One of the advantages of a VA loan is that it is guaranteed to be move-in ready. In other words, when you move in, you won’t encounter any unexpected leaks, sparks, or surprises. Furthermore, you will be assured that your property is pest-free. Before you can close on a VA loan, you must receive a pest inspection on the home you’re buying in more than 30 states. If you’re refinancing your house with a VA Streamline, you won’t need pest inspections unless the appraiser notices any wood-destroying organisms or pest problems. Let’s delve a little deeper into the pest inspection report, the cost, the VA loan, and what to expect during this stage of the house-buying process. Also covered will be how to prepare for a pest inspection.
Pest Inspection For VA Loan
Pest inspections help VA homebuyers determine that there is no major infestation or structural damage caused by pests, primarily termites, at the property they wish to acquire. Unlike a house inspection, which is always voluntary, a pest inspection is sometimes necessary to close on a VA loan.
What Pest Does The VA Loan Inspection Cover?
A wood-destroying insect and organism report (WDIOR) or wood-destroying insect report is required in most states. The report’s name varies per state. This report is generated following a pest inspection of the home.
Insects that eat wood might be a house’s worst adversary. A pest inspection for a VA loan may reveal an existing infestation or damage caused by previous infestations. It may also reveal circumstances that are prone to pest infestation.
Termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, old-house borers, powderpost beetles, and other pests may be found depending on where the home is located in the United States.
Who Pays for a VA Loan Pest Inspection?
In most areas, the buyer is not required to pay for the VA loan pest inspection (which is a termite inspection). VA borrowers can pay this cost while refinancing.
As part of the first mortgage loan application, the lender will ask for a copy of the invoice for the termite inspection, which shows who paid for the inspection. The cost can be borne by the lender, the realtor, or even the seller. Contact the VA Regional Loan Center where the home is located to find out if you don’t have to pay for the pest inspection.
How the VA Pest Loan Inspection Works
As was already said, properties in “high” or “moderate” termite likelihood zones will automatically need a VA pest loan inspection. If an independent VA appraiser finds any signs of a pest or termite infestation, pest inspections may also be needed.
Once the inspection has been ordered, an impartial inspector will come to the premises to determine whether or not there is an active infestation. They will also assess the amount of any past or present pest damage. The inspector’s findings will be documented in a report that will be submitted to the VA.
VA Loan Pest Inspection Requirements By State
Because the VA loan is a government loan, the pest inspection requirements differ by state. A few states are known as “discretionary states,” which demand an inspection only if the VA appraiser raises a concern during the process. In addition, in some states, the need for a pest inspection is determined by your county or parish. The states with discretion are:
- North Dakota (ND)
- Dakota State
Even if your state does not require a pest inspection, you don’t want little squatters taking up room or ruining your home. So, if you don’t want to be surprised later, it’s a good idea to have pest inspections done. Also, a pest inspection can give you the peace of mind that your home is free of bugs. If it isn’t, you can decide whether to proceed with the purchase or make repairs and treat the infestation.
Cost of Pest Inspection
The cost of a pest inspection varies depending on location, property size, and other considerations. In most cases, the cost of pest inspection is between $50 and $200.
How to Prepare for a Pest Inspection
The easiest approach to prepare for the pest inspection process is to eliminate any clutter from the yard and driveway and ensure that all of the home’s entrances are accessible. Some techniques to prepare for a pest inspection include:
The creepy crawlies must enter from the outside for there to be a pest infestation inside. Your inspector will look at the outside of your house to see if there are any signs of pests or places where they could get in. Prepare for this section of the inspection by making sure every foot of your outside walls is visible. Trim back any foliage that reaches the wall with your hedge clippers, and move any large things, such as garbage cans and garden hoses, at least 2 feet away from the wall. As a bonus, this will aid in the prevention of subsequent infestations.
#2. Bathrooms and Kitchens
Bugs enter to have quick access to food and water. Your inspector will want to look for leaks in places like under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. To make it easy to assess the space, remove items like trashcans and cleaning materials from these areas.
#3. Utility Area
Your inspector will evaluate the area around your water heater in the same way that he or she would inspect your kitchen or bathroom for potential leaks. To make the area more accessible, remove the stuff from it. This will not only assist your inspector, but it will also protect your family from fire. After your inspection is through, try to keep the clutter to a minimum.
Your inspector will also inspect your garage if you have one. Long-term storage goods should be moved away from the walls and into the middle of the room, as in other sections of your home. While any pest can create a home in your garage, rats are especially interested in this area, especially if your garbage can or pet food is immediately accessible.
Insects and rodents can live in a variety of places in your basement. Clothing, blankets, and books that aren’t stored in sealed containers can provide a cozy, haven for a variety of pests. In addition to moving stuff away from the walls, don’t be surprised if your inspector looks for signs of insects and rodents in open or cardboard boxes.
If your attic is not completely sealed from the outside, rodents such as squirrels can easily gain entrance to your property. Your inspector will want to know how to get into the attic. They will want to know if there is a built-in ladder to the top level of your home with supported flooring or if they have to bring their ladder to look at the unfinished space.
