4 Reasons to Get a Pest Inspection Before Buying a House

Couple touring home at inspection

A home inspection is a crucial first step during the home purchase process. It can tell you what may need attention before finalizing a contract, and that alone can save you thousands of dollars in repairs — maybe more.

Now, keep in mind, a home inspection does not cover every inch of your property. There are additional home assessments that can be completed outside of your standard inspection, including a pest inspection and rodent control.

Since a home purchase is one of the most significant financial investments you will make, you have to be absolutely sure that you are putting your money in the right house.

4 Benefits of Conducting a Pest Inspection

1. Helps you know the pest problems beforehand

If you can identify pest problems before moving in, you can take the necessary measures to address them. Conducting a pre-purchase pest inspection will help you know all about the existing or potential pest problems. A professional will also give you an estimate of how much you will have to spend to resolve the pest problem.

2. You can avoid future regret

Imagine spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new home and then realizing there is a pest infestation in the house. The outbreak could harm your family’s health and your property in general. Moreover, there will be added expenses to get rid of the pests.

A pre-purchase pest inspection gives you the confidence that you are investing in a pest-free house.

3. Gives you an upper hand in negotiations

Pre-pest control will help you assess the actual value of the property that you are considering buying. The inspection reports will help you judge if you are getting a good deal on the house or not.

If there are pests, you can negotiate with the seller to reduce the price of the house to cover what you will spend on pest control. Or, you ask for seller concessions to offset the potential costs. Better yet, you can request that they complete residential pest control and give you a pest-free house before you get to the closing table.

A pest inspection gives you the negotiating power and ensures you pay a fair price for the house.

4. Helps in uncovering hidden issues

There may be hidden issues in the house that may not be visible during the first inspection. Pest and pre-purchase building inspections will reveal all such problems, providing you with a complete picture of the investment.

These inspections help in identifying issues in the materials or construction of the house and highlight potential pest problems. You can make an informed purchasing decision based on the inspection reports.

Common Household Pests to Look For During Inspection

During the inspection, don’t just look for wood-damaging pests like termites. Look for the following insects and pests as well:

· Cockroaches: They tend to live in dark, warm places in the house and are known to carry many diseases. Get a cockroach control done if you find cockroaches in the home as they multiply very quickly, leading to severe cockroach infestation.

· Earwigs: They feed on plants, vegetables, flowers, and decaying organic matter.

· Rodents: They carry dangerous diseases that can be transmitted to humans. They also cause damage to the property by gnawing on wires and household items.

· Fleas and ticks: These pests will attack your pets and transfer diseases to them.

· Silverfish: They eat a wide range of household items that include food, fabrics, paper, and even things like glue. They tend to hide in closets, basements, and bookcases.

 Check for pests like spiders and stinging insects as well.

When is a pest inspection required?

Depending on your loan program, mortgage lender, home insurance policy, and the state you live in, a termite or pest inspection may be required before you can close on your new home.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, "Termite inspections are required on existing properties (when a VA loan is used for home financing) if they are located in an area where the probability of termite infestation is ‘very heavy’ or ‘moderate to heavy.’” While the VA doesn’t specify who is responsible for paying for termite and pest control, some states and lenders require the seller to pay for repairs up to a certain dollar amount.

The VA says that pest inspections are required in 39 states. Those that are not are labeled discretionary states, and a VA appraiser only moves forward with the process if they notice evident issues. The following do not require pest inspections under the VA:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Government-backed FHA loans require a termite inspection if the property or the region has signs of active termites. According to the National Association of Realtors, warmer climates tend to have more termite and wood-destroying insect activity, so you should expect an inspection may be required before you can close on your loan.

According to the FHAHandbook, "If the home appraiser flags the property for having signs of a termite inspection (or other damaging insects), the property must then be inspected by a professional pest control company. The pest control specialist would then treat the home, if necessary, to remove the wood-destroying insects. The mortgage lender must then ensure that the property is free of such pests."

The bottom line: Whether it’s a loan requirement or not, it is always in your best interest to consider a pest inspection before buying a house. While it is possible to search and eliminate the above culprits on your own, hiring residential pest control can offer you an integrated approach to pest management. You can feel confident that the house is in good condition before you make the final purchase, and you can feel at ease knowing you are moving into a clean and healthy environment. After settling down you can always follow some tips to keep your house pest-free along with regular pest inspections.

Author Bio:

When people find their homes and offices infested with pests, it is not uncommon for them to panic. That's why Raymond Web has taken the task to educate people on pest prevention and control strategies, helping them keep their surroundings healthy, safe, and pest-free. As the digital marketing manager for Take Care Termite and Pest Control, in Tracy, CA, he has an in-depth understanding of people and their pain points as a result of pests. 

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