Are Termite Inspections Required?
Buying a home is a major milestone in any person’s life, especially if you’re about to become a first-time homeowner. When you prepare to purchase your first house, you’ll be exposed to a brand new world of homeowner’s insurance, inspections, mortgage rates and so forth. But what about inspections for pests, specifically termites? Are termite inspections required when you’re preparing to purchase a new home?
Knowing the costly impact termites can have on a home, it’s only logical that termite inspections be required when buying a house, right? Well, you might be surprised to learn that they’re not mandatory in all cases.
Homeowners are typically required to have termite inspections at the discretion of their insurance providers or lenders.
Insurance providers — When most people purchase houses, they go through a lender. And lenders often require homeowners’ insurance. Whether or not a termite inspection is required will depend on your insurance provider’s policy in this regard. It’s also important to note that many insurance companies do not cover costs of damage caused by termites, as it's believed that this is often preventable with maintenance and regular inspections, among other reasons.
Lenders — You already know that lenders may require homeowner’s insurance, which — in turn — usually necessitates a termite inspection. But even if they don’t require homeowner’s insurance, most lenders still require inspections.
If you’re getting a loan through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — commonly known as a VA loan — the home in question must undergo inspection.
A loan from the Federal Housing Administration — also called the FHA — or a private lender works a little differently. The FHA requires a termite inspection.
How Much Damage Can Termites Really Cause?
Termites may be small, but they typically live in large colonies and, as the saying goes, there’s strength in numbers. It’s also possible to go years without knowing that they’re silently destroying your home.
Additionally, the destruction that termites are capable of is by no means minimal. In the United States, termites cause an average of $5 billion in damage each year. The average cost of termite treatments and damage repair is over $8,000*. In extreme situations, the cost of repairs can be more than the value of the home.
Should You Get a Termite Inspection if it’s Not Required?
Yes, it's highly recommended. Regardless of whether or not you’re required to have an inspection, you absolutely should. This applies to not only the house-buying process, but to routine maintenance as a homeowner, too. In fact, it’s recommended that you have your home annually inspected for new termite activity, as they are constantly feeding and foraging around your neighborhood.
Already mentioned above was the significant amount of money that a termite infestation can cost for treatment and damage repair. If you don’t have an inspection before buying a home, you could end up with a money pit. At the same time, homeowners who opt out of routine inspections could be unaware of infestations, meaning they may be in for trouble down the road in terms of repairs while living in the house or that must be made before they can sell it.
Buying a home is one of the biggest things you’ll ever do in your life. This is not the time to cut corners. Contact Terminix® to schedule your termite inspection, so that you have a better idea of what might be going on beneath the surface of your future home.
Also, if you're already a homeowner but you're looking for termite control, prevention or protection, Terminix can help you there as well.
*Average repairs: $7,229 from 2016 survey by Decision Analytics of TMX independent contractors in the TMX network. Estimated treatment: $1,363. Every home is different; repair costs may vary.