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Termite damage- Should we still buy this house?

4 months ago

We had an inspection done on a house we’re buying, the inspector found termite damage and possible activity in the basement. We asked the sellers to take care of it and other things to which they replied they would take care of the rest but the termites.

Should we be concerned? We’re thinking hiring a pest control company but not sure if it’s worth spending the money or pass on this house?

P.S. We’re in NY.

Thank you!

Comments (4)

  • 4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    If this house is in a termite prone area, then finding termites is not unexpected. However, as stated in your report, they can cause a lot of damage. Get a professional termite and structural person in there to evaluate all before you make any decision to buy, or not to buy. In my area, the seller is responsible to have a termite inspection, not the buyer. The seller is also required to do all repairs, required from any termites if termites are discovered. A once a year, inspection and spraying will keep you from having future problems, after everything has been taken care of .

  • PRO
    4 months ago

    I live in the south where every house had, has, or will have termites. You need a pest control company to treat the termites and a contractor to look at the damage. Could be minor and you just ignore it, we restored one house where the damage extended up to the roof so we had to demo the entire first floor and reframe it under the second floor that was propped up on stilts. That was fun.

  • 4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    There are a couple of problems here:

    1. You know there's an issue but you don't know the scope of it. It could be minor... or not.

    2. You don't want to be the seller who is stuck with an expensive issue when it comes time to sell it.

    If the house is a bargain and you can afford for this to be a bigger issue: your call. But if you can't afford to be left holding the bag for a big repair, then pass.

    I've done termite repair. Sometimes it's not bad - replace some sections of a sill plate, for example -- and sometimes it's extensive and I was rebuilding an entire wall of a house. (Keep in mind that these were VERY cheap houses).

    On a market rate house, I don't have a problem telling the seller to give me cash back at closing when it's a problem they have been sitting on and should have dealt with years ago. I also don't want a seller getting a low-bid half-baked solution to a problem to sell the house. That's why cash back instead of having them fix it. Leave it to the seller and they will install the cheapest furnace, a poor quality roof, half-assed job of patching concrete, etc. Besides, virtually always a seller wants to be DONE with the house at this stage - cash back at closing allows things to move forward and for them to wash their hands of the house instead of finding the chunk of cash for repairs, managing the repairs, re-inspection, etc.

    BTW: Now that the seller is aware that there is termite damage, they have to disclose it to other prospective buyers - at least in my state. They can't just fail to mention material defects that are known to them. That may change their mind on dealing with you.

  • last month

    Hi Rachel, what did you decide, which termite company did you end up using, and are you happy with the work done (that's if you bought the house)? We're also in NY and just discovered that our house has termite damage to a few of the beams, so we're urgently shopping around for a tried and trusted company that deals with this kind of issue.


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