MEMPHIS Investors Pls Help: Termite Treatments on Rental Y/N???

19 Replies

Memphis Investors - do you (or do you not) get annual termite treatments on your rental properties? We are currently buying a home in Memphis (so excited about it), and it just passed wood inspection with flying colors. BUT the guy said we 'FOR SURE' need treatment annually to prevent termites. He said it's very common in that area.

Prices were reasonable for services offered, but still - as an investor don't want to lose that cash flow! Thank you in advance for helping a newbie!

$575 first time

$175 annually after that

Sara,

Personally, I do not get termite treatments on my rental properties nor do the majority of the investors we manage for.

That said, if I owned only one house, I would be much more inclined to do everything I could to protect that specific asset.

Across a diverse portfolio of properties, the law of large numbers kicks in and you don't have to worry so much about one off events.  And, termite troubles in Memphis seem to be a rare occurrence, from everything I can tell.

Hope that helps.

When your inspector talked about that area, was he talking about Memphis or just that particular block?  Is the house near water?  I'm no expert (in fact I just closed on first rental property today) but as a homeowner I had an inspection done when I moved in, but haven't gotten the annual treatments.

Memphis has lots of trees, so that might be what your inspector was talking about.  Is the house near a wooded area?  If so, then the annual treatment may be worth it if it helps you provide safe, clean, affordable housing.  They're tenants after all, not just one-off events.

Originally posted by @Douglas Skipworth :

Sara,

Personally, I do not get termite treatments on my rental properties nor do the majority of the investors we manage for.

That said, if I owned only one house, I would be much more inclined to do everything I could to protect that specific asset.

Across a diverse portfolio of properties, the law of large numbers kicks in and you don't have to worry so much about one off events.  And, termite troubles in Memphis seem to be a rare occurrence, from everything I can tell.

Hope that helps.

 Really helpful feedback! Thank you!!!

Thank you both! It's not near any water and only has 1 tree in the front yard and 1 or 2 in the back.  Not much other than that. The inspector made it sound like it was a guarantee we would get termites but maybe he was just trying to make a sale.

Termite treatment is not necessary in Memphis. We do have them but they are not so commonplace that it would justify the expense. I think you should bank the cash flow.

Originally posted by @Stephen Akindona:

Termite treatment is not necessary in Memphis. We do have them but they are not so commonplace that it would justify the expense. I think you should bank the cash flow.

 Your feedback and professional insight is much appreciated! @David Hodge helpful comment from Stephen. ^^

Sara Hodge If you were in the business of pest control (or referring people to pest control companies), you'd want annual recurring revenue as well. Homeowner never sees a termite? Great - our treatments are working! Homeowner sees a termite? Great - all the more reason you need us (and we'll be first in line for you to hire to replace the fascia board that has them). I don't know jack about termites Memphis, but way more often than not I find I get the right answer by looking at the motivations involved. PS: Congrats on the purchase - hope it turns out to be a good one!!

@Sara Hodge ask your agent if they know about the termite location in that area.  If it really is an issue, a few hundred bucks to protect an investment that is tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars is worth it.   If you had 20 properties, id say role the dice, but not with one.

If you don't mind whats the address? I have properties in one neighborhood in SE Memphis and every house has had termites at one point or another. The house is not near water and every house has one or two small trees.

Originally posted by @Thomas B. :

If you don't mind whats the address? I have properties in one neighborhood in SE Memphis and every house has had termites at one point or another. The house is not near water and every house has one or two small trees.

 Thanks just sent you a DM

Trees and water are not necessary preconditions for termites, as I understand, but they increase the likelihood.

It is a topic on which I'd like to stay optimistically ignorant.

Originally posted by @David Hodge :

Thank you both! It's not near any water and only has 1 tree in the front yard and 1 or 2 in the back.  Not much other than that. The inspector made it sound like it was a guarantee we would get termites but maybe he was just trying to make a sale.

 Opportunism?  NEVER!  If there was no actual evidence of termites, then you're probably good to go.

Unless he's like the pied piper of termites and can bring them dancing to your house's doorstep.

I'd just go to home depot and buy the $40 termite and insect (carpenter ant) spray, go around the foundation spraying everywhere I could.  I paid for it the first time myself, but after that I don't bother.

I wouldn't worry about it.

The only way to "prevent" termites is during original construction, use metal studs, apply a layer of termite barrier before the slab pour etc...

If he is recommending an annual treatment, then it must be subterranean termites he is referring to.  This is typically done by creating a shallow trench around the perimeter of your structure and apply a liquid termicide (like Termidor).  This assumes the termites' nest is somewhere in the exterior, and it must be crossing the perimeter to get inside for the wood.

You could also have drywood termites which is a totally different animal.  Drywood termites eat the wood much slower and it's either spot treated (if the spot can be identified) or tented.

I would wait until there is evidence of termites before acting.

Originally posted by @Sam Leon :

I wouldn't worry about it.

The only way to "prevent" termites is during original construction, use metal studs, apply a layer of termite barrier before the slab pour etc...

If he is recommending an annual treatment, then it must be subterranean termites he is referring to.  This is typically done by creating a shallow trench around the perimeter of your structure and apply a liquid termicide (like Termidor).  This assumes the termites' nest is somewhere in the exterior, and it must be crossing the perimeter to get inside for the wood.

You could also have drywood termites which is a totally different animal.  Drywood termites eat the wood much slower and it's either spot treated (if the spot can be identified) or tented.

I would wait until there is evidence of termites before acting.

Thank youuuu! Very well thought out and said!