The excitement of buying a new home and the desire to save money can lead the potential homeowner down a dark, crumbling drywall road. Some people think that a pest inspection is an unnecessary and costly step in the home buying process, especially if neighboring houses don’t have a problem or the owner swears upon the sanctity of their mother’s grave that there are no bug problems. However, I believe that it is a lot more costly to pay to evict two million tiny squatters and repair the damage they cost you.
Some people are of the opinion that pests only infest lower-quality houses and condos, but this is fallacious in the extreme. Any residence can serve as a cafeteria for wood-destroying organisms. And, if you’re paying several hundred thousands of dollars more than the homes you would think would be more prey to this kind of problem, doesn’t it make sense to make sure that money is well invested in a solid structure?
A pest inspection is often called a termite inspection because termites are the most infamous of the pests who like to snack on your house and belongings. However, there are more critters out there that like to argue the merits of pine vs fir. Some of these include carpenter ants, carpet beetles and silverfish. All of these pests like wood, but they can leave different evidence that only an experienced person can detect.
Like the home inspection, the pest inspection should be part of your paperwork. Your offer to purchase the home should be conditional upon the home meeting a standard that you have determined that you can live with. Sometimes a small nest of nasties can be eradicated with a small outlay of time and noxious chemicals. However, if the supports of the house resemble birds’ bones, you should take your down payment and back slowly away.
A good pest inspector is going to take their time to thoroughly inspect your house. Since a lot of pests don’t always go out of their way to yell, HI! I’m HERE!” to the concerned home buyer, pest inspectors have to crawl into out-of-the-way spots, like the attic or basement, to check for signs. It’s sometimes a dusty and dirty job, but most pest inspectors are prepared for this.
Before you invite a pest inspector to look over your future domicile, it’s wise to ask them questions, check out their references and check their licensing. Licensing can vary from state to state, so be aware of the laws of your area. During the inspection, the inspector should be willing to answer your questions and point out problem areas. You should get a full report and an estimate of the standard that the home meets.
Keep in mind that a pest inspector is not Superman; X-ray vision is beyond them. They cannot guarantee that your future residence is free of pests; just that it appears free. Many recommend regular inspections, to catch problems before they become a serious threat to the soundness and equity of your house.