Because San Antonio has such a vast military presence (Fort Sam Houston, Randolf Airbase, Lackland Airbase, the former Kelly Airbase, etc.), we get a lot of inquiries and bookings from clients purchasing a home with a VA Loan. I would estimate that a 5th of all homes purchased in the San Antonio area are probably backed by a VA Loan. I find that my clients call, explain that they are purchasing a house with a VA Loan, and wonder what they need to do next.
VA Loans Require a Termite/WDI Inspection
The first difference between other loan types and VA loans is the requirement of WDI, or Wood-Destroying Insect inspections of all habitable structures on the property. This requirement holds true whether you are in San Antonio, New Braunfels, or any other part of Texas. Not a big deal if you hire an inspector that has the licensing required to perform a termite inspection (such as Ensure Home Inspections!), but if your home inspector doesn’t have the licensing, you will likely need to hire a third-party pest control company to perform the inspection.
The cost of termite inspections vary, but in the San Antonio area, the average price ranges from about $75 to $120 if purchased with a home inspection. Some home inspectors will perform this as a standalone service (Our current price for this standalone service begins at $189) or you may call a seperate pest control provider if needed. It is typically a much better idea to hire an inspector that provides this service as it is one less person to schedule with, which can be important under short option periods. For all buyers out there shopping for a home with a VA loan, just make sure that your inspector is qualified to give you the WDI report them-self in order to ensure you have the most time to make negotiation arrangements for your home.
No Conducive Conditions or Active Infestations
The WDI report will contain a lot of checkboxes, but the most important ones for a buyer using a VA loan are the ones stating whether any infestations were found (active or previous) and whether conducive conditions are present. The part about infestations is pretty understandable: if an active infesation is found, you’ll need to have the property treated and re-inspected by a qualified pest control professional. If a previous infestation is found and it’s been a year or longer since the last treatment, it is recommended you have a preventative treatment.
Conducive conditions are defects that make it easier for wood-destroying insects to attack your home. These include vegetation touching the structure, wood touching the ground and the structure, leaves / debris buildup, and even simple things like a wood-fence touching your home. The VA WILL NOT process your loan unless no conducive conditions are present. This means that if your report indicates conducive conditions were found, you’ll need to have them corrected before moving forward.
VA Loans May Require Repairs Before Closing
This isn’t a guarantee, but if major / expensive repairs are needed on the property, the VA may halt the loan unless these repairs are completed. Major foundation issues are a big one. Old and defective electrical panels are also common.
The most frequent example that I run into with my clients is roofing issues. For instance, an otherwise nice little home that is 20 years old has a clean WDI report and relatively few deficiencies, but the roof is original and needs replacement. As of early 2022, it’s a seller’s market out here and many sellers don’t need to replace their roof in order to sell their home. When this happens, it may be up to the prospective buyer to pay for the replacement before closing in order to complete the transaction.
Make sure that you are aware of the possibilites that may slow down or even stop your home buying experience when using a VA loan.
Contact Your Home Inspectors
Info @ EnsureInspections.com
Home Inspector Kyle D. Scott
TREC # 23813 - TDA # 819063
Ensure Home Inspections provides thorough inspections, detailed reports, and personalized consultations at affordable prices in San Antonio, TX & surrounding areas to Homebuyers, Homesellers, and their realtors. WDI/Termite Inspections, Thermal Imaging, Pool / Spa Inspections, Foundation Elevation Survey and more!
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