If you've looked at pest control services before, you may have seen reference to termite bonds. What is this bond, and when do you need it? We've got an FAQ for you!
What Is a Termite Bond?
A termite bond is a warranty between you and a termite company, a little like a maintenance contract. It typically includes two important parts:
- An agreement for termite inspections as long as the contract lasts (typically a couple of years). These inspections can happen annually or quarterly, or on an agreed-upon schedule.
- An agreement to provide treatment and control if termites are discovered. These services are usually covered by a bond, so the homeowner doesn't have to pay any extra. Many bonds include upfront service, prior to inspections, to take care of termite issues that were just discovered.
- Repair of damages or retreatment only. An agreement should specify if the service provider will retreat and repair any damage from a subsequent infestation or just retreat the structure without providing damage repairs. Not all homes qualify for a Repair Bond, so it is recommended that you inquire about the eligibility and costs associated.
Note: A bond is different from a "termite letter," which is a statement that a house is or is not found free of termites upon inspection.
What Are They Used For?
A termite bond delivers peace of mind. If you have a termite infestation, you may worry that termites will return, even after successful control services. But a bond guarantees that the pest control company will keep an eye on your home and make sure that a new infestation doesn't creep up on you.
Termite bonds also serve an important purpose when buying or selling a home. If a home inspector finds a termite problem or a high likelihood of termites, buyers will often only agree to purchase the house if the owners take out a termite bond first. Likewise, lenders may not be willing to provide a mortgage for at-risk homes without a bond. Certain loans, like FHA and VA mortgages, specifically require pest inspections, so termite bonds can help homebuyers qualify for those lower-cost loans as well.
Who Provides Termite Bonds?
Only certified pest control companies can issue a bond. Some home inspectors work with eligible pest control companies and can connect homeowners or homebuyers with a reputable service provider.
When Do I Need One?
We don't suggest waiting until a home inspection to find out if you need a termite bond or not. The discovery can delay seller plans at a crucial time during the transaction. Instead, if you are thinking about selling your home, or if you recently found a termite infestation and are worried about it returning, it's a good idea to plan for a bond.
How Much Do They Cost?
Termite bond prices are determined by how long the bond lasts and what services are included, as well as additional factors.
A common cost range for a residential home is $700 to $1,000 for the initial service, but prices can fall lower for simpler arrangements. Yearly costs typically run $300-$400 for the warranty coverage, which includes an annual inspection as needed.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
Termite bonds are either transferable or nontransferable. A transferable bond can be transferred to a new homeowner upon the sale of a home. As you might imagine, it's important that you get a transferable bond whenever possible.