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Are Termites a Deal-Breaker?
Termite damage. Those two words have sent many a homebuyer running for the hills, but some of those fears are exaggerated. Because of the mild climates in Middle Tennessee, subterranean termites are common, but I have yet to see a case of irreversible damage in a well-maintained home. Here are my thoughts:
Prevention is key. Even if you don't have the budget for year-round or quarterly care, it's in your best interests to spend the $50-$75 it takes for a professional to come out once every year or every other year to make sure there are no signs of termite colonies or damage. Because they are subterranean, termite damage is difficult to see from the outside of your home, so unless you have a background in pest control, hiring a professional who knows what to look for is best.
If you do have enough in your budget for a termite contract, you will have the security of the termite company being held liable for any damage that might occur after your home has been treated under contract. As with any kind of maintenance on your home, ask for references and get more than one quote before you choose your service provider.
If you are thinking about selling your home, be proactive and have your property treated once or twice for all pests before you list. If a potential homebuyer sees so much as a trail of ants as they do a walkthrough, it might be enough to make them think the home is not well cared for.
If you are a homebuyer, the laws have changed in Tennessee in regards to a termite letter. Although this used to be the seller's responsibility, it is now the buyer's responsibility. Banks require proof that a home is free of termites before they loan money for a sale. This inspection is usually done within the normal inspection period as part of a contingency on the purchase of the home.
Many people have the knee-jerk reaction that termite damage is a deal breaker, but it doesn't have to be. A knowledgeable termite inspector should be able to tell if the damage is from current or past activity, and he or she should have several proven techniques to appropriately fix termite damage and destroy current infestations. After the problem is fixed, the home should remain termite-free with proper maintenance.
Give me a call and I'd be happy to advise you on any and all things to consider as you look for your dream home or as you get ready to list your home for sale in the Middle Tennessee real estate area.