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dys_uci 09-15-2013 09:20 AM

Closing on house : Need URGENT HELP with Termite Inspection
Thanks for taking the time to read this.

We are looking to close on a house. At the termite inspection, the issue noted was : "Fungus damage indicated by 11A on diagram. The fungus infection was noted in or near rafter, jamb". The area indicated is to the left side of the house.

The recommendation was : Cut out fungus damage and repair as necessary.

Expected cost : $150.

I had a few questions surrounding this scenario that I was hoping you folks could help me out with :
1. Is it easy to differentiate between fungus and termites? Or does one have to be skilled in the art?
2. Im not very handy and am only minimally educated in structural design. And so, I wanted to know what implications this could have to the structural integrity of the roof and house? I understand that the true extent of the problem may only be uncovered when they open up the area to be repaired but is there anything I should look for or any questions I should ask?
3. Is there possibility that the damage may extend beyond just the rafters?
4. Is the cost of $150 even resonable? Seems rather low for a labor intensive job in Orange County, CA, USA. Is this a scam?

Any advise you could provide on how to proceed would be helpful.


PS : Im looking to get another inspector to go out with me to get a 2nd opinion.

oldognewtrick 09-15-2013 10:43 AM

:welcome: to House Repair Talk!

Do you have a picture of the area you are referring to? A second opinion will be well worth the cost. It will either confirm the first inspection or maybe provide you with some better opinions that you can use to negotiate with.

nealtw 09-15-2013 10:49 AM

Nothing get fixed for $150, if that helps.

dthornton 09-15-2013 01:18 PM

Do you have a contingency clause in your contract, based on the results of a termite inspection and/or home inspection? If so, then you can either 1) Ask the seller to have the repairs performed (after which you can have it reinspected to ensure the repairs were satisfactory); 2) Offer a lower price for the house, based on you accepting the house as-is and contracting for the repairs to be done; or 3) Walk away from the deal and find another house. To answer some of your questions; A professional should be able to differentiate between different types of damage - termite or ant, fungus, mold, dry rot, etc. If you're not experienced, I wouldn't even attempt the repair yourself. Use the BBB or Angie's List to find someone reputable to repair it if you decide to go ahead with the closing. There is a real possibility that the damage could go deeper; that will only be known once the contractor opens up the wall to make repairs. It's PROBABLY not a scam, because the person who inspected probably doesn't perform repairs - only inspection. They just don't sound like experts. I agree with neal - you can't even get most repairmen to drive over to your house and unload their tools for $150, much less actually perform a repair for that. If you're in love with the house or it is a "steal" price-wise, then you should renegotiate the offer (your real estate agent should be very experienced and helpful in doing this). If you're having second thoughts, then this may be your "out" to walk away from the deal and find a better house. It's very much a buyer's market right now, so unless you've locked yourself into something, don't spend your hard earned money on something that's giving you second thoughts.

dthornton 09-19-2013 06:42 PM

Hey dys_uci, how's it going? Did you renegotiate the contract?

HandyLinda 03-06-2014 03:56 PM

I know this is a late reply.. but hate to see the OP not coming back to let us know how it went! Hopefully, this message will get you to return and let us know.

How was the pest control company proposing to fix the issue? Was the $150 supposed to cover both treating termites and treating the wood fungus? I've had U.S. pest control treat my home for fungus - They applied a substance called 'Timbor' - basically they sprayed it on all areas that had the fungus and it covered and dried, keeping the fungus from spreading and eventually killing it. It's been about 6 years now and the timbor is still holding up quite well.

If the company you had an inspection from was going to treat with a similiar method, $150 seems reasonable. I paid $480 but I had a lot of fungus throughout my entire crawlspace and also had the crawlspace encapsulated. Hope this helps and hope you come back to let us know about your experience

wendaustin 06-20-2014 02:16 AM

Well there are number of pest control companies that provides free quotes to examine the infestation. So look for any one around your locality.

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