Can You Sell a House with Termite Damage in Charlotte?

Can You Sell a House with Termite Damage in Charlotte?
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Image by Pedro Wroclaw via Pixabay

One of the worst feelings that a homeowner in Charlotte can have is the sinking frustration of discovering termite damage or an active termite infestation in their home. It’s a huge problem, one that’s even more complicated if you need to sell a house with termite damage. 

There’s no way around it – selling a house with a termite problem is a big challenge. It’s also potentially unsafe to live in a home with untreated termite issues. It’s the kind of thing that can feel overwhelming, but the good news for homeowners in North Carolina is that you do have options. 

Disclosure is essential

The first thing to know is that disclosure is essential if you want to sell a home with termite damage. 

North Carolina has laws that require sellers to inform potential buyers of any existing problems with the home. Even if you have a suspicion of termites, you are legally required to inform the buyer. 

Charlotte homeowners who have decades old termite damage should also tell potential buyers about the problem. This is the kind of problem that has a zero tolerance policy for non-disclosure. It’s best to be upfront with any potential buyer in Charlotte

A costly construction project

Treating termite damage can be a costly job. Not only is it essential to address the termite issue itself, it’s also critical to fix the damage these bugs have caused. There could be a need to replace wood floors, walls, support beams, siding, and more. 

Depending on how soon the termite infestation is caught, there could be nearly zero to repair, or there could be extensive repairs needed. Unfortunately, where the termites have gotten in is a major factor. 

It can be highly intimidating to think about facing termite problems with a home. The sheer amount of damage these bugs can cause is astounding. This is a problem that you can handle! You can put a stop to termites either by selling a house or addressing the problem yourself.

When termites find their way into spaces that are seldom seen, like the edge of an attic or deep in a crawl space, it’s almost impossible to catch them early. In these rarely seen spaces, they are more likely to find structural wood to feast on. 

Working with a cash buyer on termite damage

Selling a house in any market can be overwhelming, but when it’s a house with termites, it can be even more daunting. Though there are many potential ways to address the problem before you sell, you can also simply find a buyer who is willing to work with the problem.

Many cash buyers are willing to purchase homes that have termite damage. Why? Because they are experienced in fixer uppers and know how to attack the problem. 

An investor who has done this before will know all about the need to pay for pest control treatments and repairs to the homes. In addition, a cash buyer will generally buy your home while paying closing costs. 

Keep in mind that a cash buyer will likely offer a lower price for the home that has damage because they will have to invest in repairs. The flipside is that you won’t have to address the termite damage yourself.

Termite insect basics

Understanding what termites are can help you to know what to do about termite damage in your Charlotte, NC home. They’re sometimes called wood ants. 

Termites are wood eating insects. They’re actually in the same broad category of insects as that other home pest – cockroaches. Also like roaches, they are among the most successful and widely spread species of insects on earth. Termites exist on almost every land mass in the world except Antarctica. 

The queen of a termite swarm is one of the longest living insects on the planet. Termite queens can live from thirty to fifty years! A colony of termites is not just a group – they’re a superorganism. A colony of termites actually self-regulates. 

There are three stages of the life cycle of a termite – egg, nymph, and adult. 

It’s not easy to tell the difference between winged ants and termites. Even if you see a swarm of winged bugs in your home, it doesn’t mean that you have termites. It takes an expert to know the difference between them. 

They come through the ground, where they burrow. That’s how they get into most homes. It’s why wood must be treated to prevent them getting into the home and eating away at the structure. 

How much wood do termites eat?

There are many different species of termites. This is one factor in how much wood they eat in your Charlotte, NC home. 

Other factors that affect the amount of damage that termites do to a home include the type of wood, the condition of the wood, the size of the termite colony, the temperature, and what other food sources might be nearby. 

In most parts of the United States, including North Carolina, termites are active all year round. In colder parts of the country where temperatures take a dive, they can go dormant in the winter. 

Termites cause more than five billion dollars worth of damage to property every single year. They love the climate in North Carolina, with its warm winters and high humidity. 

When termites swarm

Termites live in swarms, or groups, with a queen who lays all of the eggs. This is much in the same way that bees live. 

In Charlotte, North Carolina, termites usually swarm when the weather starts getting warmer and when the ground is wet. March, April, and May are the prime time to look out for termites swarming. 

When they run out of food or the colony gets too big and splits, they can swarm and start looking for a new home. A mature colony starts to produce a variety of termites called alate nymphs, which are both male and female. These nymphs have wings, then fly out of the colony looking for a ripe place to settle. Unfortunately, termites can swarm right into basements and attics to cause termite damage. 

After the termites have shed wings, they become the burrowing bugs that can head into the wood of homes. Sometimes they get in through external vents, and sometimes they burrow in through termite tunnels. Either way, these bugs start to wreak havoc on homes.

Millions of termite eggs

In those late nymph pairings, the female in one of the partnerships will become a new queen. A termite queen can lay up to a million eggs in her lifetime in North Carolina. When those eggs are laid underground, they’re a part of the circle of life. When they’re laid in your Charlotte home, they’re part of a real problem. 

Any time you see winged insects in your home in North Carolina, you should have a pest control expert come out to look at them. Whether it’s spring in Charlotte or winter – it’s always important to make sure they aren’t termites. 

Termite companies know how to treat termite eggs and adult termites. There are many invasive and non-invasive treatments available. The classic termite tent that covers the entire house is not the only way to treat the termite infestation.

Types of termites in North Carolina

Different types of termites have different preferences for what they like to eat. 

