VA appraisals

VA Home Loan Questions: What About Termite Inspections?

November 10, 2011


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.

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  1. Donna Rowland

    Good morning. My husband is a vietnam vet and we purchased our home in Florida this past June with a VA loan. It is a 5 year old house and we had a clear WDO report. We found material in all of the custom cabinets when we moved in that we thought was just the inside of kids toys or some other material and a few months later when it continued to reappear did some internet research. Found that it was drywood termite frass that was confirmed by the service that did our treatment for subterranean termites. Contacted the WDO inspector who said "they must have done good job of cleaning up, because I missed it." He has offered to drill cabinets and charge us accordingly. In the past week waiting for him to contact us, the termites have swarmed. These custom cabinets cost the previous owner $25,000 and they are located in 4 rooms of our house including the garage. Floor to ceiling entertainment center, built in desks, dressers, etc. What can we do? If someone told us that we could get out of this home sale, we would do it. This is not our final home. My husband's work here ends next year and our last child at home graduates high school June 2014, so we are quite concerned about resale value. We would appreciate any help you could give us. Thank you, Donna and Barry Rowland

    • Joe Wallace

      I would call the VA directly at 1-800 827-1000 for assistance in this matter as soon as possible.

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