Termite Inspections: Know Your Risks before You Buy

When purchasing a home, termites or other wood-destroying insects such as carpenter ants, woodborers or powder post beetles can quickly put a damper on the excitement. Depending on your mortgage lender, a termite and wood-destroying insect inspection may be required. The most well-known requirements come from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD requires that homes they finance have a termite and other wood-destroying insect inspection by a certified pest control provider prior to final approval.

Are HUD Inspections Required Where I Live?

All homes purchased with HUD financing in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa require an inspection in order to get final approval. In Minnesota, select counties are excluded. See the complete list of exclusions on the HUD website.

Are HUD Inspections Required of a New Construction?

In the case of new construction, HUD requires a New Construction Subterranean Termite Service Record. This is to validate that a pre-treatment occurred protecting the new structure from termites. The accepted methods include soil applied liquid termiticide (pesticides for termites), wood applied liquid termiticide, bait systems or a physical barrier system. Your pest control provider will determine the best treatment for your construction. You can find more information here: http://www.npmapestworld.org/technical-resources/hud/

Are Termite Inspections Required for Conventional Loans Other Than HUD?

Although HUD has one of the strictest policies regarding termite and other wood-destroying insect inspections, many other private lenders are beginning to see the value of inspections and integrating them into their requirements for financing. Make sure to check with your lender early in the process so you understand what is expected. Even if it is not required to have a termite inspection prior to purchasing a home, it is a responsible practice for homeowners, much like a general inspection.

Are There Really Termites in the Midwest?

The presence of eastern subterranean termites in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa can sometimes surprise homeowners. Termites are a much more well-known threat in southern states, however there are pockets in the Midwest that are prone to termites and overall, the Midwest is classified as a light-to-moderate risk. The risk of termites increases as you move into the southern half of Iowa and Illinois

Learn more about this pest in our termite profile, or contact a specialist for more information.