Home inspections are a significant part of purchasing a home. These inspections may include general inspections, radon inspections, pest inspections, and others. A “pest inspection” in real estate is usually a report on wood destroying organisms (WDO) or insects (WDI) that includes a termite inspection. When applying for a VA home loan, it’s important to learn about wood destroying insect reports (WDIRs) and understand why they could be required.
VA Loan Requirements
If you want to buy a property or do a mortgage refinance, the VA might ask for a termite inspection to make sure the property is safe and stable. Starting June 2022, the VA will require inspections for houses located in termite-infested areas. Make sure to check if you live in one of these areas to fulfill the mortgage process requirements.
VA Loan Termite Inspections Requirements by State
Termites pose a significant threat to properties, leading to massive losses in value and posing serious safety hazards. Consequently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requires a termite inspection for VA home loans in the majority of states. That being said, the requirements vary by state with some states having more rigid standards than others.
When getting VA loan approval, make sure to check the termite inspection requirements in your state and follow them. Even if your state doesn’t require a VA-mandated inspection, it’s still a good idea to get one to protect your investment.
- Michigan (not required all counties)
- New Hampshire (not required in all counties)
- New York (not required in all counties)
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- Vermont (not required in all counties)
- Wisconsin (not required in all counties)
To obtain a VA home loan, it’s important to know the termite inspection requirements in your area. Even if your state is not listed as requiring an inspection, it may still be necessary. It’s crucial to stay informed on local processes and requirements, as they can change over time.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a list of VA loan termite inspection requirements for each state. This helps you follow the rules and get the most out of your VA home loan.
The VA doesn’t require a Wood-Destroying Insect Inspection (WDI) in some states. However, this doesn’t mean that termites or other wood-destroying pests aren’t present in those areas. To make sure you have all the information you need, it’s a good idea to get a complete WDI inspection report before buying a home, even if you’re following VA policies.
Pests Covered in a VA Loan Inspection
A VA loan inspection, also known as a Wood Destroying Insect Inspection (WDI), is specifically designed to identify the presence of wood-destroying pests in a property. While the specific pests covered may vary depending on the house’s location, the following are the most commonly encountered wood-destroying insects during a VA loan inspection:
- Termites: These insects are notorious for causing significant damage to wooden structures. Subterranean and drywood termites are the two primary types you may encounter during an inspection.
- Carpenter ants: Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not consume wood but instead excavate it to create their nests. They can cause considerable damage to wooden structures over time if left unchecked.
- Carpenter bees: Similar to carpenter ants, carpenter bees bore into wood to create nesting sites. They may cause cosmetic damage to wood surfaces and structural damage if infestations are extensive.
- Old-house borers: These beetles prefer older, seasoned wood, hence their name. Their larvae bore into the wood, creating tunnels and causing structural damage over time.
- Powderpost beetles: As their name suggests, these beetles can turn wood into a fine, powder-like substance. They typically infest hardwoods, like flooring and furniture, and can cause significant damage if not addressed promptly.
What to Expect During a VA Loan Termite Inspection
A specialist will look at the inside of the home, including the attic and crawl space, during a termite inspection required for a VA loan. They’ll check for visible and accessible areas. The inspector will look for signs of wood-destroying insects and conditions that may attract these pests.
These signs may include damaged wood and frass, discarded wings, and mud tubes. Identifying different termite species and other wood-destroying insects is also important in recommending an effective treatment plan.
What an Inspector Will Look for During Home Purchases
A professional inspector will check inside and outside of the home to look for wood damage and conditions that attract pests to detect these pests. The resulting report can have different names, depending on your state’s regulations. Getting a VA termite inspection can help prevent undetected damage to your home caused by wood-destroying insects.
Home inspections for termites or other wood-destroying insects are mandatory across most states. The title of the report, however, may differ depending on the state in question.
Paying for a VA Loan Pest Inspection
For VA loans, a pest inspection, also called a Wood Destroying Insect (WDI) inspection, is necessary when refinancing or purchasing a property. The cost of this inspection can vary depending on the inspector, property size, and location. Generally, the inspection fee ranges from $50 to $150, although it can be higher in certain areas or for larger properties.
It’s essential to note that some states have specific regulations regarding who can pay for the pest inspection in a VA loan transaction. In certain states, the seller is required to cover the cost of the inspection. However, in other states, the buyer can negotiate with the seller to determine who will pay for the inspection.
If the pest inspection reveals any issues, additional treatment costs may be incurred to address the infestation. These treatment costs can also vary depending on the extent of the infestation, the type of pest, and the chosen treatment method. As with the inspection cost, the responsibility for covering these treatment expenses can be negotiated between the buyer and the seller.
It’s always a good idea to consult with your VA loan specialist or real estate agent to understand the specific rules and regulations in your state and how they may impact your transaction.
Expiration and Limitations
A period of inspection is necessary to fulfill the pest or termite inspection prerequisites for a VA loan. The inspection only shows if there are any visible signs of wood-destroying insects during the inspection. It is not a warranty or guarantee that your home will be pest-free during the inspection or after. The termite inspection is considered valid for 90 days by the VA.
Requirements for Condo and Townhome VA Loans
Condos and townhomes require a termite inspection before purchasing. However, in certain situations, the inspection may be waived. Requirements for condos and townhomes vary by state
It’s important to check with your local VA loan center to see which guidelines apply to your situation. Guidelines for VA loans on condos and townhomes can vary by state.
Protect Your Home with a VA Termite Inspection
Wood-destroying insects are not the only type of pests that can harm the wood in your home. Several organisms can similarly destroy the wood and lead to significant damages. To determine what type of pest is infesting your home, a termite inspection is needed. A professional will inspect the inside and outside of your home for visible wood damage, and figure out what caused it.
Why You Should Get Your Home Inspected Annually, Even if It’s Not Required
Having your home inspected annually is a smart decision to make. Even if it’s not required, it’s still recommended. This advice holds true for both homebuyers and homeowners.
Termites can cause extensive and expensive damages and they are constantly feeding and foraging around your neighborhood. For this reason, experts recommend that every homeowner should have an annual termite inspection.
The cost for termite treatment and damage repair can be considerable, as we’ve previously mentioned. Buying a home without an inspection could result in a significant financial loss. If homeowners don’t get regular inspections, they might not notice infestations in their house. This could result in expensive repairs while living in the house, or before selling it.
Investing in your own home is a significant financial decision for many individuals. It’s important not to compromise or take any shortcuts during this process.
If you’re applying for a VA loan or other type of home loan, it’s a good idea to schedule a pest inspection. This will give you a better understanding of any pests that may be present in the home. On Demand Pest Control offers termite inspections for current homeowners seeking pest control, prevention, or protection. Book your appointment now.