The requirements for a termite inspection for an FHA loan are outlined in the HUD Handbook 4150.2, Chapter 3, which states that “FHA requires maximum assurances that a home is free of any infestation,” and a termite inspection is necessary for:
- Any structure at ground level.
- Any structure with wood that touches the ground.
But an exception is allowed for “a geographic area with no active termite infestation.” Only the northernmost part of the U.S. is too cold for termites to survive, and most lenders use the Termite Infestation Probability (TIP) Map to determine which areas are exempt. See our blog post What is a TIP Zone Map? for more on this.
A termite inspection is officially called a WDO inspection, an acronym for Wood Destroying Organism, because the inspector also looks for signs of wood-decaying fungi (wood rot) and wood boring beetles.
Also, see our blog posts Do FHA loans require a home inspection? and Do I need a termite inspection for a VA loan? and Do I need a termite inspection for a USDA loan?
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To learn more about termites, see these other blog posts:
• Should I be worried about termites if my neighbor's house is being tented?
• Is the WDO (termite) inspector allowed to poke holes in my wood siding and trim?
• Do carpenter ants cause structural damage to houses in Florida?
• How long before closing can you have a WDO (termite) inspection done?
• How long does Bora-Care® last?
• Why is it a mistake to store lumber in the crawl space under a house?
• Does the presence of carpenter ants in a house indicate that there are probably also termites?
• How do termites infest a house and remain hidden while doing major damage?
• Are homes in Florida required to have termite protection?
• If termite damage appears to be old, does that mean that termites may no longer be present?
• How do I know if my WDO/termite report is "clear"?
• When do termites swarm in Florida?
• Does a recent termite company inspection sticker mean there are no termites?
• Can a mobile/manufactured home get termites?
• Do I have to tent the house if I have termites?
• What is the difference between a subterranean termite and a drywood termite?
• What are the green plastic discs in the ground around the house?
• What is a termite shield?
• How do termites get into a concrete block house?
• Do termites eat concrete?
• What is a clean WDO?
• What do termites eat?
• How do I treat wood rot that's listed in my termite-WDO report?
• Do I really need a termite-WDO inspection?
• What's causing those holes in the fascia?
• Does wood chip mulch in the yard attract termites?
• I think I have termites. What does a termite look like?
• I'm buying a concrete block house. Do I still need a termite inspection?
• I saw a little termite damage on the baseboard. Should I be concerned?
• Why do termite inspectors tap the wood siding and baseboard wood in a home?
• What are the minimum access openings for a termite (WDO) inspector in Florida for a crawl space and attic, and within these spaces?
• What does a termite mud tube look like?
Visit our TERMITES, WOOD ROT AND PESTS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.