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Buying a Home with Termite Damage

If you have been looking at homes to buy, the mere mention of termite damage may send a shiver down your spine. However, just because a home has past termite damage, doesn’t mean you should rule it out. As long as the home is inspected and protected against termites, it is completely safe to purchase a home with past termite damage.

Buying a home is one of the largest investments you will make in your lifetime, so it makes sense that one would be concerned about putting a down payment on a property with termite damage. But don’t worry – unless there is an active infestation, it is generally considered safe to buy a home with a history of termites. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about buying a home with termite damage in Tennessee.

family moving into new home with past termite damage - what should you know about buying a home with termite issues?

Is It Safe to Buy a Home with Termite Damage?

Yes, it is absolutely safe to purchase and live in a home that once had a termite problem. However, it’s always prudent to take the following measures to ensure your property is protected:

  1. Get a WDI report that will disclose any evidence of past, present, or potential infestations.
  2. If damage is found, you may be able to negotiate costs with the seller to cover treatment and repair expenses.
  3. Ask the seller for any infestation history the home may have just in case the WDI report missed something.
  4. If a home has significant structural damage or active termites, it’s up to the buyer to decide whether they want to continue with the purchase of the home.
  5. Provided that past infestations have been addressed, you should not allow a history of termites to keep you from purchasing your dream home.

Can I Sell My Home If It Had Termites?

Yes. Many houses have termite histories and it’s no different than any other routine issue you may run into during the home buying or selling process. If there are damages that haven’t been repaired, it can lessen the value of the property. Potential buyers may look for a discount as a result of this or may request that you fix them as a condition of the sale. The important thing is to disclose any pertinent information and be prepared to pay for inspections and even repairs if necessary.

If you have an active infestation and you want to sell your house, we recommend getting professional termite control before you put it on the market.

Can Termites Re-Infest Homes?

Yes, but it’s important to note, that a home with a history of termites is not a greater risk of future infestations. All homes are vulnerable to termite infestations. 

The best way to protect and avoid the destruction caused by termites is to implement regular inspections, treatments, and prevention methods into your home maintenance routine. This will make the process easier when you decide to sell your home.

Is It Worth Buying a House with Termite Damage?

If you love the home and the price is right, but the only problem is a little past termite damage, then yes, it’s worth buying a home with termite damage. You may even be able to negotiate for a discount or for the seller to cover the cost of repairs. That said, if the termite damage is severe, you may want to weigh that more heavily. 

Here are four things to look for when considering buying a house with termite damage:

  1. Observable termite damage is inactive and isolated. If there is termite damage, but there are no active termites, there’s a good chance that the homeowner has already dealt with the colony. It’s always a safe bet to ask about what extermination measures have been taken. As long as the issue is detected early and resolved promptly, there’s probably little risk.
  2. Termite damage has not been found in critical parts of the home. Have a house inspector assess if the damaged area is load-bearing, or compromised enough to put anything at risk of collapsing. If the damage is compromising but not active, talk with a contractor about the possibility of fixing that area before buying.
  3. Active termite colonies that may be in the house are treatable. Termites are just a part of life in Tennessee, so there’s a chance that that perfect home you’ve found has a little termite problem. If your trusted exterminator can’t put together a clear plan to remove the termites, then you may want to walk away.
  4. The home has a current pest protection plan. If the house has had ongoing pest protection from a reputable company, you can take comfort in knowing that there are guarantees in place for pest assessment and protection. It also shows that the current homeowner takes the condition of their home seriously.

When Should Termite Damage Prevent You From Buying a House?

Sometimes, the termite issue can be insurmountable – you might have set time restrictions or a budget that won’t budge. In some cases, the damage might just be too extensive to make your purchase worthwhile. Here are a few signs that you shouldn’t move forward with a transaction due to termite damage:

  • If an inspection shows active termite damage and you cannot get an accurate estimate, it’s safe to assume that they are occupying more space than you’re aware of. A termite infestation left unchecked for too long gives the pests the best chance to spread. 
  • If termite damage is spread in various parts of the house, there may be cause for concern. It shouldn’t be considered a dealbreaker, but you will want to do some serious homework and consult with experts on the extent of the damage. Multiple damage sites around the house indicate possible colonies in several areas of the yard, which could mean that the house is under attack from all over.
  • If you do not have the patience to fix up a house, you may want to stay away from a termite-damaged home. These projects can take time and diligence, and if that won’t work for your calendar, you’ll have to pass.

Schedule an Inspection with East Tennessee’s Termite Experts

Every situation is different so there’s no “right” answer as to whether you should buy a house with termite damage. It’s all about the pros and cons. It may be a great opportunity that other buyers shy away from due to the perceived risk, or it may end up turning into a bigger issue than you realized. The important thing is to get an accurate assessment and make your decision based on as much information as possible.

If you have questions about termites or want to schedule an inspection, call Johnson today!