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So Just How Bad IS Termite Damage, Anyway?

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We had the house inspected yesterday. Found a lot of termite damage in the basement.

Apparently there are these things called floor joists. And they are pretty crucial to the, um, overall structure of the house.

And the inspector (doodoodoodoodoo, In-spec-tor Gadget…) was able to put a screwdriver completely through said joist.

The previous owners have attempted to repair the damage, but from what Josh reports, they should have done a lot more. Not to mention include “termite damage” on the disclosure form. No, we had to pay $250 for Inspector Gadget to tell us that. Thanks a lot, guys.

So our options right now are:

  1. Back out completely and start over at square one, where we have to decide apartment or house all over again.
  2. Make the owners fix the damage.

Not knowing anything about termites or joists, I tend to lean towards option #2. Josh, however, remains unconvinced. He is afraid that the termites may have damaged other areas of the house, gotten into the walls and attacked the frame.

And there’s no way to know if the frame is damaged… is there? And is there any way to know if the termites are really and truly gone? There is “evidence of extermination” in the basement.

So, all you old-home-owners out there:

How much should we be concerned about this termite damage? Any advice for knowing the extent of the damage? Will fixing the joists by attaching good wood to them (have I mentioned I don’t know what joists ARE? Or what they look like? So I could totally be misquoting this solution) good enough to ensure that, um, no one will fall through the floor?

Will all this effect our ability to sell in three years? (If it’s all fixed of course.) Would YOU buy a house that had termite damage, but has been sufficiently repaired?

Oh, and the water heater, furnace, and A/C are all over 20 years old.

And the chimney? is … short? Which may cause a “backdraft” when we use the fireplace.

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