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House hunters often worry about the condition of older homes when it comes to termites. Learn what the VA requires for termite inspections.

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VA Loan Rules for Termite Inspections

Termites and what the VA labels "wood-destroying pests" can be a serious problem for home owners, buyers and sellers. House hunters often worry about the condition of older homes when it comes to these pests--in some cases rightfully so. How can an untrained observer tell whether or not a home has been damaged or infested by termites or other pests?

According to some experts, it's very difficult to spot unless there's obvious damage or infestation. Fortunately, VA loan rules are designed to protect the buyer and the property the VA borrower wants to purchase.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, "Termite inspections are required on existing properties if they are located in an area where the probability of termite infestation is "very heavy" or "moderate to heavy" according to the Termite Infestation Probability Map published in the International Residential Code."

If a borrower wants to buy a home in a region where termite problems are considered light or where such problems rarely occur, there is no requirement to have a termite inspection perfromed. Borrowers concerned about the home they want to buy would have to schedule an inspection, or contact the VA for assistance.

Borrowers with general concerns about termite problems--but with no evidence of damage or infestation--may need to arrange an inspection themselves.

When there is evidence of an actual problem, the VA rules state, "If there is a question about the location of an infestation probability boundary line in relation to the subject property, contact the Construction and Valuation Section at the VA Regional Loan Center of jurisdiction to determine if this requirement is applicable."

VA loan rules for termite inspections are different for condo projects. According to the VA, "A wood destroying insect inspection is required in low-rise and high-rise units only when the fee appraiser observes a potential problem." Contact the nearest VA Regional Loan Center near you to learn more about such requirements for VA condo loans: http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/rlcweb.asp.