Is a Termite Inspection Required for a Conventional Loan?

Pest inspector looking for termitesWhen purchasing a home, it's crucial to consider various inspections to ensure the property is in good condition and free from any hidden issues. One inspection that often comes up is the termite inspection, especially when obtaining a conventional loan. Termite damage can be extensive and costly, making it essential to identify and address any infestation early on. In this article, we will explore the importance of termite inspections for conventional loans, the requirements involved, and how they protect homebuyers from potential risks. Understanding these aspects will help you navigate the homebuying process with confidence and make informed decisions.

What is a termite inspection?

A termite inspection assesses your home's condition to determine whether any active termite infestations, damage, or conditions conducive to termite infestations are present. Typically, licensed and certified pest control professionals who have received training in spotting termite activity signs conduct termite inspections.

Why is a termite inspection necessary?

A termite inspection is necessary because it helps you detect potential termite damage, which can lead to costly repairs. Since termite damage can be extensive, it's essential to have a professional assess the property to ensure that it is structurally sound. Moreover, termite issues are not always visible to the untrained eye, making it essential to rely on the expertise of a professional pest control service.

Who is responsible for scheduling a termite inspection?

Typically, the homebuyer is responsible for scheduling the termite inspection as part of their due diligence before purchasing the property. However, the seller may also arrange and pay for one to be done. Sometimes, the home buyer and seller may negotiate to share the inspection cost, depending on the circumstances.

How is a termite inspection performed?

The inspection process typically begins with a visual check of the exterior and interior of the property. The inspector will then check all accessible areas of the home, including attics, basements, crawl spaces, and wood structures. Sometimes, the inspector will drill small holes into wood structures to check for dry rot or termite activity. If the inspector discovers any termite activity or damage, they will prepare a detailed report outlining recommendations for repair.

Are termite inspections required for conventional loans?

Conventional loans often necessitate termite inspections, so most lenders request a termite inspection report before issuing a mortgage. It's essential to be sure the inspection report is up-to-date when the lender calls for it since these reports usually remain valid for 90 days. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not necessitate a pest inspection, though lenders may demand one before handing out the mortgage funds.

Why do lenders require termite inspections for conventional loans?

For lenders, a termite inspection is a must to reduce the risk posed. Termites' damage can be expensive to fix and even compromise the structural integrity of the house. It is why the lender offers funds to purchase the houseā€”to safeguard their investment.

Therefore, a termite inspection is vital to protecting the lender's interest. Without it, the lender could have to pay for expensive repairs and risk the stability of the property. All in all, this is why lenders must conduct a termite inspection: to protect their investment when purchasing a home.

Are there any exceptions to the termite inspection requirement?

In some cases, if the appraiser's home appraisal does not note any signs of termite activity or damage, the lender may waive the requirement for a termite inspection. However, it's not always guaranteed, and lenders will require an inspection even if it's not indicated.

What if a termite infestation is found during the inspection?

If a termite infestation is found during the inspection, the lender will likely require a termite report and may refuse to provide the loan until the issue is resolved. The homebuyer must work with a licensed pest control service to eradicate the problem and pay for the required repairs. The lender may require a follow-up inspection to ensure that repairs have been made and the infestation has been eradicated.

What is the difference between a termite inspection and a general home inspection?

While both inspections are essential when buying a property, they serve different purposes.

What is included in a general home inspection?

A general home inspection covers the critical systems and components of the home, including the foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical system, heating and cooling system, and more. A general home inspection aims to identify any problems or issues that may affect the home's habitability, the health and safety of the occupants, and the home's overall value.

What is included in a termite inspection?

On the other hand, a termite inspection focuses specifically on detecting the presence of termites and any current or potential damage caused by an infestation. The inspector will also look for conditions that could lead to infestations, such as moisture or wood-to-soil contact.

Do I need both a general home inspection and a termite inspection?

While it's not a requirement, it's highly recommended that potential homebuyers invest in a general home inspection and a termite inspection. Both inspections are critical for identifying any issues that may affect the habitability and value of the home.

What are the consequences of not getting a termite inspection?

The consequences of not getting a termite inspection can be severe. You may not be aware of termite activity or damage, which can lead to costly repairs. In some cases, termites may cause structural damage that can compromise the safety of the home's occupants.

Can I Still Get a Conventional Loan Without a Termite Inspection?

Most lenders will require a termite inspection before issuing a conventional loan. Failure to provide a termite inspection report may result in the denial of the loan.

What if I discover a termite infestation after purchasing the home?

If you discover a termite infestation after purchasing the home, you will be responsible for taking corrective action. Homeowners' insurance does not cover termite damage, so you'll need to pay for any repairs out of pocket. Repairing termite damage can cost thousands of dollars, so watching for potential infestations and investing in regular inspections is essential.

Will the lender pay for termite damage?

No, the lender is not responsible for paying for termite damage, which falls on the homeowner or buyer.

How do FHA and VA loans differ regarding termite inspections?

Are termite inspections required for FHA and VA loans?

Yes, both FHA and VA loans require termite inspections before the completion of the loan.

What is included in a pest inspection for FHA and VA loans?

Pest inspections for FHA and VA loans are more comprehensive than termite inspections. In addition to termites, inspectors will check for evidence of other pests, such as rodents, cockroaches, and bed bugs.

Do I need a pest inspection to get an FHA or VA loan?

You will need a pest and termite inspection if you get an FHA or VA loan. The inspection must be conducted by a licensed and certified pest control company and be suitable for 90 days.

Ultimately, getting a termite inspection is a crucial step in home-buying. Whether you're getting a conventional, FHA, or VA loan, most lenders will require a termite inspection to ensure the property is free from termite activity and damage. By investing in regular inspections, you can protect your investment and keep your home in good condition for years.


In conclusion, a termite inspection is a vital step in the conventional loan process to protect homebuyers from potential termite damage and associated costs. Lenders typically require this inspection to ensure the property's structural integrity and safeguard the buyer's investment. By identifying any existing termite infestations or damage, buyers can negotiate repairs or treatments before finalizing the purchase. Investing in a termite inspection provides peace of mind and helps avoid potential future expenses related to termite-related issues. Prioritizing this inspection is a prudent decision that contributes to a smooth homebuying experience and the long-term durability of your new property.