LESLIE: Mark in Florida is on the line with a question about how to avoid termite problem. Tell us what’s going on at your money pit.
MARK: Was calling to get your opinion on termite bond. And what kind of got me interested in this is I actually sat down and read it – read the contract – one day.
TOM: Right. Mm-hmm.
MARK: And if I recall, I think Tom was talking about his daughter in college or something. He sat down and read the contract for a lease or something. I just …
TOM: Yeah, that’s right.
MARK: I read that contract and I’m like, “Hey, this thing probably could be a little bit better to protect me.”
TOM: For a consumer, right?
MARK: Because as I read it, I thought this is protecting them.
MARK: I mean there was point after point after point that I just thought was very disadvantageous to me.
MARK: And I just wanted to call in. And one of the things that comes to my mind is I’d love to have the bond but if – I don’t have a problem paying a fair amount of money for that. But after you read the contract, it’s like wait a second.
TOM: It’s kind of a service contract. And my parents have a house down in Florida and the folks in this development that they live in are all from the New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania area, where we have subterranean termites, right? They’re very common here. But they’re not common in Florida. But because they’re common in New Jersey, they sell them termite contracts and people think that they need them to avoid termite problem because they needed them back up north, right?
TOM: So they clearly take advantage of people in that. And these contracts – these service contracts, they call them “bonds” – are only going to cover you if an infestation is discovered while the contract is in place. And they’re not inexpensive.
I think the best way to avoid termite problem is to find a very good company that does very good termite inspections. I do think it’s worth having an inspection done on an annual basis, because a good inspector can pick up signs that you may miss.
MARK: Sure, sure.
TOM: And if you can catch these insects early enough, then you could take the appropriate steps.
Now, in Florida, you have drywood termites, which are a little more difficult. But in this development I was telling you about, the houses are 80-percent concrete block. So they’re not even going to be able to eat the walls. The only wood in the place is the roof.
TOM: And so, that’s why I thought they were really being – they were really taking advantage of these seniors in this particular situation.
So, I think the best assurance to avoid termite problem in the long run is to get a good-quality inspection.
MARK: Sounds good.
TOM: And have that done on an annual basis.
MARK: I really enjoy the show and appreciate all the advice you give us.
TOM: Alright. Well, we’re glad we’re able to help you out.