The VA needs to know that a home a veteran buys is a good risk. In other words, they need to know that it is safe and sound. They don’t want veterans buying a home that needs a lot of work or has any type of damage, including pest damage.
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Because finding the presence of pests is not something the amateur can do, many people assume the VA requires a pest inspection. This is true, but not for all homes. The VA requires the pest inspection on homes that are in an area with high infestation. You can
ask your lender if the area is an area of high infestation.
If the home is in an area of ‘low infestation,’ the VA does not require a pest inspection. If the home is in an area where the likelihood of infestation is moderate to heavy, the VA does require a pest inspection.
Note that this is separate from a home inspection. The home inspector checks out all other areas of the home. He may look for pest damage, but he is not certified to do a thorough pest inspection when there is a chance of infestation.
Paying for the Pest Inspection
The VA does not allow borrowers to pay for the pest inspection. In most cases, the seller has to cover the cost. This is the case in all state, except Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas.
What the veteran can pay for, however, is the treatment necessary if the inspection proves that there are pests. This is often necessary before you can close on the VA loan. The VA won’t allow a lender to close on a
home that has serious issues that could cause problems down the road.
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This does mean that you may pay for repairs on a home before you own it. If something happens and the sale falls through, you won’t get that money back. This could be a serious risk, especially if the repairs are extensive.
What Inspectors Look For
During a pest inspection, inspectors look for pests themselves or signs that they were there before. They pay close attention to dark and damp areas, such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces. They look for the obvious, such as termite damaged wood or signs of exit holes or staining.
If the inspector finds damage and treatment is necessary, the inspector must come back out and provide proof that the treatment was successful. The inspector must send the lender a formal report stating that the issue has been resolved.
One area that no one can get around is if the pests caused structural damage. This type of damage is costly and labor intensive. The VA won’t allow a borrower to pay money for these types of changes before they own the home and the VA also won’t approve a loan on a home with structural damage. The only way to buy the home is if the seller makes the repairs in a timely manner and proves them to the lender.
It may seem like a pain that the VA often requires a pest inspection, but it’s for your own protection. You need to know that the home is free of any costly damage and is safe for you and your family to reside in it.
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