Buying a home, even just a condo, is an expensive proposition. Your mortgage lender will be looking for at least 20% down, and you’ll also have to pay a dizzying array of fees, like closing costs, paperwork, etc.. On top of all this, most mortgage lenders require the buyer to pay for a termite inspection and general home inspection. With the fees piling up, you may resent this extra charge on top of everything else. However, a termite inspection is definitely money well spent if you want to move into a structurally sound, termite-free home.
Termites Are Small Bugs With Big Appetites
Termites may be tiny, but they can cause a lot of damage. They live in large colonies that can number a thousand termites or more! Worker termites come equipped with hard mouthparts that can chew through wood and other cellulose materials. Termites devour wood from the inside out, which means that it is often hard to tell that they are even inside a house until the damage becomes extensive. You may walk through a For Sale home and not notice a single thing out of place even though an infestation exists. You really don’t want to take out a large mortgage only to discover termite damage after you close!
Termites Cause A Lot Of Damage
In fact, termites cause billions of dollars in damage throughout the United States each year. Termites cannot tell the difference between a dead tree stump in the woods (their usual food) and the lumber in your home. They can eat through walls, chew up crawl spaces, chew through attics, and devour the wood beams in a staircase or ceiling.
If you overlook a termite inspection before purchasing a home, you could be stuck with a very large repair bill in the future (not to mention the bill for the extermination). You know that saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? In this case, it truly applies. Paying for an inspection could catch a termite infestation early before it has caused serious and expensive damage.
Termites Can Undermine Safety
Nobody wants to have to undertake a large home repair due to termite damage, but the stakes may be even higher. A large termite colony, unchecked, could threaten the structural integrity of a home. A colony can eat away at floorboards or staircases, putting you and your family at risk. Injuries due to termite destruction are rare, but they do happen.
A termite inspection is money well spent. If the inspection turns up nothing, it can give you important peace of mind that your new home is sound. If a problem is found, the selling homeowner is often on the hook for paying for the extermination and any needed repairs. If the colony is small, the extermination will likely be quick with little repair required. This early discovery of termites could save you a lot of money and headaches. Even if your mortgage lender doesn’t require a termite inspection, I would highly recommend one before you purchase a home.