Continuing our series on the Oregon Home Buyer Advisory. We’ve covered the sections on Home inspections, Sewers & Septic Tanks, and Death, Crimes and External Conditions. Today we’ll cover pest and dry rot:
Pest and Dry Rot Inspection
Pest and dry rot inspections are done in many residential real estate transactions and may be required by the lender. A pest and dry rot inspection may or may not be included in a whole home inspection. If a pest and dry rot inspection is desired or required and the buyer is obtaining a whole home inspection, the buyer should verify that the inspection obtained covers pest and dry rot and the inspector is properly licensed. The license status of home inspectors can be checked at the Construction Contractor’s Board (CCB). Pest control operators who do inspections and treatment are licensed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Buyers can check on licensing of pest control operators and applicators by calling the Oregon Department of Agriculture at (503) 986-4635 or online.
Real estate licensees do not have the training or expertise to inspect property for pests or dry rot. Like any property condition report, buyers should not rely on the report of an inspector they did not hire. A pest and dry rot inspection is a limited inspection and is no substitute for a complete whole home inspection by a licensed home inspector.
The inspectors that we use do a pest and dry rot inspection during the general home inspection. Carpenter ants are the most common pest found. Termites exist but aren’t as prevalent as they are in other parts of the country. Evidence of rodents is also frequent.
Dry rot can occur wherever untreated wood has contact with soil or where water is able to keep it constantly wet. Some common problem areas are around clogged rain gutters, decking, and foundation piers. Rotted wood often gives little resistance when poked but may not be obvious visually. Rotted wood siding can lead to rotted framing and even mold so it is very important that it doesn’t go unchecked.
If an appraiser finds evidence of either pest or dry rot in their investigation of the property, the lender may require repairs before they will fund the loan. These lender required repair may come up after the inspection period but may still be negotiated as part of the financing contingency in the offer. That’s important for the seller to understand. The buyer may be okay with the condition of the property but if the bank isn’t repairs could come up later in the transaction.