Hiring own home inspector may avoid costly repairs

Sellers' inspectors not always an honest bunch

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DEAR BOB: About three months ago, my wife and I bought our first home. The seller provided a termite inspection report showing "all clear." We didn't hire our own inspector. Bad mistake, we now realize. About a month ago, we started remodeling. The contractor discovered serious termite infestation in some of the beams under the house. When we contacted the termite inspection company, they denied liability because their inspection was for the seller, not us. The repair cost is estimated at about $5,000. Does the seller's termite inspector have any liability even though the termite damage was easily accessible? – Byron B. DEAR BYRON: The termite inspection company is probably hiding behind the legal principle of "lack of privity of contract." That means the termite inspector contracted with the seller, not you, so the inspector has no legal liability to you. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. However, in most states, termite inspectors are licensed by a state agency. If you file...