Before buying or renting a property, whether it is a house, an apartment or premises, you must perform a termite inspection. In some transactions involving lenders and escrows, it is mandatory.
If termites are not taken care of promptly, they can cause the strongest structure to fall and the finest furnishings to be damaged, resulting in financial loss. You can prevent their spread with a termite inspection for escrow.
How does termite inspection for escrow work?
Escrow payments are payments with an intermediary between the customer and the seller. The intermediary will hold the client’s money in escrow until the sale transaction is completed.
These escrow payments are used in the sale of homes. In this case, the intermediary would be a mortgage lender. Most lenders require a thorough pest inspection to ensure the property is in good condition and it will not lose value.
Among these inspections is the termite inspection for escrow, which, if done correctly, could save the buyer a lot of money and headaches. The company you choose should provide a report that confirms that the property is free of termites and is not at risk of damage in the future.
The inspection must be done as close to the escrow as possible. This is because if termites are found, the buyer and seller will need to discuss certain issues.
There may be a possibility of renegotiating the price if the problem arises since, in addition to the inconvenience, the buyer will have to wait for the company to complete the work and certify it.
Do I have to do the termite inspection when I buy a house?
In most U.S. states, a termite inspection is required as part of the transaction when purchasing a property. This includes most transactions where there are lenders or escrow involved in the process.
Am I required to have a termite inspection to be approved for a mortgage loan?
It will depend on your state, the type of loan, and the homeowner’s insurance policy.
For VA loans, 39 states require a termite inspection, and for most, it is not specified whether the seller or buyer will be responsible for paying for the services. However, some states require the seller to pay for services and repairs, up to a certain amount.
On the other hand, government-backed loans require inspection only if the home shows signs of termite activity. Although not required in all situations, it is recommended that the investment in pest and termite inspections be made.
Some sellers have a “termite letter”, which is nothing more than a document certifying that the home is termite free. This is the only scenario where you should not worry about having an inspection.
How do I know if there are termites in the house?
If you think there are termites in your house and you do not want to go to a professional before being sure, there are several ways to find out.
Among others, we will hear noises in the walls since these insects are very noisy when chewing wood. They look like ants but differ because they have a white or transparent colour, and some even fly.
Another way to identify them is through the sound of hollow wood since, although the wood looks good outside, it could be eaten inside. This is because termites work their way in the wood from the inside out.
If your windows have become difficult to open or your doors are wedged shut, and you notice external cords on your walls, you most likely have termites. Termites create these cords to protect themselves from light.
I found termites in the house I was about to buy; who must pay for that?
Most states and lenders require the seller to cover the cost of termite inspections. However, the seller may choose different options to cover the costs, such as paying the upfront or closing costs and reducing the price of the home.
Once the sale is completed, the buyer will solely be responsible for maintaining termite prevention in their home. You should be aware that homeowner’s insurance will not cover termite damage, so it is recommended that you check.
Is there more than one type of termite, and what are they?
There are over 2,000 types of termites today, but the three most common are the subterranean, dry wood and damp wood termites. Most of them feed on the wood found in our homes and are not dangerous to human health. They do not cause allergies, itch or bite.
However, they must be treated in time, as they could cause costly damage to your home. Certain control measures must be taken to comply with the preceding. Treatment for termites will depend on their type because they do not all behave similarly.
How can I prevent having termites once the house has been purchased?
Avoid having places in your home where water can filtrate and produce moisture. This could bring not only health problems but also produce one of the favourite habitats of termites: moisture.
Don’t keep cellulose or wood on the floor or anywhere that could become damp. Store wood on shelves or in places that are not in direct contact with the ground.
The same applies to firewood; keep it away from the walls of your home. Finally, do not plant trees or plants near your home, as they could take root under the construction of your home.