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Old 04-24-2008, 09:09 AM
 
Location: TX
3,041 posts, read 11,351,007 times
Reputation: 1395

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OK, we've been our house for 5 months. Seller DID NOT disclose ANY info about Termites. Had the Termite inspection done beofre we signed the contract...no evidence of Termites.

SO.....

on MOnday I went into the Master bedroom (ground floor) to vacuum. I noticed a bunch of winged insects dead in 1 window sill and a few on the ground right under the window.(We have 3 floor to ceiling windows together, insects in only one)

I freaked, and put them in a baggie. Google on internet, yeppers they look just like the "swarming types of termites...active in spring)
Called my pest guy (due for quartly spray anyway) He came yesterday and looked at my bigs...Yep, they are termites. Was confused because they were all dead when I found them. "Hummm some type of treatment must have been used..."

NO activity, NO sign outside, NOTHING anywhere else in the house. just that one spot 1 time???

SO, now I do have a home warrenty wiht the tremite rider, so I pay a $200 deductable and they will treat etc...


BUT...I asked my neighbor and he said, Yeah they had Termite Treatments done a couple of times!!!!!

I AM SO UPSET! I AM PISSED!

I would NOT have put a contract on the house had I known...too many other houses on the market etc... I would not have bought this house had I known they had a Termite issue.

SO, since they DID NOT disclose this, as is required by law, WHAT are my recourses? HOW can I prove it? Yes, I called my realtor.
When I go to sell I HAVE to DISCLOSE this info and it puts a redflag up!

I am litterally sick to my stomach over this.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:35 AM
 
3,676 posts, read 8,108,274 times
Reputation: 5051
First off, calm down.

Termites happen. It's not uncommon and it's not as big a red flag as you think. I would not be surprised to find an older home that had dealt with termites. What is important is that they were treated. If you were to look at a house and find an active infestation, I would be more concerned.

However, I do believe you have every right to be angry over the non-disclosure. One, the lying is a problem. Two, what other things did they not disclose? I would pursue that to the fullest with your realtor.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:12 AM
 
Location: TX
3,041 posts, read 11,351,007 times
Reputation: 1395
thanks.

I know it's no huge, esp since it passed the inspection and there is no Visable infestation. The bug guy said it was good that they were dead, mybe came in through a weep hole in the brick from the mulch...not the house.

BUT....Had it been on the disclouser, I seriously would have passed on the house. There are others in the area that would have worked for us. We passed on houses that had foundation repair, even though it carried a warrenty etc... We could afford to be really choosey in this market.

Quote:
what other things did they not disclose?
EXACTLY. We have found a few cracks outside on the foundation, luckily it's still under builder warrenty there and They have record if they had work done. (found this after trimming bushes etc...)

I love my neighobrhood. We just put 8k worth of remodling and plan on having wood floors put in.

These people have so left a sour taste in my mouth.
YOu would nOT believe how dirty and disgusting they left the place when they moved out!
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
4,198 posts, read 14,525,575 times
Reputation: 2682
If you really want to pursue this with the sellers, it sounds like you have grounds and you need to get an attorney. There are recourses in place for that reason.

This is the exact reason why a seller's disclosure is required. Get that disclosure out and read it again. You only have the word of a neighbor that they sprayed for termites, was it to treat or preventative steps?

Naima
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:06 PM
 
Location: TX
3,041 posts, read 11,351,007 times
Reputation: 1395
I have my disclouser.
Only thing on it is the 3 windows that were replaced due to broken seals.
The neighobors are going to help when she get home from work she thinks she has the name of the company they used. (hoping I can get the paperwork from the company...I've called a few)
The other neighbor also remembers them having a simuliar thing...found the dead ones in mst bedroom, had a company come out to treat, no evidence of damage or infestation.
(she is willing to call them for me if needed)

MT bug guy said there should be a sticker under the kitchen sink on the disposal....I checked no sticker, but a sticky residue. (would they have really removed it?)

nsummer, as a realtor...help a bit....
If I get paperwork by the company that did the treatment what is my recourse? sue them for what $$$ for treatment? I am so sour on this in a perfect world...I'd have them buy the house back! and move on... (seriously, I would not have put a contract on it.)

Thanks so much.
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Old 04-24-2008, 03:56 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
152 posts, read 647,893 times
Reputation: 47
First off you are going to have to prove that they lied on their disclosure. A neighbor saying they think they had it treated doesn't mean a lot. They could have just been having preventative treatments done.

And before you can sue or have them buy the house back, you will more than likely have to go to arbitration(you probably checked that option when you bought they house) and attempt to come to a settlement.

Just because you found a few dead ones in your house doesn't really mean they lied to you. Plus, if there is no evidence of current or past infestation I don't think it's that big of a deal. A few dead ones do not equal infestation. If you had it checked out and the pest guy didn't find any more I wouldn't make such a big deal about it. Just have a preventative treatment done on a regular basis and you should be fine.

