VA Home Loan Questions: What About Termite Inspections?
When it comes to VA appraisals, minimum property requirements and VA regulations on “wood destroying pests”, the VA only requires pest inspections on existing construction when there’s a “moderate to heavy” potential for infestation.
How does the Department of Veterans Affairs know where such potential lies? Borrowers might not know there’s a resource called a Termite Probability Map, which can be found in the International Residential Code. This map identifies areas with potential for moderate to heavy termite or wood-destroying pest problems.
But termite problems must also be looked into if the VA assigned appraiser discovers evidence of termites. The appraiser won’t look the other way when there is a problem manifesting itself. Not all appraisers know all the signs of termites, but a noticeable condition will be reported.
Some pest problems can reside in a gray area–what about an infestation near the “boundary line”? If a property isn’t technically located in a moderate-to-heavy infestation area, is an inspection required? There’s a judgment call to be made for a home close to, but not directly in, an infestation area. In such cases the VA has the final say—according to VA regulations, “Contact the Construction and Valuation Section at the VA Regional Loan Center of jurisdiction to determine if this requirement is applicable.”
As stated above, even if the home is not located in a known termite zone, that doesn’t mean a problem does not exist. If the appraiser spots termites or other pests, it becomes an issue that must be corrected as per VA regulations. When an termite inspection is required the inspection company must file the proper forms with the VA. If pest control measures are required, those measures must be properly documented.