Buying a Home

Buyers Beware: Termite Inspection Is a Vital Step E-mail
The Home Search
Written by Jason Byer,   

Buying a new home can be a stressful experience. You have checked out your neighborhood, schools and commute. You have some new furniture in mind. And you don’t want any hidden surprises in the future. A termite inspection is a necessary step that will allow you to enjoy your new home for many years to come — with no termite surprises.Termites can damage wood in and around a home very quickly. The National Pest Management Association estimates more than $5 billion of termite-caused property damage annually.  Insurance rarely covers this damage.

Termites are usually found in the ground and in wood. They are rarely seen. You might see a mud tube or tunnel for an army of termites. Sometimes, swarmers or winged termites are seen in the spring when termites are looking for mates. These swarmers are a sign of a mature termite colony. Their job is to leave the colony, mate and start new colonies.

A qualified pest control inspector has the experience and knowledge of termite behavior to spot mud tunnels and other signs that termites are tunneling underneath. A thorough termite inspection will provide a report of existing damage and termites, as well as address whether your home is likely to have future termite problems based on the answers to a number of questions, including:

1.    Does your home have a wood frame on a slab?
2.    How close to your home is your wooden fence?
3.    How does water drain around your home?

A thorough termite inspection and assessment of potential future problems is a critical element in any home buying decision. For more information, or to schedule an inspection in the Long Island, NY, area, contact For other locations, you can find a professional through the National Pest Management Association.

Jason Byer is President of Suburban Exterminating, located in Long Island, NY.

This article has been republished for additonal educational purposes. This article is not affiliated with any links or products that appear on the same pages. Read more about our editorial policy.

Is This the Right Time to Refinance? E-mail
Written by Mary Ellen Podmolik, Chicago Tribune   

Mortgage rates are down and you're not going to bother trying to sell your home anytime soon. Should you spend the money to refinance and lower your payments? Can you qualify?

Bringing old appliances back to life E-mail
Manage your Home Investment
Written by William Hageman, Special to the Tribune   

A simple broken part can often signal the end of a major appliance, sending a consumer out to shop for a new refrigerator, stove, air conditioner or clothes dryer.To make matters worse, if that old appliance isn't collected by the retailer, it's hauled to the curb.

A Glendale Heights business, however, has a better idea.

Credit reporting on rent can be mixed bag E-mail
Your Credit
Written by Carolyn Bigda, Special to the Tribune   

For years, it didn't matter to your credit score whether you paid rent on time.

But that is starting to change, and if you're a 20-something with little or no credit history, your rent payments could make a big difference to your score. Here's what you need to know.

3 Dream Home Features You Can Afford Without Breaking Your Home Insurance Bank E-mail
The Home Search
Written by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley   

If you're like most buyers, you have a list of "dream home" features that you'd love for your next home to possess. However, keep in mind when you're house-hunting that many of those features you love will affect your home insurance premium. Here are three common dream home features that could drive up the price of your home insurance coverage—and what you need to know to bring that cost back down so that insuring a home doesn't break the bank.


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