  • Dampwood termites prefer moist wood
  • Drywood termites prefer dry wood
  • Subterranean termites seek out wood that’s in contact with the ground

Firewood, untreated lumber, and moisture issues in the home are all risk factors for termites. If there are cracks in the foundation or in the exterior of your Charlotte, NC home, they can let termites in. 

The combination of factors can make your home more susceptible to termite damage. The South is particularly vulnerable thanks to the high humidity and warm weather conditions. This is why it’s so important to look out for potential termite problems at your home in Charlotte, even if you’ve never had problems before.

A termite problem can develop at any time. The only way to know for sure that a termite problem is there is with a termite inspection. This is not something that someone without experience can identify for certain.

Rest assured that it’s not uncommon for a homeowner in Charlotte, NC to think that they have a termite problem when, in fact, it’s something else entirely. Lots of North Carolina bugs can look like termites, but they aren’t! 

Signs of termites in your home

Termite damaged wood in North Carolina

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Most likely, termites have been in your home for a long time before you notice them. 

Subterranean termites are usually found underground, so they aren’t often detected until there’s termite damage. The same goes with drywood termites, which bury themselves deep in the wood of structures and eat their way out from the inside. 

Catching termites when they swarm is the most common way to visibly detect termites. However, there are lots of other ways to notice that there might be termites in your home. Here are some signs to look out for. 

  • Discolored drywall
  • Peeling paint
  • Loose floor tiles
  • Squeaky floor boards
  • Wood that sounds hollow
  • Mud tubes at the base of the home
  • Small piles of dust, called termite pellets
  • Flying swarms of insects anywhere close to your home

Getting a termite inspection

The first thing many homeowners in Charlotte want to know is “how much is a termite inspection?” One thing is sure – the cost of a termite inspection is much less than the cost of treating termites. The sooner damage is found, the faster it can be addressed and the more savings there will be in the long run.

In North Carolina, expect to pay one hundred to two hundred dollars for a termite inspection, depending on the size of your Charlotte home. Larger homes with more area to cover will obviously cost more to inspect. 

Termites can do serious damage

When termites are left to their own devices, they can do incredible damage to a home. It doesn’t take long for termites to eat through a significant amount of wood. 

Most colonies contain around 50,000 termites. When they eat through the wood of a structure, this can cause tremendous damage to the house. This can create buckling floors or leaks in the ceiling. 

Termites create tunnels that damage the wood in your home. This can happen in the ceiling, beneath laminate floors, and in the walls of the home. 

How fast does termite damage happen?

Treated lumber for termites

Image by 41330 via Pixabay

Termite damage can happen quickly or slowly, depending completely on the conditions and the type of termites. 

Experts tend to say that termites need three years to create noticeable damage in a home. It takes eight to ten years for termites to completely destroy the wood in a home. That’s right – termites can and do completely decimate every bit of wood in a home.  

While it’s fast, it’s not so fast that the damage will be irreparable if you try to sell a home with termite damage. This isn’t something that happens overnight! The few weeks that it will take to get the home sold won’t make the termite damage so severe that it destroys your Charlotte, NC home.

Treating termite damage

Working with a pest control company is the only way to stop termite damage from continuing.

Formosan termite colonies are underground. Treating these kinds of termite infestations can involve installing mesh screenings as one of the preventative measures. Termite treatment can help prevent future termite infestations, as well as stopping current termites.

A house with termite damage needs to be repaired before it can be put on the open market. Significant termite damage has to start with termite treatments that stop the current termite activity. Only after the entire colony has been eradicated by a pest control company can any damage to the home be repaired.

The only way to get rid of termites altogether is to

Before you put a termite damaged home on the market

Prior to putting your home with termite history on the market, there are a few things you should do.

First of all, check to see if you have a termite warranty on your house. Interested buyers will be much more likely to buy your home if you disclose termites and have a termite warrant. You can leave the termite damage as is and sell your house in Charlotte if you have disclosed it.

Selling a termite damaged house on the open market

A house with an active termite infestation will be difficult to sell on the open market. Most buyers are unwilling to buy a house directly unless it’s termite free. That’s true whether or not there’s significant property damage.

Always keep in mind that you can get into legal trouble if you suspect termite infestation and don’t follow through with extermination companies to ensure that the home does not have damage. Once the process begins, you’ll need to disclose termites or other pests to the potential new homeowner in Charlotte, NC.

You’ll have to provide a written report, even if you’re going to sell the property as is. A termite problem could be just the beginning of the problems with a home. Potential homeowners will want to prepare for potential repair costs.

Selling a house fast with termite activity is a hard road if you don’t either commit to termite removal or commit to sell a house without repairs.

Selling a termite damaged home to an investor

Termite history won’t scare off a real estate investor, and they can even work with structural damage. Burdensome houses with physical damage from termite infestations can be a great buy for a home investment firm.

This is a great alternative solution to get rid of burdensome houses fast if there’s damaged wood or if there are untreated termite problems. Though a cash offer might involve them doing their own inspection, they can still be interested in a house with termites.

Market buyers will give you a cash offer, then have the house treated and they’ll take care of any structural repairs before the resell. Then they’ll work with prospective buyers to sell the house.

This is one of the best real estate solutions. Once the house is repaired, they’ll be able to flip it without you having to do the work to treat a house with termite damage.

You won’t get more money or even the full market value for your home in Charlotte if it has termite damage, but you can still sell it as is.

Home buyers are out there

The bottom line is that home buyers are out there for a house with termites. You can sell your home as is, even with sagging laminate flooring from extensive termite damage.

You don’t even have to eradicate the termite colony, and you can sell the house as is.As long as you are disclosing the condition of the property, it’s legal to sell a house in North Carolina in any condition!

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