What Is Cellulose Debris (in a pest or termite report)?

Cellulose debris samples - newspaper, mail, parchment, paper ticketIf you read a termite or pest report, you may bump into the phrase “cellulose debris.” What does it mean?

Cellulose Debris

Usually cellulose debris means that there are scraps of wood, sawdust, or bits of wood (possibly paper). It’s any kind of material made of wood.  It could be old form board left in when the foundation was made. Most often, cellulose debris is mentioned as found in the crawl space of a home.  Sometimes it’s infected (meaning there is a wood destroying organism such as termites present), other times it’s simply an invitation for “wood borers” such as termites to come and feast on the wood members that are laid out as a buffet for them. Wait long enough and it might get infected.

Where do you see cellulose debris in a pest inspection?

In our Silicon Valley area, pest reports are normally “separated” into Section 1 and Section 2 findings.  If the cellulose debris is called out as Section 1, that means that there’s an infestation of termites or other wood-destroying organisms present.  If it’s Section 2, that means that it’s not yet infected but is an invitation to trouble and you should get rid of it to prevent future problems.

Pest control operators will suggest that cellulose debris be removed so that termites and other wood eating organisms aren’t attracted to the crawl space or other areas of the home.  It’s possibly a nuisance to get rid of it, but much better to dodge a problem upfront than to wait and have to solve it later.

 

Related articles:

How Often Should You Get A Termite Inspection?

How to prepare for a home inspection in Silicon Valley 

What do you want from your home inspections?

Watch for Dampwood Termites in Silicon Valley!

How is buying a home in Silicon Valley different from in other parts of the country? (Move2SiliconValley relocation site)

 

 

Home sellers wonder: can I leave debris behind when I move out?

Silicon Valley home sellers may find themselves exhausted by their move and wonder if they can leave trash or other debris behind when they move out.  Most of the time, San Jose area home buyers aren’t thrilled with this idea (though there are exceptions).  The main thing is this: what does the contract say?

Both the PRDS and CAR contracts do address this issue of what can be left behind.  First, here’s the CAR paragraph on this topic:

 

CAR on removal of debris at close of escrow

 

And here’s what the PRDS purchase agreement says:

 

PRDS on removal of debris at possession

 

Both of them say that debris must be removed either at the close of escrow, or if there’s a rentback, when the buyer takes possession.

That said, sometimes buyers will write into the contract that the seller is allowed to leave behind debris.  Why would they do this?  If it’s multiple offers, making the move easier on the seller may increase the odds of getting the offer accepted.  Or perhaps the buyers just really want the ‘stuff’ in the garage.  I’ve seen it happen.

Either way, if you are buying or selling a home, it’s important to read and understand your obligations and rights.  The final walk through can be an opportunity to point out debris that may be a concern, among other things.  Best to not wait until after closing, if possible, to find things for the seller to do.

 

 

 

Real Estate Purchase Offer Terms to Consider When Competing in Multiple Offers (Part 6)

In addition to the financial part of your offer and your contingencies and timeframes, there are other terms that may help you to be more competitive when writing an offer in a multiple offer bidding situation in Silicon Valley.

What other terms could matter, beyond price and contingencies? Lots – they will matter to the seller and they’ll matter to you.

As Is Offers

Sellers always want to sell “As Is” if possible. They don’t want to have to do repairs, to spend the time or the money to fix what may not be perfect.  This is an extremely important area to research, weigh, and understand prior to drafing your real estate purchase agreement, particularly if you are not the only one trying to buy that real estate.  When it’s a seller’s marker (and with multiple offers, it IS a seller’s market), the seller can request and will usually be able to sell As Is.

Buyers always want every imaginable repair done, if at all possible.  Buyers don’t want to have to do termite, roof, electrical or other work on the home. They want a “red ribbon deal” where the home’s been or will be in very good to excellent shape.  They want a section one clearance from the termite & pest company.  They want a leak free roof warranty. When it’s a buyer’s market, and you’re the only one attempting to buy the house or condo, you can usually request and get the seller to do all the basic repairs.

The important point is to understand which of these two markets you’re dealing with – buyer’s or seller’s – if it’s a seller’s market and you’re behaving as though it’s a buyer’s market, you will hurt your odds of getting the property if you request repairs or if your contract provides a seller’s warantee.
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