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What is the Requirements for the VA Loan Termite Inspection?

VA Loan Termite Inspection:

Despite their small size, termites pack a powerful punch, causing significant damage to homes. Orkin reports that these pests are responsible for harming approximately 600,000 residences annually. Homeowners end up spending around $5 billion every year to combat these destructive insects and safeguard their homes. This is the primary reason many mortgage lenders, including those offering VA loans, mandate a termite inspection prior to home purchase. States prone to termite infestations often require VA loan termite inspections. For those utilizing a VA home loan, understanding the termite inspection process and its prerequisites is crucial.

Understanding VA Loan Pest Inspections

Opting for a VA loan to buy your home necessitates undergoing a termite inspection as part of the process. The requirement for such an inspection varies by state and county, guided by the Termite Infestation Probability Map issued by the Council of American Building Officials (CABO). This map identifies regions with frequent termite problems, with areas experiencing heavy or moderate infestations likely needing an inspection.

However, it’s noteworthy that some states and specific counties exempt home buyers from pest inspections for these types of mortgages.

For homeowners considering a VA Streamline refinance or IRRRL, an inspection isn’t mandatory unless the appraiser suspects a pest issue.

Pest inspections for a VA loan generally coincide with the appraisal or home inspection phase.

Executing a Thorough Inspection

Should the appraiser deem it necessary, a detailed inspection by your independent VA appraiser will ensue, checking for any pests that might pose a risk to your property, including:

  • Bedbugs
  • Carpenter ants
  • Spiders
  • Snakes
  • Rodents
  • Scorpions
  • Moths
  • Termites

This examination extends to wood damage within and around your property, like baseboards and siding.

Delivering a Comprehensive Inspection Report

Upon completing the inspection, the inspector provides the appraiser with an exhaustive pest inspection report. Depending on the locale, forms might vary due to climate differences and pest types common to the area.

Nonetheless, the reports share similarities, offering a summary of detected pests, their locations, and any resultant damage. Recommendations for necessary treatments to address these findings are also included.

Proposing Specific Solutions for Detected Damage and Pests

In cases where damage from past or current infestations is found, a follow-up pest inspection may be required. Typically, any issues highlighted in the report must be addressed and resolved in accordance with VA loan guidelines. A subsequent inspection ensures all measures meet the requisite living standards.

Who Covers the Cost of the Termite Inspection? The expense of a termite inspection can be borne by the buyer, seller, or lender under many home loan agreements. Following a recent update to VA policies, the home buyer is also eligible to shoulder this cost for the pest inspection. Typically, the price for a pest inspection ranges between $50 and $280, as reported by Home Advisor, with variations depending on the home’s size and the inspection scope. Discounts may be available if the pest inspection is bundled with a standard home inspection.

It’s important to note that the responsibility for the inspection cost doesn’t automatically fall on the veteran or servicemember. The cost is negotiable, potentially being covered by the seller or lender upon agreement.

State-Specific VA Loan Termite Inspection Guidelines Given the VA loan’s governmental nature, termite inspection mandates differ across states. Several states, known as “discretionary” states, require an inspection only if flagged by the VA appraiser. The requirement for a pest inspection also varies by county or parish within certain states. The discretionary states include:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Nonetheless, irrespective of state-specific requirements, conducting a pest inspection is advisable to avoid unwelcome surprises. It ensures the property is free from pests, offering peace of mind or an opportunity to address any issues before proceeding with the purchase.

Validity Period of a Termite Inspection for VA Loans For VA loans, a termite inspection report is valid for a minimum of 90 days. This duration provides ample time for new homeowners to finalize the moving and closing procedures. However, it’s worth noting that this timeframe, set by VA lending criteria, does not guarantee the home will remain pest-free throughout.

Summary: State Variability in VA Loan Pest Inspections 

Pest inspections are essential for ensuring your future home is devoid of invasive pests, contributing to peace of mind. While some states mandate a VA termite inspection for mortgage eligibility, the inspection offers reassurance of a pest-free, structurally sound home.

As the prerequisites for VA loan termite inspections are state-dependent, it’s critical to research and understand the specific requirements for your location. Familiarizing yourself with county specific regulations can also be beneficial. 


Picture of Reed Letson

Reed Letson

Reed offers two decades of expertise as a mortgage broker, focusing on veterans and first-time home buyers. With a strong grasp of real estate and mortgage markets, he empowers clients with practical insights. Reed's passion is guiding clients to build wealth through real estate investments and financing solutions.

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