Termite and WDO/WDI Inspections
For most people, their home will be their single biggest investment. That's why almost all mortgages financed in the Greater St. Louis area will require that a home being financed undergo what's commonly called a "termite inspection" prior to the loan being approved.
Officially known as a WDO (Wood-Destroying Organism) or WDI (Wood-Destroying Insect) inspection, this inspection looks not just for termites, but also for other insects that can destroy wood, such as carpenter ants, powder post beetles, and several other less-common insects. But in Missouri (and in most of the United States), termites are the most economically significant WDI, which is why the inspection is commonly known as a "termite inspection."
The purpose of the WDO / WDI inspection is to protect the buyer, their lender, and any guarantor (such as VA, FHA, or HUD) from unknowingly closing a deal on a home that has a termite or other WDI problem. That's why the buyer, not the seller, gets to choose the inspection company. A termite inspector works for the buyer, not the seller.
A finding that there is a problem at the property doesn't mean the deal falls through, however. It just means that the problem needs to be corrected, or the sale price adjusted accordingly to reflect the cost of correction. As the buyer, a thorough inspection is always in your best interest.
What A WDO / WDI Inspector Looks for
A properly-done WDO / WDI inspection consists of more than looking for active infestations of termites and other wood-destroying insects. The inspector will also look for the following:
- Evidence of past infestations and whether they have been treated or not.
- Evidence of damaged wood due to previous WDI infestations.
- Conditions conducive to infestation by wood-destroying insects, such as moisture problems, proximity of wood to soil, inverse grading, and so forth.
- Inspection of out-buildings and other wooden structures on the property, such as detached garages, play structures, sheds, and storage buildings.
In addition, the inspector will write a short report, usually including a graph of the property that notes any areas of concern found during the inspection, and will complete and sign any paperwork required by VA, FHA, HUD, or the bank, lender, or other guarantor. If evidence of termites or other WDIs is found, the inspector will also include an estimate for treatment by his or her company. But there is no requirement that the treatment be performed by the same company that performed the inspection.
Most of the time, however, WDO / WDI inspections don't reveal any problems that will complicate the sale. Most homes "pass" their inspections without any need for treatment.
Why to Choose Buckingham as your Termite Inspection Company
Whether you're a real estate agent or an independent buyer, you want three things from the company providing your WDO / WDI inspection: honesty, competency, and efficiency. At BPCI, we pride ourselves on all three.
Honesty means that we look at WDO / WDI inspections as jobs in their own right, not as opportunities to sell termite jobs. Some exterminating companies price their inspection services at a loss, or even provide them for free, because they figure they'll sell a bunch a termite jobs in the process. That's not how we work.
Competency means that our certified inspectors have the knowledge and experience to locate WDI infestations and damage, but also to evaluate whether those problems have been treated or corrected and are no longer of concern. We want to protect the buyer from investing in a home with termite or other WDI problems or damage, but we also don't want to needlessly hold up the sale of a property that doesn't have an active WDI problem.
Efficiency means that we know how real estate sales work, what paperwork lenders and guarantors require, and how important it is to timely produce the documents necessary for the sale to go through. We know how busy real estate people are, and how important it is to arrive at an inspection on-time and to produce the needed documents promptly. Finally, if the inspection does reveal a problem that needs to be treated, we can provide a competitive quote for a prompt, professional treatment.