No one wants to share their home with unwelcome critters, but did you know there’s a way to identify the problem before it becomes an infestation?
While you’re probably familiar with home inspections, you may not have heard of a pest control inspection. This specialized inspection provides a thorough examination of your property to evaluate signs of critters and provide recommendations for dealing with them.
The process of buying a house has many steps. The last thing you want is to add an unnecessary hurdle for yourself. Whether or not your home purchase requires a pest inspection will depend on the type of mortgage you have and where you live.
But even if a pest inspection isn’t required, it can still be a good idea to get one.
Even when you’re not selling or buying a house, if you notice signs that you’re hosting unwanted guests, you don’t need to wait for an appraiser or mortgage lender to tell you to get an inspection. Booking a pest inspection is an effective way to deal with it head on.
In some instances, your appraiser may require a pest inspection if they notice signs of an infestation.
Not all mortgages require pest inspections. VA loans, however, require these inspections in certain states and counties that they deem to be at high risk of termite infestation. Termites thrive in warm, moist climates, which puts most of the U.S. at risk. If your state isn’t listed below, you’re required to undergo a pest control inspection as a part of your homebuying process.
If you live in the following states, you are not required to get a pest inspection as a part of your VA loan unless otherwise stipulated by your appraiser:
If you live in one of the states listed below, whether or not you need a pest inspection as a part of your VA loan will depend on what county you’re in. Your mortgage officer can help you determine if a pest inspection is necessary for your property.
Your pest management professional will examine your home's interior and exterior while evaluating any damage or signs of hidden damage from pest activity. The most common tip-offs include indications of moisture, droppings, wings, and tunneling.
Some of the pests that your inspector will look for include:
Depending on where you live, regional pests — like scorpions or rattlesnakes — may also be included in your pest control inspection. Note that this is not an all-inclusive list: You may require a specialized inspection for more particular pests, such as bed bugs.
After your inspection, you will receive a report with a breakdown of the inspection that notes problem areas and recommended treatments.
On average, a pest inspection will cost around $100 but may be more expensive depending on the size of the house. Most major pest control companies offer free quotes unless your inspection is tied to a home sale. If you prefer to use a smaller, local company, make sure to ask how much a quote is before requesting one.
You may be able to save money if you bundle your home inspection with your pest inspection. This option isn’t always available, but if it is, an experienced real estate agent should be able to refer you to a trusted inspector.
Who ends up footing the bill for the pest inspection will depend on your mortgage. For VA loans, the seller or lender will pay for the inspection unless the sale is taking place in one of the following states:
If the home is located in one of the states above, the seller, lender, or buyer can pay for the pest inspection.
If the pest inspection isn’t required for your mortgage, who pays for it may be something to negotiate with the sellers. Talk to your real estate agent to see if it’s something that could be covered through seller concessions.
Just like in your home inspection, your pest inspector will need access to the interior and exterior of your home. Their on-site examination can last anywhere from an hour to two and a half hours, but the timeframe will depend on the size and complexity of your home.
Follow the steps below to ensure an efficient and easy inspection:
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