Despite your best efforts, you receive an unexpected call from a tenant one evening. There’s insect damage on the property. You schedule an inspection and receive unpleasant news: it’s termites.
When it comes to preventative home maintenance, not every property owner is aware of the risks—or remembers to schedule service to circumvent them. Termites are a threat worthy of your attention. More than a nuisance, these pests can cause severe structural damage (one breed, subterranean termites, can eat 15 lbs of wood per week).
Proactive landlords and real estate owners schedule termite inspections to understand and mitigate the risk of an infestation, but if you’re new to property management or you recently underwent a scare, you might be wondering how much a termite inspection costs.
The true cost of a termite inspection involves multiple factors, such as the property location and the reason for the inspection (sale, maintenance, suspected infestation). There are non-monetary costs to consider with non-maintenance inspections. These include the stress and inconvenience of the initial call, as well as the time commitment to solving the issue and scheduling repairs.
Termite Inspection Monetary Costs – Maintenance vs Damage Inspections
A termite inspector who catches an infestation early can save a landlord thousands of dollars in repairs. Averaging $100 in the United States, termite inspections are an economical preventative measure compared to an extermination service and home repairs. Properties in low-risk areas may suffice with an inspection every other year, while properties in high-risk locations should undergo annual inspections.
Some states require a termite inspection before selling or purchasing a property. For real estate investors choosing properties to flip, this is a factor to keep in mind. Setting up preventative measures against termites reduces the risk of an infestation occurring, protecting your investment.
If you schedule a termite inspection in response to damage, expect the cost to be on the medium-high end, depending on the services required to keep the property inhabitable and the amount of time the termites have been on the property. Termite treatment in the United States ranges from $230-$930 (with whole home treatment being $2,500 and 4x as high if fumigation and tenting is required).
Unfortunately, termite damage and removal aren’t covered by many home insurance policies. Inspections spurred by suspected damage also have non-monetary costs related to stress, inconvenience, and time.
Non-Monetary Termite Inspection Costs: Stress & Inconvenience
When discussing costs, it’s easy to look at the monetary value of a solution. It’s quantifiable, with data from homeowners across states. Often, the non-monetary costs are overlooked until landlords find themselves in an unfortunate scenario. Two costs associated with unexpected termite inspections are stress and inconvenience.
It doesn’t matter if you’re eating dinner, celebrating your anniversary, enjoying your vacation, or sick in bed. You can receive a call or text at any time from a tenant who noticed damage. Depending on your personality and current financial situation, this unwelcome news may ruin your night or dampen your special occasion.
Non-Monetary Termite Inspection Costs: Time
Another non-monetary cost is time. When a termite inspection is required, a landlord is responsible for scheduling the inspection, discussing options with the exterminator, locating contractors for repairs, and answering tenant questions. If you find yourself in this situation, you may need to jungle tenant availability with contractor availability if you don’t live near the property. Would you like multiple repair estimates? You need to find a suitable time for each appointment. Do you know who to call for estimates? You may need to research online and gather recommendations on who to call.
The time sink becomes more apparent when you have other responsibilities. If you’re employed and have meetings to attend or presentations to give, you need to juggle your availability. In some circumstances, you may need to cut into your personal time until the situation is resolved. If the damage was discovered during an inopportune time in your life, such as a family emergency or vacation, it still necessitates your involvement.
Termite Prevention & Removal Doesn’t Need to Be Your Duty
Were you aware of termite inspections prior to experiencing a scare or infestation? Are you a local or out-of-state landlord who would prefer to relax during your offtime and leave late night emergencies to professionals who know about the risk of termites and have contacts for removal and home repair?
The stress, inconvenience, and time commitment associated with a rental home is why many landlords, especially those who are out of state, choose a property management company. There are many stories from property owners about the value a good property management company provides.
WILMOTH Group provides property management services for real estate investors and landlords who don’t have 24/7 availability to handle the day-to-day intricacies and rental unit emergencies that pop up throughout the year. From scheduling termite inspections and repairs to finding new tenants, we make life easier for you and your renters.
Don’t get caught off guard at dinner by a phone call that turns your night unpleasant. Let WILMOTH Group prevent and respond to problems.