Termites: those creepy, crawly bugs that love to chow down on your home can be a major pest here in Hawaii (pun intended). How do they play into your VA home purchase process? Well, the VA states that termite inspections are required on existing properties if they are located in an area where the probability of termite infestation is “very heavy” or “moderate to heavy” according to the Termite Infestation Probability Map published in the International Residential Code. Guess what, Hawaii is considered a “very heavy” infestation area.

Luckily, a VA borrower does not have to pay the approximate $350 it costs for the inspection; this is sellers responsibility. Also, any damage or infestation associated with termites must be corrected before the purchase can close, and at no cost to the VA borrower.

What can you expect on your termite report?

One of three things can happen:

  1. Clear
    • Free and clear of termites and/or termite damage.
    • No action required.
  2. Termite damage but no live infestation
    • If damage noted is cosmetic in nature, it will be left to underwriter’s discretion on whether repairs need to be made or not.
    • If termite inspector notes damage on beams and/or posts, a licensed contractor or structural engineer will need to verify if the damage is significant to pose a risk to the structural integrity of the dwelling. If it does, it will need to be replaced before the lender funds the loan.
  3. Termite damage and/or live infestation
    • Live termite infestation will require treatment; most commonly via tenting.
    • Damage will follow the same conditions as termite damage but no live infestation.

While termites can be a nuisance here in Hawaii, the VA borrower can rest easy knowing that any issues with termites will be resolved before they move in, and at no cost to them.