In a nutshell, yes. In most cases, termite prevention could be the difference between a solid home that appreciates in value over time and losing thousands of dollars to termite damage and repairs. In fact, U.S. homeowners dole out an average of $5 billion a year due to termite damage. A termite inspection protects you from being part of that statistic. Read on to learn more about how you can protect yourself from hidden termite damage when buying a house.
Invest in a WDIR Inspection
A Wood Destroying Insect Report (WDIR) is a worthy investment—even if it’s not required in your state—if you want peace of mind that the real estate you’re purchasing is sound and worth the money you’re about to fork over.
What is a WDIR?
A Wood Destroying Insect Report is a legal document that records the findings of a home inspection looking for signs of insects that feed on or burrow in wood. This includes termites, carpenter ants, reinfesting wood boring beetles, and carpenter bees, although termites are the main concern because they cause the most damage.
The WDIR needs to be filled out by a licensed inspector after doing a visual inspection of all areas of a home, looking for signs of an active termite infestation, or signs of damage from a past infestation. These inspections are strictly visual, only including areas of the home that are accessible. A WDIR doesn’t involve removing parts of walls or siding to get a better view of potential damage to wood within walls.
Are WDI Reports Required by the State in MD & VA?
Neither Virginia or Maryland require WDIRs. However, lenders may still require a WDIR to ensure that their investment in lending you money is a safe bet.
What are the Benefits of a WDIR?
Several benefits extend from having a termite inspection of a home before you buy. These include:
- Reduced Financial Risk: A WDIR gives you security that the investment you’re about to make in real estate is a good one. If termite damage is discovered before you buy the house, it could save you tens of thousands of dollars, depending on how bad the damage is.
- Massive Savings: In most cases, homeowners insurance doesn’t cover termite damage, meaning if termites were discovered in your home after purchasing, you’d be stuck footing the bill of eradication, repair, and possibly even demolition. A WDIR can save you from spending thousands to buy a home that, because of termite damage, is worth far less than you paid.
- Peace of Mind: Knowing the history and structural state of your house allows you to rest assured that you’ve made the right decision, your home is safe, and that your finances were well employed buying (or not buying) a particular home.
A wood destroying insect report can also benefit sellers, showing that their house is in good condition. This knowledge can help close the deal and get the home sold, too.
What Does Termite Damage Look Like?
Termite damage can be tricky to spot until it’s too late. That’s because some species of termite burrow only on the interior of wood, never breaking a visible surface. This could mean that a ceiling beam only shows termite damage when it’s so hollowed out that it’s sagging, or even collapses. For this reason, hollow-sounding wood that should be solid can be a sign of termite activity.
Termite damage can look like:
- Tunnels: If you pull back a piece of siding, or a window frame and find tunnels inside, that’s a dead giveaway of termite activity. Wood will be porous and/or papery thin between the tunnels.
- Mud tubes: When subterranean termites have to venture outside of wood or the ground, they will make their own tunnels out of soil, digested wood, saliva and their own waste. These tubes are usually about the width of a pen and bridge any span between the ground and soft wood access, such as a concrete foundation.
- Similar to water damage: Buckling, bulging, or sagging wood that looks like water damage could actually be the work of termites.
Should You Buy a House with Termite Damage?
As with many things in life, it depends. Before you decide whether to buy a house with termite damage, you should first learn a few things:
- The extent of the damage to the home.
- The cost it will take to repair the damage.
- The cost of termite treatment to bar future damage.
If damage is extensive, will be costly to repair, and termite control will add to the costs, you may want to pass on that home. In other cases, you could get lucky and find a home where termite activity was caught early and damage is minimal. Then repairs might be fairly cheap and you could happily enjoy that house for many years.
It depends on your goals as a homebuyer, as well. For instance, if you were looking to build your own home in a certain area, termite damage to an existing home on a property you want could be a valuable bargaining chip for lowering the price of the purchase. Then you can demolish the standing house and build a new one.
Prevent Future Termite Problems
Whether you buy a house with no termite activity, or one that needs repairs, keeping termites away in the future is integral to protecting your investment and the safety of your family. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as the old saying goes, and that’s certainly the case for termites.
Termite Prevention with B.O.G. Pest Control
B.O.G. Pest Control offers termite inspections as well as long-term, and family-friendly protection from termites. If you want to ensure a potential investment is worthwhile, or you want to safeguard a home you already own, the professionals at B.O.G. Pest Control can help.
Give us a call today!
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