Termites are some of the worst pests you can get in your home. They cause billions of dollars in property damage annually. And the worst part is that it’s often hard to tell if you have termites until they’ve already done some damage.
Would you know if your home currently has termites? How much does a termite inspection cost?
The good news is that there are solutions out there. Getting regular inspections is one way to protect your home from any serious termite damage.
Read on to learn the average cost of a termite inspection and the factors that can affect that price.
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When purchasing a home
In the United States, your home usually must be clear of termites before you can sell it. A termite inspection is the main way to verify this. Usually, the sellers are the ones that handle this, but the buyers can order one themselves if they want to.
The inspector will look around your home for signs of termites, and then let both buyer and seller know if the home has them or not. In most cases, the inspector will provide a quote for termite protection services either way.
There are some scenarios where the inspection itself is all you need. This means you don’t need any extra paperwork or legal forms for a mortgage company.
If this is the case, then you have a few options. The average cost for a basic termite inspection in the United States is between $50 and $350. This is going to depend on your home’s size, accessibility, and if there are any extra buildings on your property that need inspecting.
In other words, if you just have a small one-story house, then you’ll find the basic termite inspection price to be on the lower end of that scale. If you have a larger home with a pool house and a barn on the property, then you can expect to pay a lot more for your termite inspection.
The good news is that some termite companies do these inspections for free. You just need to be sure that you don’t need any termite letters or similar paperwork before you order an inspection from one of these companies.
When you’re selling or buying a house, some mortgage companies will ask for some special paperwork to verify that the house doesn’t have termites. Unless you plan on paying cash for a house, chances are that you’re going to need one of these before you can get approved for a loan.
Usually, the mortgage company asks for a document known as a termite letter or a Wood Destroying Organism Infestation Report (WDO). Some states may have separate paperwork in place of or in addition to this documentation.
The physical process for the inspection doesn’t change much at this stage. Your inspector will check for signs of termites and tell you and your buyer if there is an active infestation or not. But because these are official government documents, they cost a little extra money for termite companies to print and deliver.
This means that even termite companies that offer the inspection itself for free now have to charge some money to provide an official report. The termite company will usually charge this to the person who ordered it unless they get told otherwise. This is going to cost an average of between $100 and $200.
If you hired a termite company that doesn’t offer free inspections, then this cost is going to be in addition to their termite inspection cost. That means you’ll technically be paying even more than this for your termite letter.
Maybe you aren’t getting a termite inspection because you’re trying to sell your house. Some people get one because they feel like they’re seeing some potential termite activity. Others have a termite protection system that needs inspecting every one to two years.
If you live in a termite-heavy area, then going without some sort of termite protection system isn’t usually a great idea. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t usually cover the damages caused by wood destroying organisms such as termites. The good news is that most termite companies offer a warranty with their termite protection systems.
You’ll usually receive a quote for these systems once you’ve gotten an inspection. They are often called termite bonds, and they cost an average of between $500 and $2,000. If your home needs termite removal, then expect to pay closer to the high end of that scale depending on the types of termites found.
Some of these bonds can protect your home for 12 years or more. But like all chemicals, eventually, it starts to fade and lose its effectiveness. But the good news is that most termite companies will give you a better price to renew the chemical with them the second time.
These systems will usually come with the stipulation that you get a regular inspection. In termite-heavy areas, they’ll usually be once a year. Other areas may have a requirement of getting inspected every other year.
These annual inspections cost an average of between $75 and $150. Again, this price is going to be determined by the size of your home. If you have outbuildings or hard-to-reach areas to inspect, then this will also increase your annual termite inspection cost.
Most states will accept the standard WDO for or termite letter as proof of a professional termite inspection. And some states will want some additional paperwork on top of that form. South Carolina, however, has its own documentation that mortgage companies use to approve loans.
The official form name is CL-100, otherwise called the South Carolina Wood Infestation Report. Just like the typical WDO, this form lists out possible organisms that can damage a house’s wood, including termites. When a company is inspecting for termites, they’re really looking for anything that might jeopardize the structure of your home.
Buyers and Sellers need to be careful when they order this form since it’s only valid for thirty days after it’s written. This is because it’s not unheard of for termites to show up shortly after an inspection is completed in termite-heavy areas. This is why people generally want their inspections done closer to their closing date so the chance of this happening is reduced.
Unfortunately, because this form is only accepted in the state of South Carolina, it costs a little bit more to process than the typical WDO form. The CL-100 generally costs between $70 to $225. Once again, this will depend on the size and accessibility of your house. If any outbuildings need to be inspected on your property, then this will add to your costs as well.
And remember that if your termite company doesn’t provide free inspections, then this charge will be in addition to the cost of the termite inspection.
VA and FHA loans
Finally, termite inspections for VA and FHA loans are going to have a few extra rules involved.
The VA, for example, requires inspections on all homes in areas that are considered moderate to very high risk of termites. They’ve created a map of the United States showing these areas to make this easier for legal purposes. Be aware of further local requirements for these loans as each county might require more than the state does.
These inspections must be done within ninety days of closing. Otherwise, the inspection will need to be redone.
The FHA will require an inspection for one of two reasons. They must be done if there is an active infestation at the house. And if the state or lender requires it, then an FHA termite inspection must be completed.
If termites are found by the FHA’s own appraiser, the termite inspector, or both, then you will have to pay for getting rid of termites before you can go to the closing table. This cost will fall under the termite bond section.
Once that’s done, you will then need to get your home reinspected, which some termite companies will charge you for the second time in these cases.
Both organizations are meticulous with their paperwork. This means that it can cost a little extra to process the documents proving an inspection has been done. For this reason, termite companies won’t usually offer to do these inspections for free.
They’ll typically charge between $50 and $150 for either of these types of termite inspections.
How much does a termite inspection cost?
A termite inspection can cost a wide range between $50 to $2000.
It all depends on what your home needs and how complicated it is to inspect. But getting rid of termites can also protect the value of your home whether you’re about to sell it or not.
And when you are ready to sell, you can trust iBuyer to help you do it. All you have to do is enter your address to receive a no-obligation cash offer.
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