Pest Inspections For VA Loans: What’s Required And How They Work

4 Min Read
Updated July 18, 2024
Written By
Victoria Araj
Man leading a tour through an empty house.

Department of Veterans Affairs loans offer a number of perks on the road to homeownership for veterans, like offering low to no down payments, more relaxed credit requirements and limited closing costs. Another benefit of VA loans is their thorough VA loan inspection requirements. These aim to eliminate any problems with a home before you buy it. Additionally, you’ll be guaranteed that your new home is pest-free.

In more than 30 states, you’re required to get a VA pest inspection before you’re allowed to close on a home. If you’re refinancing with a VA Streamline, a pest inspection isn’t required – that is unless the appraiser notes any wood-destroying insect or pest problems.

Let’s dig deeper into the requirements for pest inspections and what to expect from the VA’s pest and termite inspection process.

How Pest And Termite Inspections For VA Loans Work

You can expect to get your pest inspection done around the same time as your VA home loan appraisal and inspection. Below is an overview of what the VA termite inspection process might look like:

  1. The independent VA appraiser will do a thorough pest inspection. They’ll look for any pest or termite infestation, along with any damage to the home from all wood-boring insects. They’ll check areas like your foundation, basement, crawl space and windows, as well as the entrances and exits of your home.
  2. The inspector may come back for a follow-up. The inspector may find the home is infested or still has damage from a previous infestation. If so, a follow-up inspection may be required.
  3. You’ll receive an inspection report. Once your inspection is complete, you’ll receive an inspection report with details of any relevant findings.
  4. Treatment will begin if necessary. The VA doesn’t specify who’s responsible for paying for treatment of termite damage or pest control. But some states and lenders require the seller to pay for repairs up to a certain dollar amount.
  5. The home may need reevaluation following treatment. If repairs or fumigations are needed, you may need to have the home reexamined once the treatment plan is complete.

What’s Your Goal?

VA Loan Termite Inspection Requirements By State

To qualify for a VA loan in certain states, you’ll need to hire a qualified pest control professional. Pest inspections for VA loans are required in all states except the following:

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

These are considered discretionary states. This means an inspection is needed only if the VA appraiser notes an issue during the appraisal process. In certain states, whether a pest inspection is needed is also based on what county or parish you live in.

In addition to a pest inspection, a VA loan will require a detailed VA appraisal in nondiscretionary states. The appraisal must confirm that there’s safe access to the property, a leak-free roof and that the property meets other safety requirements. Check your state’s guidelines to understand the property’s requirements in addition to a pest/termite inspection.

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Does The Seller Or Buyer Pay For The Pest Inspection?

The buyer, seller or lender can pay for the pest inspection for a VA loan. Previously, a common pain point for many buyers and sellers was that the VA home buyer wasn’t allowed to pay for the inspection themselves. This could make their offer less enticing compared to other non-VA loan offers because of the additional cost it posed to the seller.

In June 2022, the VA relaxed its guidelines. Now, veteran home buyers are allowed to pay for pest inspections for both home purchases and refinances.

This recent change removes a roadblock for VA buyers looking to make a competitive home offer. Any other necessary inspections can also be paid for by anyone involved in the transaction.

Please keep in mind that this revision doesn’t eliminate the requirements for an inspection – you’ll likely still need to get one. But it does allow you to speed up the buying process by paying for it yourself rather than waiting for someone else to foot the bill.

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What Does The Pest Inspection Cost For VA Loans?

Pest inspection for a VA home loan typically costs anywhere from $50 to $280. But costs can vary depending on your location, and inspections are sometimes offered at a different rate for veterans.

How Long Is The VA Termite Inspection Good For?

The VA recognizes a wood-destroying insect inspection for up to 90 days. This gives you time to finish the closing process and move into your new home. It’s important to note that this validity period is only for VA lending purposes. It doesn’t guarantee your home will stay pest-free for those 90 days. You can always check for recent changes regarding requirements for pest inspection on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

The Bottom Line

In short, every state has its own requirements as to whether a pest inspection is required for VA loans. Do your own research beforehand to know what to expect from the process and whether your county or parish has its own requirements.


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