Are you buying a home and wondering what the VA pest inspection requirements are in your area? Although VA has more relaxed guidelines than most other types of loan products, they do have some requirements that are specific to VA loans. VA pest inspections are one of them. Here you can find out what VA requires as well as what you should expect with regards to the VA pest inspection process.
What Zone are you in?
The VA guidelines for a pest inspection (termite inspection) state that the property be located in a moderate to heavy infestation zone. If you are not in one of these zones, VA doesn’t require a pest inspection. The easiest way to find out if you are in a moderate to heavy infestation zone would be to ask your Loan Officer. A good Loan Officer can tell you what zone you are in as well as explain what you need to do when you’re buying a home. If they tell you anything other than you have to do nothing and that they can take care of it for you, I would look around for another lender. You are not responsible for ordering a pest inspections.
What Termite Zone am I in?
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Who orders the VA Pest Inspection?
Anyone can order the pest inspection really. If you want to take it upon yourself to speed up the process, you can order it. However, the termite inspector will want to be paid. Generally this payment is done in advance. So unless the realtor, lender or seller wants to give up their credit card number, you should leave it to one of them to order the inspection. Generally the sellers order it since they are the ones that are required to have one in order to sell a home to a veteran doing VA financing.
Who is responsible for the Pest Inspection?
VA guidelines state that the Veteran is not responsible for pest inspections and is NOT to be charged for the pest inspection when purchasing a home. Who does? Answer: Anyone but the veteran. The realtor or lender can pay for it but primarily, the seller is responsible for paying for the pest inspection. There are non-allowable fees that the veteran can pay for in certain situations but this is not one of them.
What does the Termite Inspector look for?
The pest inspector looks at accessible areas of the house for signs of termite infestation. This includes attics and crawlspaces. Signs of pest infestation would include shelter tubes, exit holes and staining. He or she will also look for damaged wood and other materials.
Previous Extermination Treatments
Along with current damage, the inspector has to report if the home owner has had any prior pest treatments. Certain states actually require that the seller disclose any measures they took to rid the home of the termites.
What Happens if the House has Termites
The answer to this depends greatly on how bad the infestation is. Generally though, if inspector finds that the home is infested, or still has significant evidence of a previous infestation, he/she will simply recommend that the home owner treat the home to eliminate the pests. Once it’s treated, the report needs to be sent to the lender reflecting the house has been treated for termites. There are no guidelines as to what chemical is used to treat the termites or what type of treatment is required. It will be up to the pest company to decide what treatment is best suited for the level of infestation. However, if the infestation is extreme and possibly causing structural hazards, VA will not insure the loan which means you would not be able to purchase that home using your VA eligibility unless the structure of the house was repaired to meet VA’s approval.
Who pays for the Treatment if the Home is Infested?
This will depend greatly on the location of the home and what your contract says. Anyone can pay for the treatment. However, there are certain states that require the seller pay for repairs up to a certain limit. These repairs can include termite, septic or well repairs or treatments.
If you are a seller with a VA buyer, it would be wise of you to get an inspection right away to speed up the process and eliminate any headaches later. If you do it before the contract is ratified, you could include the cost in the price of the home if the market allows for it. Otherwise, you could be looking at a negotiation later and possibly cost yourself even more.
If you’re the buyer, you shouldn’t feel the need to immediately discount a home infested with pests. However you do need to educate yourself about the drawbacks and be aware of what you’re getting into before you sign the purchase agreement.