With inflation still chugging along, the cost of everything seems to be going up. And for homebuyers (or sellers) that are considering a termite inspection, it's just another cost lumped into all the other fees like taxes, Realtor commissions, attorney fees and lender charges.
There are two main types of home inspections when buying a property - a general home inspection and a termite inspection. A general home inspection is a must when buying a home.
What is a Termite Inspection?
A termite inspection is a visual examination of a property to identify any evidence of past or current termite activity, as well as any conditions that may be conducive to termite infestation.
During the inspection, a professional inspector will look for signs of termites, such as mud tubes, damaged wood, and swarmers (winged termites), as well as check for moisture issues that may attract termites to the property.
In contrast, a "general home inspection", covers the foundation, structure of the home, heating and air system, the roof and windows, and even the plumbing. The typical cost of a general home inspection is about $400 - $600. There are many things that a general inspector won’t look at when conducting a basic home inspection. One of those things is inspecting for pests or damage from pests.
It’s crucial to get a termite inspection from certified pest inspections or pest control companies to ensure you don't have a lurking termite problem. Some prospective home buyers might opt for a termite inspection waiver to avoid inspection costs, but this could lead to expensive repairs in case of undetected termite damage.
How Much Does a Termite Inspection Cost?
The cost of a termite inspection can vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the property, location, and the type of inspection (routine or a WDO, Wood Destroying Organism inspection).
On average, the cost of a termite inspection in the US can range from $75 to $200 for a routine inspection, and can cost more for a WDO inspection. Often, a home buyer will request a "termite letter", which could cost $100 - $200 more.
It's important to note that one major impact on the price depends on whether or not the homeowner has a termite bond in place or not. In some cases, the termite or pest control company may provide a "free" termite inspection if the seller/ homeowner has paid for an annual termite bond.
Naturally, termite inspection costs may vary depending on the company that performs the inspection. It's recommended to get quotes from multiple companies like Safe Pest Control and compare the prices and the services they offer. Also, if you are planning to purchase a property, some mortgage lenders will require a WDO (wood destroying organism) inspection as a condition of the loan.
If your lender does not require an inspection and you feel comfortable due to the home being newer construction or because the home already has a termite bond in place, it may not be necessary to get a termite inspection.
Even after you buy a home, an annual termite inspection is a good investment considering termite treatment costs can be much higher if an infestation is found late. A termite inspector can spot early signs of termite infestations and provide a detailed termite report, helping you avoid costly termite treatment in the future.
How Long Does a Termite Inspection Take?
If this is your first time having a termite inspection, it can be helpful to know what to expect. The appointment itself will usually last from one to two hours, depending on the size of your property.
During that time, the termite inspectors will check both the interior and exterior to look for signs of a termite infestation and will typically focus on the areas of the property that are most likely to be affected by termites, such as the crawlspace, basement, and exterior of the building.
The inspector will also check for any visible signs of termite activity or damage, as well as any conditions that may be conducive to termite infestation, such as moisture issues in a crawl space. If the home is small, a ranch home or is newer construction, it may only take 30-45 minutes.
In addition to termite inspections, pest control services include inspection and treatment of other pests like carpenter ants. Pest inspection costs typically are included with termite inspection fees when you hire a certified pest control company.
For commercial properties, a commercial termite inspection may be necessary and could have a higher cost. A termite bond agreement may be suggested by termite control companies, which typically covers annual inspection costs and offers protection against future infestations.
In conclusion, while termite inspection costs may vary, choosing certified termite companies for a comprehensive pest inspection is a wise decision that could save you from substantial termite treatment costs down the line.