One of the benefits of buying a home with a VA loan is that you’re guaranteed for it to be move-in ready. In other words, you’re not going to face unexpected leaks, sparks or surprises when you move in. You’ll also be guaranteed that your home is pest-free.
In more than 30 states, you’re required to get a pest inspection on the home you’re buying before you’re allowed to close. However, one of the biggest pain points for most buyers and sellers was that the home buyer wasn’t allowed to pay for the inspection. That is, until now.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has relaxed their guidelines to allow veterans to be able to pay for their pest inspections in the following states (for home purchases):
If a veteran or service member is buying a home with a VA loan and they live in a state other than those listed above, the inspection can’t be paid for by the veteran.
If you’re refinancing your home, there are no restrictions on who pays for the inspection, so that’s great news! If you’re getting a VA Streamline, a pest inspection won’t be required unless the appraiser makes note of a pest problem.
Please keep in mind that this doesn’t change the requirements for needing an inspection – you’ll likely still need to get one of those. But what these new developments do is allow you, as a veteran or service member, to speed up the home buying process by paying for it yourself rather than waiting for someone else.
Pest inspections are required in all states except the following:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
These are considered discretionary states, and an appraisal is needed only if the VA appraiser notes an issue during the appraisal process. It’s worth noting that, in certain states, whether a pest inspection is needed is also based on what county or parish you live in.
How The Inspection Works
The independent VA appraiser will look for any infestation or damage to the home from all wood-boring insects, most typically termites.
If the inspector finds that the home is infested or still has damage from a previous infestation, a follow-up inspection may be required. While the VA doesn’t specify who is responsible for paying for treatment of termite damage, some states and lenders require the seller to pay for repairs up to a certain dollar amount.
The pest inspection is the only one the VA sometimes requires that the seller pay for. Any other inspections that might be necessary, such as those for a roof or septic system, can be paid for by anyone who is involved in the transaction.
To find out more information about VA loan pest inspections, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our VA Home Loan Experts. You can also give them a call at (800) 785-4788. We’re here to help!