#7. Crawl Area
If your home has a crawl space, the inspector will ask to see this area, which may be hard to get to. Find the access point on your own and make sure nothing is in the way.
Pest Inspection Report
As a home buyer, you need to know how to read the pest inspection report correctly so that any immediate problems can be fixed and any future problems can be planned for.
What’s Included in a Pest Inspection Report?
When the inspection is over, you should receive a pest inspection report outlining the present state of the property you’re buying or selling. The report will list any problems with the house and make suggestions for how to fix them, which could be important for a contingent offer. This could be a one-time visit from an exterminator or a long-term plan to fix up the home after major damage.
If the house is in bad shape, your pest report may also recommend additional inspection of the most damaged areas, which can help ensure that larger problems are fully addressed before you transfer the title and deed.
What the Pest Inspection Report for Closing Covers
Typically, the inspection is completed within 30 days of the closing. If the closing is delayed, another pest inspection report may be required to guarantee that it falls within the 30-day deadline.
The following information is included in the Pest Inspection Report:
- If observable evidence of a wood-destroying organism (WDO) infestation was found during the inspection.
- Whether the inspection revealed evidence of an active or dormant infestation of the particularly listed wood-damaging organisms.
- Structure areas that were occluded or inaccessible during the inspection.
- Any infestation-prone circumstances for wood-destroying organisms discovered during the inspection.
- Whether or if the inspection firm treated the structure for any of the mentioned wood-destroying organisms, and, if so, whether or not the present treatment guarantee, if any, is transferable to a subsequent owner.
What Is Included In a Pest Inspection
A pest inspection consists of a thorough scan of a home’s inside and exterior, with specific attention paid to areas that are most prone to attracting unwanted household pests. Pest inspectors may do extra checks in crawl spaces, basements, attics, and garages, as well as any other easy-to-access places, like holes in the walls or problems with the foundation.
However, there are numerous more red indicators that the inexperienced eye may overlook. Wood-destroying insects such as termites and carpenter bees can cause damaged wood that looks like wet or dry rot. Small collections of bug droppings frequently indicate active pest colonies, but nibbling traces on furniture may indicate mice and rats.
The temperature of your area might provide inspectors with an even better understanding of the species most likely to construct a nest in your home. Moisture, for example, draws centipedes, ants, and cockroaches, all of which are more prone to infest moist homes.
Pest Inspection When Buying a House
A pest inspection will almost certainly be required as part of the mortgage process when buying a house. The house inspector examines the property for potential damage and safety issues such as fractured foundations and moisture control, but not for unwelcome pests.
A pest inspection is done separately from your home inspection. It looks for common pests like ants and moths, as well as mice, scorpions, or snakes, depending on where you live. A termite infestation is the most dangerous pest problem a house may face. Termites and other organisms that eat wood will require pest control and can cause expensive damage to your home’s structure.
Homeowners’ insurance typically does not cover pest issues, so you should consider getting a pest inspection before buying a house. Pest inspections may be necessary depending on the state, county, or even the lender. It’s a tiny price to pay in the long run—a pest inspection may only cost $100, whereas pest management services can cost thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the infestation.
Do I Need a Pest Inspection If I’m Buying a House?
A pest inspection is not the same as a home inspection. A house inspector can point out specific areas of damage on a property, but only a pest inspector can identify if there are unwanted pests, the size of the infestation, and how long it has been present.
Some governments, counties, and lenders may require a pest inspection before buying a house. For example, if you want a VA loan and the VA thinks your house is in an area where termites are common, you will have to go through a pest inspection.
Pest inspections can put your mind at ease by making sure that no unwanted critters are causing damage or getting into your home. In some places, you need a VA pest inspection to get a VA mortgage loan. It can also give you peace of mind that your house is clean, safe, and not falling apart because of bugs.
The standards for VA loan pest inspection vary by state, as does who pays for the inspection. As a result, you must do your homework before scheduling an inspection so that you know what to expect during the process. It’s also a good idea to become acquainted with the various requirements for your county or parish.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is a pest control inspection?
The cost of a pest inspection can range from $75 to several hundred dollars, depending on the size of the home and the pest treatment business. Remember that the inspection fee does not cover the cost of any treatment that may be recommended if the property has an infestation.
How often are pest vermin inspections?
A pest inspection should be performed at least once a year, but if our professionals discover a severe pest infestation, not just termites, they may recommend a follow-up inspection 3-4 weeks after the first visit, with additional follow-up inspections every 3-6 months.
Who is best for termite inspection?
Orkin is the industry’s oldest and most well-known termite treatment company, giving it an advantage over the others on this list. Orkin is likely to respond to termite infestations faster than competitors, although emergency treatment can be costly.
What should you do if you suspect a possible pest infestation?
If you encounter a pest or see signs of a pest infestation, you should contact a pest control operator. Report the time, date, and location of any pest sightings or alerts to your PCO.
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