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A pest inspection usually takes place around the same time as a home inspection or appraisal. In fact, one of the instances it might be required is when an appraiser observes signs of a potential pest problem. However, as a homeowner, you can have a pest inspection done whenever you’re worried you might have an issue.
Typically, pest inspection and mitigation services are provided by the same types of companies that do extermination. If you suspect a problem and you can visually see where it’s coming from, it may be possible to do some DIY inspection and mitigation. However, this is something that’s often best left to pros. If required to get an inspection for your mortgage, a professional will be required.
Let’s take a deeper dive into what’s involved in the inspection next.
A trained pest inspector will look through the interior and exterior of your home for all manner of critters that could be a hazard. Depending on the region you live in, these include but aren’t limited to the following:
Insects and other pests get into your house somehow, usually by exploiting and/or causing structural damage to your home. The inspector will look for evidence of damaged floorboards, baseboards, walls, siding and more. After rooting out the pests from their hiding place, the structural damage will have to be fixed.
Once the inspector is done, they’ll issue a pest inspection report which is given to the appraiser. Although states have different forms and pests they look for based on the climate, they do share some common elements.
Each inspection form will give a brief overview of the pests found. They’ll also discuss where they were found and any damage done. Finally, they’ll go over necessary treatments.
In the vast majority of instances, the problem needs to be treated and any damage caused by the infestation needs to be repaired to the satisfaction of the inspector before you can move forward with the loan if the inspector or appraiser had previously noted the problem. They’ll do another inspection to verify that the problem has been taken care of.
Most pest inspections usually take between 30 minutes to an hour to complete. However, the actual length could be longer depending on a variety of factors, including what they have to look for, the square footage and the actual layout of the house. For example, if you have a crawlspace or attic that is harder to access, that can take some additional time.
The paperwork also has to be sent to your mortgage company and that might take a day or two to process. Beyond that, if damage repair or mitigation is required, it depends on how quickly you can get that scheduled. Once completed, another inspection to confirm damage repair and eradication of the problem is usually necessary. But the faster you get the damage repaired, the easier it can be.
According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of a termite and pest inspection is about $100. However, the cost can vary quite a bit depending on the size of the home and what’s being inspected for. Additionally, sometimes you might be able to get a bundle deal if you also have a regular home inspection done with the same company.
With most loan options, it doesn’t matter who pays for the pest inspection. The one that’s different is the VA, and that’s important because it’s also the only loan where pest inspection is typically required.
Beyond that, no one wants to share their home with uninvited guests, particularly if those guests have more than four legs. Getting an inspection is well worth it for peace of mind alone. You’ll be making sure you have a place that’s clean and safe to live in.
Finally, if an appraiser deems it necessary and you don’t end up getting a home inspection, you may not be able to get a mortgage.
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions regarding home pest inspections.
There are a few situations in which a pest inspection may be required. A professional pest inspection will likely be required.
In most cases, the seller will cover the cost of a pest inspection. Covering this cost can help both the buyer and seller identify any present issues, lowering stress in the long run.