Getting a VA Mortgage: Pest Inspection Requirements - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Spring is one of the most popular times to buy a home. With mortgage rates as crazy low as they are right now, a VA mortgage is a great option, especially with all of its benefits – like no down payment.

If you’re in the market for a new home and you are or have been a U.S. service member or you’re a veteran’s surviving spouse, you’re eligible for a VA loan.

This loan was created as part of President Roosevelt’s G.I. Bill in 1944 and is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

VA Requirements

While VA loans have more relaxed guidelines than other mortgages, there are some requirements that are specific to VA loans, like wood-boring pest inspections. Unless you’re getting a VA streamline refinance, pest inspections are required in all states except Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

However, the rules are different for condos. If you are purchasing a mid- or high-rise condo, pest inspections are not required unless the appraiser notices evidence of wood-destroying pests. First floor condo units are subject to the same pest requirements as a single-family home.

If you do live in an area where pest inspections are required, it’s helpful to know what the inspector will be looking for.

How the Inspection Works

This inspection looks for infestation/damage to the home from wood-boring insects. The inspector will usually be working off of a Wood Destroying Insect Inspection Report, often called a termite letter. It specifies the inspection guidelines and will show the inspector’s findings.

Accessible Areas

The pest inspector looks at every accessible area of the home, including attics and crawlspaces, for signs of pest infestation like 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. Some states actually require that the seller discloses whatever measures they took to get rid of the termites.

Treatment Plan

When the VA inspector finds that the home is infested, or still has significant evidence of a previous infestation, he/she will probably recommend that the home owner treat the home to exterminate the pests. The seller is required to pay for a VA pest inspection; however the seller, lender or realtor can pay for any needed repairs.

If you’re selling your home to a veteran, especially if you know you have termite problems, proactively preparing for the inspection and consequential treatments should help move the process along.

If you’re the buyer, you don’t have to immediately discount a home with pests, but you do need to educate yourself about the drawbacks and be aware of what the risks are before moving forward.

If you have any questions or additional knowledge about VA pest inspections, don’t hesitate to speak up!


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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. We already purchased our home with a va loan. Our realtor said nothing about a pest report and none was done. We have been living in the home for 3 months now and our va lender called and said no pest report was done and it has to be done. Who pays for it? We have discovered we have bats and squirrels and chipmunks in our house, I joke and say the house came with its own pets. Who will pay to get rid of them?

    1. Hi Jo,

      You are the one responsible to pay for the inspection. It should have been done during the inspection portion of the contract where you could have negotiated with the sellers to pay for any treatment or another type of concession. Now that you own the home you are also responsible for treatment. I hope this helps.

  2. Hi, we’re refinancing our house through VA loan refi, and we need to do a pest inspection. We live in Illinois , can you or could you please recommend if you know of any pest inspectors in the northern part of Illinois ( we live close to the border of Illinois / Wisconsin ; Wadsworth / Kenosha areas) who would charge reasonably. We live in town , never had termites, never had treatments, no signs of termites.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Gale:

      I’m going to forward this to one of our Home Loan Experts. I know the inspector must fill out certain forms, but I’m not sure if they have to be approved by the VA in order to do the inspection. Someone will reach out.

      Kevin Graham

  3. I’m trying to find out what the requirement are for a new construction home and what is that inspection process. What is the builder required to do?

    1. Hi Ricky:

      There are a number of requirements as far as inspection on a VA loan. I’m going to have someone reach out to you more details.

      Kevin Graham

  4. I live in north east Nevada and we have NO termites in this neck of the woods but they’re telling me a VA re-fi requires one how far away will I have to reach out for an inspection

    1. Great question, Leah. We will have your processing team reach out to you with additional information regarding that. Have a great Labor Day weekend!

  5. Is there a specific form that needs to be filled out for the termite report or is just the general termite report acceptable?

    1. Hi Melody! For existing homes the pest inspection must be on either the NPMA-33 form or a State Approved form. Hope that helps! If you have any other questions, let me know!

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