Way back when I was first being trained in this industry, I was taught an old real estate adage that goes something like this...
- There are two types of houses, houses that have termites and houses that will [have termites].
What my mentors were doing was teaching me a funny way to break the ice about a serious subject. This is serious because too many buyers are walking away from prefectly good homes due to nothing but simple evidence of termites... and they shouldn't be. There are a lot of misconceptions floating around out there, so let's sort out the termite issue.
It is probably most important to note that there is a huge difference between evidence of termite activity and damage caused by termites. Termites can eat a lot of wood before they do any damage or damage significant enough to make a difference. Evidence will surely appear before the damage is significant enough to do any harm. This is especially true if you know what you are looking for. The pictures below are typical examples of what termite evidence looks like. Even if such evidence has gone unnoticed and untreated, the cost of a 4x4 patio cover post needing to be replaced is not reason to cancel the purchase of a home that is right for so many other reasons. This is especially true because today's modern methods of termite elimination are very effective. The theory of termite treatment is fairly simple. Termites, after a hard day of eating wood, return to below the ground's surface every night. Thus, termites are treated with chemicals put into holes on the ground around the premeter of the structure. The chemicals go into the ground and the termites don't come back out.
As it turns out, there is a lot of truth to that old adage. From the exchange of soils during major construction projects to your neighbor planting a tree from an infested nursery, termite migration and expansion is never ending. We live in the desert, a luxury resort for termites, and it turns out... there most likely are two types of homes.