As a photographer, I often have the unique opportunity to shoot on some beautiful properties. It can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job as I’ve always loved architecture and interior design. It’s always fun to take a peak at these homes and the beautiful detailing and interior design. At a shoot this past fall on Long Island, NY, we were outside taking advantage of the beautiful outdoor spaces of this million-dollar home. The setting was lovely and the sun was at the perfect angle. The interesting thing about being behind the camera as a photographer is the opportunity to look at the world through the lens. It is a different perspective for certain! This time, however, what caught my attention was not the usual architecture or scenery. It was something entirely different and, as I later found out, it involved termites, not humans.
During the shoot, standing in the midst of this gorgeous property with all my equipment, something in the wooden eaves of the roof caught my attention. As it turns out, this elegant and expensive home was suffering from extensive (and ugly) termite damage yet to be addressed by the owner. In a conversation with the son of the home’s owner (an elderly woman), I was shocked to learn the cost of remediating all of the damage that had built up over several years due to lack of regular termite inspection! The home had not be treated or inspected until just recently because, sadly, they were thinking of selling the home.
The repairs now needed would cost into the thousands of dollars, probably well past $10,000 given the extent of the damage. The homeowner’s son also told me that the damage extended to inside the house in the attic and crawl spaces where it was not as visible. I’d not realized that regular home termite inspections were so crucial or that termites could cause so much damage in such as short period of time. Their decision now was whether to fix all of the damage prior to listing the home and just paying for it out of pocket or not fixing it, but adjusting their sale price accordingly so that the buyer could make the repairs themselves. The repairs involved treating the home for extensive termite damage as well as replacing and repairing all of the rotted wood including in the crawl space and attic – no easy feat.
As a photographer, I’ve had the privilege of visiting many beautiful sites and homes because of my work. I always enjoy the opportunity it affords me. This particular home was especially beautiful to me, however, because it was something I would have designed for myself as a home. It was stately, elegant, yet comfortable and charming. I don’t know what the homeowner and her son ultimately decided to do with the property. Whether they sold it or kept it and made all the necessary repairs to sustain the home for many more years. Either way, I hope the home lasts for decades and some gets to enjoy it. I certainly would!