Jul 07

Free Termite Inspections are Usually not Guaranteed!

Often, home inspectors will offer “a free termite inspection” included with their home inspection price. Almost always, home buyers aren’t aware that such termite inspections come with no guarantee whatsoever! When a licensed pest inspector prepares an inspection report, the inspection is also usually not guaranteed, so that if termites are discovered after the home is purchased, the purchaser is not protected against paying for related repairs. They usually will, however, guaranty most houses if they are treating them with pesticides. Unless, for example, there is no moisture termite barrier on the foundation top under the sill plate.  Newsday published an article on this subject and outlined how real estate lawyers in many states will recommend an independent termite inspector:

“The engineer found no termites, but when he wouldn’t give a guarantee, I suggested [the buyers] bring in a licensed pest controller,” Minella said. With a written guarantee, buyers would be protected against paying for repairs in case termites were found after they moved in.”

In some of my home inspection cases, separate licensed termite inspectors found infestation problems and these reports were used as negotiation tools because the buyers wanted the houses regardless. The slightly higher cost for a separate termite inspection may be worth it for a number of reasons. Pest applicators that offer WDO (wood destroying organism) termite reports are usually competitively priced because the inspectors anticipate that some of these inspections will lead to work down the road. As a matter of fact, this gives them an incentive to make an extremely thorough inspection in order to find infestation. In one case, a termite inspector found a clean house but found infestation under a log right next to the house. In this situation, treatment was recommended in the report.

I became certified through InterNACHI to inspect for termites and other WDO (wood destroying organisms) that I offer for free along with a home inspection, using a separate WDO inspection form.

(Revised 12-07-16)

Termite photo by Scott Bauer

Tags: Long Island termite inspections, Home inspectors offer termite inspections, Hamptons NY termite inspectors, pests

Feb 22

Hurricane Sandy Wiped Out Most Low NY Insurance Rates

It used to be that places like Florida and Louisiana stood out as high risk locations with higher insurance rates. Add a few Northeast Frankenstorms into the mix, however, and that’s bound to change. What does this new storm trend signify for the real estate industry? Well, for one thing, higher homeowner insurance rates in the Northeast and likely a negative affect on the sales market as well.

The Insurance Information Institute has come out with a remarkable prognosis that Hurricane Sandy caused more insurance costs than the historic 9/11 destruction did. Insured losses from Hurricane Sandy are expected to be in the range of $25 billion, according to global reinsurance firm Munich Re. If this ends up to be true, then that would surpass the $24.6 billion that private insurers paid following the destruction of the World Trade Center, outlined Robert Hartwig, president and economist at the Insurance Information Institute. But, that’s not all. This will also have a dramatic effect on New York’s historically low insurance rates.

Northeast insurance rates to rise

In a video interview, Robert Hartwig explained how one storm alone would not increase rates. However, the fact that three serious storms that have effected the Northeast in the last 14 months will definitely have consequences with regard to present relatively low insurance rates.

“Insurers are not allowed by law to recoup past losses, but what they are allowed to do and what they need to do to obviously remain financially strong and so that they’re there for the next time an event like this strikes is to charge a rate that reflects the risk.”

Home inspectors don’t have much work when people can’t afford houses and don’t buy them. High insurance costs are certainly a factor in this equation. People often choose companies like Geico because they draw from a pool of low cost insurance providers in order to find the best possible insurance rates. It definitely pays to shop around for the best possible insurance rates before you make your choice. Though costs are rising, some rates are a lot lower than others. One thing is certain, check to see how well the company handles actual claims before committing.

Tags: Robert Hartwig insurance, Robert Hartwig quotes, Insurance Information Institute, III, find best insurance rates in NY, difficult afford a house, Long Island insurance