Is a Termite Inspection Required for a Conventional Loan?

Pest inspector looking for termitesBuying a home is a serious investment that can have significant financial consequences if not done correctly. Homebuyers must go through several stages - getting pre-approved for a mortgage, finding a real estate agent, and eventually closing the deal. However, one critical step that buyers may overlook is getting a termite inspection. In this article, we'll discuss the importance of termite inspections, whether they are required for conventional loans, and what to expect during the process.

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, termite inspections are performed by licensed and certified pest control professionals trained to identify termite activity signs.

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. The harm done by termites can be costly to remedy, and it can even harm the house's integrity. It is why the lender offers funds to purchase the home, to safeguard their investment.

Therefore, a termite inspection is vital to protect 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 a review 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 required repairs. The lender may require a follow-up inspection to ensure that repairs have been made and the infestation has been eliminated.

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 examinations 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?

If you get an FHA or VA loan, you will need a pest and termite inspection. The inspection must be conducted by a licensed and certified pest control company and must 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 necessary to detect potential termite damage that can lead to costly repairs when buying a home. For conventional loans, lenders typically require a termite inspection report to mitigate risk since termite damage can affect the home's structural integrity. 

Although exceptions may be made, it is recommended that potential homebuyers invest in both a general home inspection and a termite inspection to identify any issues that may affect the habitability and value of the home. Failure to provide a termite inspection report may result in the denial of the loan. Homeowners' insurance does not cover termite damage, so it is essential to watch for potential infestations and invest in regular inspections.