Trying to sue them is probably going to be difficult, and not any fun. And having them buy it back is never going to happen, sorry.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:21 PM
 
3,676 posts, read 8,108,274 times
Reputation: 5051
Where's your hot water heater? Our pest guy put the sticker on ours because it was far easier to see in the water heater closet than under the sink.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Texas
106 posts, read 446,327 times
Reputation: 102
Default Bit of Help

Here is a bit of help ...




** Inspections are just that ... visual inspections by Tech. If the seller used a different company than those that had been out before ... and they didn't see signs of Termites, they would have reported, “not seeing signs”



** Termites swarm in the Springtime, mostly on humid warm days after rainfall. The swarmers are male and female pairs that fly away from colony, mate, shed their wings, and attempt to get back underground to start new colonies. Just that you see dead Termites does not mean they were treated nor that there are not more Termites. You are just seeing results of a colony trying to expand. It does mean that they have access to your home, have some point of entry, and still there as colony. The colonies are underground (for most part – there are other types of Termites in Dallas but I am addressing most common type).



** $200 dollars for Termite treatments are VERY cheap. For peace of mind, call in three independent bids from licensed companies WITHOUT telling them your story. Just tell them that you saw flying bugs and see what happens. I can assure you that it will not be $200 dollars to treat your home for Termites.




** Your neighbor would have to be in the house or spoke directly to company that did the work to know what they did in your house. You need to find out who did the work, ask what they did, when, and for whom.




** You have recourse in State of Texas with the license board of Realtor's if you distrust your realtor or the home sale process. In addition, you have recourse with Texas license board for Termite companies ... as they will act as arbitrator between you and Termite company that inspected your home ... IF you know who did the work.



Find the State board link as follows: Structural Pest Control Service
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Old 04-25-2008, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
4,198 posts, read 14,525,575 times
Reputation: 2682
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5stones View Post
nsummer, as a realtor...help a bit....
If I get paperwork by the company that did the treatment what is my recourse? sue them for what $$$ for treatment? I am so sour on this in a perfect world...I'd have them buy the house back! and move on... (seriously, I would not have put a contract on it.)

Thanks so much.
I have to put a disclaimer to please not construe this as offering legal advice only practical advice.

The actions you refer to fall under the DTPA Deceptive Trade Consumer Protection Act. The bottom line is if a court finds in your favor, you can receive up to 3 times the amount of your damages which could include, mental anguish, court costs, attorney fees and restoration costs.

Here is a link that explains the ACT.

Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act (DTPA)

On another note, if the home warranty is going to spot treat and you have to give them your "deductable of 200" it will be worth it if they spot treat more than one place. If you decide to go with someone else, a perimeter treatment (depending on the size of your house) would cost between $800-$1500.

Your Realtor should be able to help you find a Real Estate attorney if you wish to pursue.

Naima
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:33 AM
 
Location: Rural Florida
3 posts, read 18,047 times
Reputation: 10
OK, calm down. This is most probably not the crisis you think it is.
For your own immediate peace of mind, check the window sill and the floor where you found the wings...Is the floor eater? Are there little "grains of brown or tan sand"? If there is, that's not sand.

I was successful Realtor for 11 years until recently when the real estate market died in Florida. I worked virtually only with Buyers. Only 1 house in 12 years had termites.

You found what MIGHT be termite wings in 1 location. Wood ant wings and wood ants in some stages look very much like termites. Wood ants live in and eat wet, soft wood. Also, termites fly around looking for a new home. Is there any infected wood outside in the vicinity of your home?

In reference to your neighbor saying they thought they saw the house being treated for termites. Conscientious home owners have their homes treated for termites and other pests regularly so they WON'T get them.

So, first, call a local Real Estate attorney. Maybe the one who represented you at your closing if you had one. Make an appointment. They are very familiar with this sort of problem and don't charge much here. Ask what a consultation will cost first.

In Florida:
The IMPORTANT ISSUE is whether there is "active infestation" and if there was prior damage other than cosmetic damage and whether it has been treated and repaired.

If your attorney advises you to, call another termite inspector. Have the house re-inspected. Show them where you found the "termite" wings. Be present for the inspection so you will both be on the same page.

One problem, sometimes termite inspectors find termites, when there aren't any. Many kinds of insects, especially wood ants, get into damp wood.

Even if you have live termites now, unless there is an extensive amount of damage that could not have been done in the time you have owned the house, the infestation could be new. Therefore, not the Seller's responsibility.

You paid for the inspection. Call the person who did the inspection also if your attorney advises.

Gee, I miss real estate.

Callm down. Don't drive yourself and your family nuts. Termites are generally easy to treat....You can even buy the chemicals yourself. And, replacing wood isn't a big deal either. (I live in a wood house in the swamp - no termites but I do get rot, so I know).
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