By Derek Roach
April 11, 2012 (San Diego) -- Purchasing a large investment such as a home can be a stressful experience. There can be multiple parties involved to ensure a smooth transaction during the buying process. Real estate agents, loan officers, escrow representatives, appraisers, and home inspectors all play a significant role in accomplishing one goal: Closing the purchase on your house.
A main concern of any financial institution lending a large sum of money is that the home is structurally sound and insured. Structural pest control companies provide thorough inspections to ensure Wood Destroying Pests and Organisms are not present.
A pest control inspection company will generate reports that determines the building’s structural condition and identifies potential pest problem areas. In San Diego, a structural pest inspection is not required before selling a home or property; however, if you take out a loan, most financial institutions request the report before approving your mortgage.
Regardless of your financial decision on your home, it is recommended that the buyer should have an inspection done on the structure to be protected from any costly structural repair and treatment after the purchase. A pest problem that goes unnoticed can end up costing thousands of dollars that could have been saved by an inspection.
Who Can Do A Structural Pest Inspection
California regulates structural pest control companies and requires businesses and individual technicians to be licensed & insured by the state. So, each technician performing an inspection or pest control work should have an individual Pest Control Operator license.
The business and individual license must be in good standing to legally perform structural inspections.
It is recommended to hire a pest control company that is licensed, insured, and in good standing.
If you are unsure which pest control inspector to hire, you may want to consider a family member, friend, or trusted associate as a source to use for referrals. You might also want to use the BBB or online review sites for information on complaint history.
How To Determine When Last Inspection Was Performed
A previous inspection can be determined by old inspection tags that can be found in attics or garages of the structure. The tags will state the company’s name and date of inspection. If work was completed, another tag will be located next to the inspection tag and will provide the name of the company that performed the work, date of completion, and list of pesticides used.
After a new inspection, the pest control company will post new tags and note the location of the tag(s) and any other tags that are less than two years old in the inspection report. Four months is the maximum amount of time a pest control company can do a re-inspection of items listed in the original report, after that a full inspection must be done again and a new original inspection report must be acquired.
Also, the pest control company is not held responsible for conditions that develop after the date of inspection so it is important that the buyer acquires the inspection reports near the close of escrow. However, the company is held responsible to accurately report structural and/or pest problems to both the buyer, seller, and to all parties with a vested interest in the home. Copies can be retrieved through escrow.
What’s On the Inspection Report
The structural pest control inspection report consists of three parts: findings, recommendations, and estimates. The inspection will be written on a standardized inspection form as it is required by the Structural Pest Control Act. The form will identify signs of pests that can damage the wood or structure in your home such as termites or wood-boring beetles. The report should also include the current structural damage from these types of pests and other problems such as fungus and/or areas prone to the infestation of pests.
Also, all areas of the property that were not checked due to inaccessibility must be mentioned and provide written details why the area was not inspected. Generally, an area can be determined as inaccessible if the space requires opening or removing objects that block the opening or provide insufficient space for inspection. These areas can include attics with inadequate crawl space, floors with carpet, and locked storage areas.
Furthermore, separate structures like sheds or garages are not always inspected unless requested. The report will recommend if these areas should be further inspected.
A limited or complete report can be issued upon completion of the inspection. Real estate transfers usually need the complete structural pest control inspection report.
What To Do After An Inspection
After receiving the report, you can review the recommendations but it is not required by law to have the suggestions completed before the sale of the home. However, lenders will most likely request that all recommendations be completed on the property before the transfer. Areas susceptible to infestations may also need to be remedied to satisfy the financial institution.
The corrective work does not have to be done by the company that did the inspection, but if another company makes the corrections, the original company that performed the inspection will have to do a re-inspection and issue a certification that declares the building is cleared from wood-destroying pests and organisms.
After the corrective job is finished, a Notice of Work Completed and Not Completed will be generated by the pest control company to provide details of the work performed and mention all (if any) recommendations that were not performed. The buyer should go over all recommendations not completed before purchasing the property. The completion report should address all problems regardless if they were corrected or not. An inspection report and completion notice should be given to the person that ordered it and to the property owner or agent.
This information can help you know what to expect from the company you hire for a structural pest inspection. An accurate structural pest inspection can deter any unnecessary pest control costs after the purchase of the property and can help make the transfer of your new property run smoothly.