I just wanted to get some advice. I’ve just had a pest inspection on a property I want to buy and it shows that there is termite damage, but no signs of active termites.
They can’t do a full inspection since we don’t own the property, but have indicated that there is a moderate to severe risk of finding further termite damage. The building inspection came back fine, so I’m confused.
Our plan has always been to knock the place down in 10 years and put a couple of units on there because a huge block of land. So because of this we thought maybe we should ignore the pest report.
What do you all think?
for what its worth, i’d redo the building and pest report… burning up a couple of hundred now is better than a couple of thousand next year.
Purveyor of Fine Finances
aka Mortgage Broker BrisbaneBattleshipsParticipant@battleshipsJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 63
It’s obviously a risk you need to weigh up and more information would help ie a further or different type of inspection.
If you do decide to go ahead it would be a very good bargaining point to reduce the price eg look mr vendor i’ll pay your price if you get all the termite damage fixed. More than likely they would reduce the price and ask you to do the work- then it’s just up to you whether or not it is worthwhile to get fixed for the period prior to demolition.
Landt, where is the property? the reason i ask is because termites are common in qld, not so common in vic, so we qlder’s tend to take it in our stride – what i mean is when i see a fence eaten out by white ants i sort of think ‘thats good, i know where they are..’
Purveyor of Fine Finances
aka Mortgage Broker Brisbane
the property is in VIC, so I suppose we’re not so used to it.
hi land64, i guess u need to determine if its structural or not, termites tend to follow moisture, lots of internal damage is a initiated by failed water proofing of showers/baths/kitchen sinks etc.
commonly (during treatment) these areas are isolated and ‘fixed’ – you just have to be sure of where exactly they have been ‘fixed’. ie. one wall or three, half the ceiling or ‘just’ one corner where the gutter over flowed etc etc etc.(with termites no amount of etc’s can be enough!)
i can only repeat my first post, redo the pest and building inspection, it could save you 10’s of thousands if u get it wrong.
Purveyor of Fine Finances
aka Mortgage Broker Brisbaneneo25x5Member@neo25x5Join Date: 2005Post Count: 166
Having been in exactly the same situation previously, I managed to negotiate a sizeable reduction in the cost of the property which allowed me to replace the few bearers that were damaged. I then spent a further $2500 to rectify the initial problem (rotten subfloor area from leaky shower) and also put a termite barrier around the property to keep them away indefinitely (we hope!) Regardless of how long you intend to keep the building, its going to cost you a lot more in future if you don’t nip it in the bud now. They may still be active. I realise you haven’t bought the property yet, but this problem should give you considerable leverage in reducing the cost of the property.
EricPurpleKissParticipant@purplekissJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 580
Is it a brick veneer or fibro house? Does it have a subfloor. Once a house is brick veneer or fibro it will nearly always be lsited as moderate to severe risk as they cannot see what is in the walls.
Were they able to get under the floor? If so they should be able to see if there is termite damage in stumps that lead up to a wall, if this is the case I’d be hesitant because if it leads up towards a wall and you can’t see in the wall then you don’t know what you’re about to get.
However, if damage isn’t found to any stumps leading to a wall then I’d probably buy it as I’d consider the risk to be less.
If they weren’t able to check under the floor ie: no trapdoors then this is something you can ask the vendors permission to do (at your cost). If they say no, then you should be able to walk away as you weren’t able to do a termite inspection to your satisfaction, if they say yes, then you can get that little bit better knowledge of what is occurring.
I’d still ask for the termite damamge to be fixed, assuming that was how your clause in the contract was written up.
I’d still consider a house with termite damamge, depending where and how much and if the vendor either fixes or reduces the price sufficiently. I’d want to be happy that the report adequately describes the damage and cost to rectify. If I was doubtful then I would consider letting it go. Do remember though, that sometimes the biggest profits are made on houses noone else wants (how many others will walk away at the word “termite”), but reduce your risks by ensuring good checks as done. If this means getting trapdoors cut, then do it, if it means getting another inspection done as brahms suggested, then do that. Just make sure you have as much infomration as possible before deciding, don’t be rushed.
PKBofclarkParticipant@bofclarkJoin Date: 2005Post Count: 31
Living in Queensland as I do I am use to Termite damage. If I were intending to demolish the property in 10 years and the building report was good then I would go with the treat the termite problem fix the cosmetic damage and do the deal. I have to think that any building inspection should find major structural problems and if they have not the rest is likely to be cosmetic repairs.
thanks for all your replies. We had been thinking along the same lines as the last comment, and are expecting the building report today. If there are no major structural defects then we will go ahead with the purchase and have the damage treated.
Landt.SonjaMember@sonjaJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 338
Just a word of caution… We own a house with inactive (happened pre 1999 when we bought it) termite damage. The termites must have caused some structural damage at the time because there have been related repairs and replacements. The evidence that remains is not structural and the source of moisture (leaky walls in shower) has been fixed. My in-laws are builders and looked at it for us VERY carefully.
To us it was a non-issue until we tried to sell. Now it is a major hassle. Buyers so far don’t seem to either understand or care that the damage is both inactive and not structural.
If you are sure you will hold and there is no structural damage then go ahead. If you may want to sell then be warned of the trouble we are having!
SonjabranieParticipant@branieJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 19
We had active termites in the place we just bought. Got a discount on the price. And because they were the subterranian variety, all we had to do was remove their access to the house and any left in the house (can’t get back out) just die. Also the sub variety usually go for softwood so the hardwood wall studs, bearings etc are safe.
In the end we replaced the remain timber stumps (most were already replaced by a previous owner) and the termites were effectively evicted. Then we solved a drainage problem under the house, no moisture means the sub variety termimtes can’t survive and they either die or move on.
Did I mention we got a discount on the price as soon as active termite infestation was mentioned?[biggrin]
Of course, when you go to sell there will be the evidence of the previous infestation. But if you’ve done the work to prevent the rotters from coming back, you should be able to prove to a prospective seller that it won’t be a problem.
I believe the reno kings (can I mention them in this forum?) call termites white gold… Don’t know if I’d go that far.
Brett.JULES1Participant@jules1Join Date: 2003Post Count: 147
Just another opinion. I found a house in Vic inner suburbs, nice house, reasonable price, had termites in recent times that had been dealt with. But anyone I talked to about it said they would never consider buying the place because of the termites. I think the word ‘termites’ throws a scare into anyone, and also me.
Sure I understand the situation can be fixed, however if you want to resell to those people looking for a long term residence you will probably face the same problem. So if you are going to purchase the house just bear in mind the opinion of your future buyers. On the other hand if you intend to keep the house for an IP and renter then maybe it would be okay because you can keep the situation under control yourself.
Email Mekay henryMember@kay-henryJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 2,737
Yes, you can mention the Reno Kings here- you can mention anyone at all.
kay henryLuciMember@luciJoin Date: 2005Post Count: 114
Definitely negotiate a discount one way or another – and expect that you’ll probably also have to give one if you ever sell.
One thing about building/pest inspections is that in these days of litigation they have to note down each and every minor detail that could possibly cause a problem, even if it’s only a slight likelihood. If something comes up in your house that wasn’t in the report then they’re potentially liable for not reporting it.
Not that I’d say that termites are ‘minor’, but most houses that’ve been around a while will have had them (in QLD and NSW anyway). It freaks people out, but that’s because property is such a huge investment and we hate dealing with unknowns.