All Creatures Great and Small

Home buyers, realtors

 

HOME BUYER – REALTOR

This is important if you are buying a house and also, if you are a realtor.  There was a recent situation where a buyer bought a house and didn’t request a termite inspection and his realtor did not either.  After closing and moving in, he was remodeling and found a severe termite infestation.  He is suing his realtor for not requiring an inspection.  In NM, it is not required that you have a real estate inspection when you buy a home although some mortgage companies require it as does the VA in certain situations.  So if you are buying a home, ask your realtor to arrange an inspection and if you are a realtor, it is in your best interest to recommend an inspection in every home sale.

Termites are very common in New Mexico and the inspector should also be able to tell you which species you have.  The most common is the arid land subterranean termite.  They do minimal damage in most cases but occasionally because a lot of damage if they aren’t treated.  The Eastern subterranean termite is found throughout the eastern and central portion of the country and is found as far west to eastern NM.  There is a pocket of them in Albuquerque and a pocket in Santa Fe.  These termites are very destructive.  The third kind is the drywood termite.  They are found in NM but are not common in homes, but they do occur so the inspector should check for them.  They should also check for other wood destroying insects including powder post beetles, false powder post beetles, long-horned borers and metallic wood borers.  They are all found in NM.  There was a case a number of years ago where a termite inspector didn’t find any evidence of subterranean termites in a house and he cleared it, but he walked right by evidence of of drywood termites.  He wasn’t aware of drywood termites and he ended up having to pay for the fumigation that was done on the house and he went out of business.  Another fellow inspected and cleared a house and when the homeowner went up in the attic, he fell through the ceiling because of wood boring beetle damage.  The inspector didn’t recognize wood boring beetle damage or didn’t go up in the attic.  Make sure any inspector you hired is qualified.

When you hire an inspector, it is best to hire someone who is not in the termite treatment business, basically someone who has no vested interest in finding termites.  If termites are found, make sure you hire a good company to treat for them.  When they make a graph of your home, make sure they measure the depth of the footer as most termiticide labels require them to treat the soil down to the footer.  Many companies just measure the house and base their price on using four gallons of termiticide per ten linear feet.  In reality, they should use four gallons of termiticide per ten linear feet, per foot of depth of footer.  If the footer is 2 feet deep, they should then use eight gallons of termiticide per ten linear feet.  If they don’t follow the label, not only are they not doing the job properly, they are doing it illegally as the label is the law.

Insist that the graph be completely legible.  Many are drawn so poorly it is hard to determine what the treatment procedure is and where the termite damage is.  It should be clear and easy to read and understand and should include all required measurements.  If the graph isn’t as it should be, call another company.

Most importantly, if you are a realtor, make sure any home you sell or buy has a termite inspection before the sale is closed.  It could prevent a lot of problems in the future.  In the case above, the buyer eventually had the home treated, but it was done improperly as the footer was much deeper than a foot.  The buyer is now going to sue the termite company.

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About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…

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