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When it comes to major purchases, there’s nothing more exciting than buying a new home. The search is filled with plenty of decisions and “watch-outs.” However, most new home buyers rarely think about pests. Pest problems can be lurking beneath the surface – and knowing what to look for could help you avoid expensive repairs and treatments after you’ve signed on the dotted line.
The 2022 market is fierce, forcing many new homeowners to forgo traditional home inspections. And, for someone with an untrained eye, a self home inspection can be risky. But, something you can do while you're looking at a home is to check it for pest activity, which could save you thousands.
Before you start touring homes, print our helpful PEST INSPECTION CHECKLIST to take with you.
Termites are likely the one issue that home buyers DO take precautions against, often having inspections done ahead of time. And for good reason: the average cost of termite damage repair in the U.S. is $3,000. But, other pests, such as rodents and wildlife, can also cause severe and costly damage to homes.
Even more scary: pests including cockroaches, mice, rats, stinging insects, and fire ants can have serious human health risks, ranging from allergies and asthma to pathogen transmission and life-threatening stings. Other pests, such as bed bugs, can bite and be extremely costly to eliminate.
We’ve all spotted the occasional pest in our home from time to time, but if you’re considering buying a home, you want to make sure that more serious pest issues are resolved before you buy. According to the National Pest Management Association, nearly one-third of U.S. homes are experiencing a pest infestation at any given moment. As you go about your home buying process, don’t be afraid to ask about the history of pest problems in the home.
Pests are experts at hiding and often choose to infest areas that are out of the way or even hidden from view such as attics and crawl spaces. Although spotting pests–from wildlife and bats to termites, rodents and other creepy crawlies–may be difficult, warning signs are often in plain sight. Here are a few that you can look for when touring potential new homes.
These are not as likely to be an issue in homes that are for sale. Infestations typically leave with belongings (beds, sofas, etc.). However, if you are purchasing a condo or townhouse that shares walls with other units, you could ask the property manager if they’ve had prior reports of bed bug problems.
Your best bet is to use a qualified home inspector. Ask them to let you know of any potential pest problems or conditions that may be conducive to pest issues, such as moisture leaks. You can also ask your realtor if it is possible to have Western inspect your potential new home before you buy. This will ensure that you’re not investing in a home with costly, hidden pest problems.