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Do You Need a Pest Inspection to Buy a Home?

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When buying a home, you hire a home inspector to check for signs of damage, safety hazards, and issues you want to know about as a homebuyer. However, home inspectors only report on what’s in plain view. General home inspectors aren’t responsible for checking for signs of troublesome pests like termites and bed bugs.

Specialized pest inspections are a smart choice for home buyers, especially in states like New Jersey where wood-destroying insects like carpenter ants, termites, and powder post beetles are common.

The risks of forgoing a pest inspection

Do you really need a pest inspection? Consider these risks of forgoing a specialized pest inspection.

  • Household pests damage your home, carry bacteria and disease, and cause uncomfortable itching and scratching.
  • Undetected, a pest problem could cost a homebuyer hundreds to thousands of dollars in pest control services.
  • Some lenders and loan programs require a Wood Destroying Insect Report before granting a mortgage.
  • When buying as-is, your only recourse for pest problems is to commission an inspection before entering a contract.

What to expect from a pest inspection

A standard pest inspection looks for signs of damage from destructive pests like ants, beetles, bees, wasps, and rodents.

  • Pest inspections start around $75 and vary based on location and home size. The cost of a pest inspection doesn’t include treatment.
  • A WDIR is typically separate from a general pest inspection. After looking for evidence of wood-destroying insects, a certified inspector issues a report for your mortgage provider.
  • Bed bugs are another problem a standard pest inspection may not cover. Look for a company that specializes in bed bugs if buying in an area with bed bug infestations.

Your dream house has pests. Now what?

Pest problems don’t have to be a deal-breaker when buying a home.

  • Upon finding a pest infestation, buyers can negotiate repairs and credits or use an inspection contingency to walk away.
  • Focus negotiations on the most expensive and severe repairs and get repair estimates to inform seller concessions.
  • Minor pest problems are a fairly easy fix akin to cosmetic eyesores, electrical upgrades, and other expenses that come with the territory of homeownership.
  • You may have grounds for a lawsuit if a seller knowingly conceals a pest problem or other home defect and you suffer monetary damages.

Don’t risk buying a home with hidden pest problems. For a small cost, pest inspections save home buyers a lot of money and frustration. Make sure your New Jersey home is clear of bed bugs and other pests by scheduling a pest inspection before you buy.

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