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Old 02-16-2014, 11:50 AM
 
3 posts, read 4,848 times
Reputation: 10

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We are about to buy a house (currently under contract, within inspection period) in the area. The termite inspector observed “visual evidence of the presence of wood destroying insects” (subterranean termites). The house was built in 2006 and we learned that the construction company had the site pre-treated for termites, however the owners decided to cancel the termite contract when they purchased the home in 2007, so routine inspections or treatment have not been done. According to the termite inspector, this is “very entry-level” and the damage to the sheetrock appears to be superficial and cosmetic (no damage to window frames or moulding was observed and the inspector concluded that the termites had just started to eat the paper layer of the sheetrock) and suggested that in addition to a full termite treatment it was likely that cosmetic repairs to the walls (in 3 rooms) would suffice.
We now need to decide how we want to proceed with the home purchase. Should we have any additional inspections done to get a clear understanding of the damages? We had a general home inspection done prior to the termite inspection, but it did not point to any structural problems or damages.
If we move forward with the purchase, we would like to ask sellers to take responsibility for the termite treatment and have all repairs done. Would we be safe if we ask sellers to get all repairs done and get a termite certificate?
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
3,069 posts, read 8,408,864 times
Reputation: 5715
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomagi View Post
We are about to buy a house (currently under contract, within inspection period) in the area. The termite inspector observed “visual evidence of the presence of wood destroying insects” (subterranean termites). The house was built in 2006 and we learned that the construction company had the site pre-treated for termites, however the owners decided to cancel the termite contract when they purchased the home in 2007, so routine inspections or treatment have not been done. According to the termite inspector, this is “very entry-level” and the damage to the sheetrock appears to be superficial and cosmetic (no damage to window frames or moulding was observed and the inspector concluded that the termites had just started to eat the paper layer of the sheetrock) and suggested that in addition to a full termite treatment it was likely that cosmetic repairs to the walls (in 3 rooms) would suffice.
We now need to decide how we want to proceed with the home purchase. Should we have any additional inspections done to get a clear understanding of the damages? We had a general home inspection done prior to the termite inspection, but it did not point to any structural problems or damages.
If we move forward with the purchase, we would like to ask sellers to take responsibility for the termite treatment and have all repairs done. Would we be safe if we ask sellers to get all repairs done and get a termite certificate?
Termites do not enter the home through the front door and work their way from the surface of drywall (sheetrock) and to the inside behind it. The true extent of any termite damage is not going to be known until surface materials are removed for visibility behind them! The termites had to reach the paper layer which means they have moved through the drywall material. Termites do prefer wood so it is quite possible they already munched on it.

Louisiana was one of the entry points into the US for the dreaded Formosan termites ( Formosan subterranean termite - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ). That is not to say what you are seeing is Formosan termites. However it would most certainly be to your advantage to have the species identified and the full extent of damage caused also identified. Again that might well require destructive means of removing drywall and/or other surface materials.

How you proceed is going to be completely up to you but I would certainly have additional inspections performed and those obviously would require the approval of the current owner since destructive means might need to be used.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:58 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,848 times
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Thank you very much for your response. We have been trying to get a licensed contractor experienced in assessing termite damage to inspect the house (as recommended by our general home inspector). However (and this troubles us a great deal) we recently learned that the sellers, against our expressed request, moved ahead and ‘repaired’ the walls (to our understanding they painted over the wall and removed all visible evidence of termite activity); sellers only informed us after they were done with this work, which to us looks like they are trying to conceal the damage done to the house and avoid further inspection on our part (upon our request to provide documentation and receipts of the repairs done, they told us that they did not have any receipts of the work done). Combined with a termite treatment ( Termidor) they are now getting a “clean” certificate from the termite company (i.e., the house has been treated for termites and there is no visible evidence of termite activity) but we are worried that the true damage done to the house may have been hidden.

We are very concerned and based on the sellers’ lack of cooperation and them preventing us from being able to assess the damage done, we think the best may be to terminate the contract while we are still in inspection period.

Do you have any other thoughts we should consider?We would appreciate it.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:00 PM
 
275 posts, read 535,949 times
Reputation: 212
I would run away very far and very quickly from this purchase. The sellers are demonstrably stupid and dishonest, not to mention cheap. Why take on this worry? Look elsewhere and save yourself trouble and misery. You don't want to mess around with termite damage.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
3,069 posts, read 8,408,864 times
Reputation: 5715
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomagi View Post
Thank you very much for your response. We have been trying to get a licensed contractor experienced in assessing termite damage to inspect the house (as recommended by our general home inspector). However (and this troubles us a great deal) we recently learned that the sellers, against our expressed request, moved ahead and ‘repaired’ the walls (to our understanding they painted over the wall and removed all visible evidence of termite activity); sellers only informed us after they were done with this work, which to us looks like they are trying to conceal the damage done to the house and avoid further inspection on our part (upon our request to provide documentation and receipts of the repairs done, they told us that they did not have any receipts of the work done). Combined with a termite treatment ( Termidor) they are now getting a “clean” certificate from the termite company (i.e., the house has been treated for termites and there is no visible evidence of termite activity) but we are worried that the true damage done to the house may have been hidden.

We are very concerned and based on the sellers’ lack of cooperation and them preventing us from being able to assess the damage done, we think the best may be to terminate the contract while we are still in inspection period.

Do you have any other thoughts we should consider?We would appreciate it.
Hi,

Sorry for the delay but really at this point without some type of documentation, pictures, etc., it is a leap of faith that all was properly repaired. You can speak to your Agent and your own WDI (Termite) Inspector if your State has any bond or insurance programs that the seller can pay for in the event you later discover the work was not performed.
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