The easy answer to that is no, but let me explain. I have personally performed over 10,000 Wood Destroying Insect Reports in North Carolina. I have checked homes in both the Raleigh and Fayetteville areas. I can tell you with good authority that finding termites in a home during an inspection is not at all unusual. Discovery of termites or any other Wood Destroying Insects during an inspection does not mean the beautiful home you want to buy is now ruined. Termites are of course very destructive and they must be treated but the presence of termites does not necessarily mean there is structural damage to the home.
When termites are found during a WDI inspection here is the information you need to know as a home buyer to determine the next steps.
- Ask the inspector where exactly the termite evidence is. Often times when we find active termites they will be in a piece of wood debris laying on the ground, or possibly just in the crawl space access door. Usually these findings do not indicate any real harm to the structure, However they do indicate a termite infestation and should be treated.
- Ask the inspector was any termite evidence found on any structural part of the home, such as; floor joists, band, sill or support girder. If active termites are found here it doesn't always mean there is damage sometimes there will only be etching on the wood if caught early. In this case however you should get a licensed contractor with experience in repairing termite damage to evaluate the area to ensure there is no sign of structural damage.
- Talk to your realtor, before you freak out. Just about every realtor I know has a good understanding of termite damage and how it might affect the purchase of your home. Realtors are a great source for information when we give a realtor our report we advise them on what needs to be done and they will negotiate a solution for you. Let them do their job and get more info for you before you give up on a purchase.