Termites have eaten their way through the walls and value of a Sunshine Coast property, in a devastating blow to its owners.
Two years ago, new owners had unknowingly bought a termite-infested house for $487,000 in Buderim, only to have a nasty shock after starting renovations.
The house sold at auction last week for $360,000, a recorded loss of close to $130,000 in value. Buderim has a median house price of $565,000.
The 12 Raintrees Court house was deemed unliveable by its insurance company, who said the structural integrity was compromised by the damage.
Century 21 selling agent Grant Smith said it was “the worst case of termite damage” he had ever seen.
“It was bad, 75 per cent of the house had been affected,” Mr Smith said.
While he could not discuss the circumstances leading to the 2014 sale due to insurance claims, he could confirm the damage existed before the sale.
Despite the damage and uninhabitable state of the house – now termite free – it attracted huge interest.
“We had over 100 people sign the papers so they could enter the property,” Mr Smith said.
“And 14 registered to bid on auction day.”
Surprisingly, the winning bidder does not intent to knock the home down.
“A builder-developer won the property, and actually he does not plan to bulldoze it, but wants to restore it,” Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith said it should serve as a warning for people looking at buying a home.
“You need to have a good and thorough inspection to ensure this doesn’t happen to you,” he said.
REIQ’s chief executive Antonia Mercorella said the organisation is lobbying for clearer laws to protect property consumers.
“At the moment, the act only mandates that things of a ‘material nature’ need to be disclosed,” she said.
“The REIQ is lobbying government, and has been for many years, on getting a specific disclosure regime legislated so that consumers can be protected in this major life transaction.
“Termite damage should be caught by the building and pest inspection, which is why it is so strongly recommended that all buyers get their own building and pest inspection done.”