem is and more importantly can it be repaired.
3. Stay off the internet.
I know that sounds funny since your reading this post on the internet, but keep in mind that a small amount of information can be dangerous. I promise you that if you look up the terms termite damage on the internet you won’t like what you find. The reason is that you’ll probably be hearing about the worst of the worst. The fact is that this may or may not be what’s going on at your home.
Lesson: Get the correct facts about termites as they pertain to the home your purchasing. Any other home with termites has nothing to do with your particular situation.
In closing, I don’t want people to construe my comments as meaning that every home with a termite problem should be purchased. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been performing termite inspections for almost 20 years. In that time I’ve seen plenty of homes that have had a scary amount of termite damage, but more often I see damage that is limited in size and scope to one or two areas.
For the record, most termite issues can easily be taken care of by a competent pest control professional with one treatment. The important lesson to walk away with from this post is that you must find a competent professional to help you decide what your next move should be.
Good luck and happy house hunting!!!
If you have a termite problem or know someone that does call Envirocare Pest Control. We can be reached at 1-888-879-6481