If you are in the process of buying or selling a home, it is important to understand what a FHA pest inspection is. Not only do lenders require that a thorough inspection be done of the home for leaks, power related issues, structural problems, and a host of other items; but they also require a licensed FHA inspector to search for insects within the dwelling. The reason for this is to protect both the buyer and the bank itself, because if extensive damage is discovered after the closing date the new homeowner is faced with a difficult dilemma. They can either invest a large sum of money for repairs that were already supposed to be completed by the seller or they can give the home back to the bank while suffering a loss of their initial deposit and any payments already made. More often than not the second scenario will occur so the FHA has developed strict guidelines when inspecting a structure for insects.
When the FHA inspector visits a residence, he is there on behalf of the bank. Regardless is his fees were charged the buyer or the seller, his primary responsibility is to give an honest opinion of how much money would be required to restore the home to a perfect, like-new condition. He will inspect every square inch of the home inside and out, and any deficiency spotted, regardless of how large or small, will be noted for all involved parties to consider. His findings are often used as a type of bargaining chip during the final closing on the property as both sides decide on a fair amount that should be set aside to repair all the deficiencies.
When the inspector is searching for insect damage, he will likely search a number of places. If you home has a basement or crawlspace he will search it for cracks within the foundation that could allow insects easy entry, and he will also inspect the underside of the wood used to make your sub-flooring. Since this area of the home is more likely to be damp from humidity these boards make a prime location for termites to nest, and each board will be inspected individually to ensure it does not require maintenance or treatment. Next the inspector will walk through the main floor of the home and study where each wall meets the ceiling and the floor, and he will also inspect any hardwood floors or carpeting for any sign of insect activity. The attic is checked in a similar fashion, and this area requires a bit more time because of the amount of exposed wood that needs to be viewed. The attic floor and rafters will also be searched for bird or squirrel nests, or any other species that may have taken up residence within the home unannounced. A similar inspection will be conducted along the exterior of the residence to check and make sure the roof and structural beams do not show signs of infestation from ants, termites, or beetles.
Regardless of who paid for the FHA home pest inspection, you have absolutely every right to be present while it is conducted. Feel free to ask questions, and remember that the person doing the inspection should have an ample knowledge of construction and building codes. Trust his advice. Any offer on the home should be contingent on a proper FHA inspection, and this includes that the home be free of pests.
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