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Which of these USDA Loan Inspections are required?

May 5th, 2023 by Sean Stephens

Which of these USDA Loan Inspections are required in Florida, Texas, Tennessee, and Alabama?

As you can imagine, this is an extremely common question that we receive! Once a sales contract has been signed and any inspections periods have begun, many then wonder what type of USDA Loan Inspections are required? 

Having this information upfront can help reduce unnecessary stress and be better prepared for the loan process.

Don’t forget that in addition to our USDA expertise, we are also a VA approved lender, work daily with low down payment conventional loans, and the FHA program.  Realtors and buyers refer to us for our overall Government loan experience, so keep us in mind for your next pre-qualification or when you just need that expert 2nd opinion

Which of these USDA Loan Inspections are required in Florida, Texas, Tennessee, and Alabama?

1. Home Inspections

As a starting point, while USDA loans do not require home inspections, they are highly encouraged for a buyer’s best interest.

2. Appraisals

Which of these USDA Loan Inspections are required in Florida, Texas, Tennessee, and Alabama?

While appraisals are known for establishing the property’s value, it will also provide an overview of the property and determine if it meets minimum property conditions as outlined per USDA and HUD Handbook guidelines.

However, remember that this should not be treated as a substitute for a home inspection

Additionally, if the appraisal cites the need for any inspections such as for the roof, foundation, plumbing, septic tank, etc., then these specific inspections would then be required.

3. Private Wells or Individual Water Systems

Sebring FL USDA Loans

USDA guidelines for private wells or individual water systems owned and maintained by the homeowner require that a water test be completed that meets either state or local requirements.  

This test must be completed through either the local health authority or a state certified laboratory.  If no such requirements exist, levels established by the EPA 


4. Septic Tank and Termite Inspections

USDA Guidelines state the following regarding septic and termite inspections:

Existing dwellings appraised by a qualified appraiser, who indicates the dwelling meets the required HUD handbook policy does not require further septic certification; however, water supply systems must be measured to establish the distance from the septic system. The separation distance between the well and septic systems must meet the SF Handbook (HUD Handbook 4000.1) or be found acceptable by the local and/or State Health Authority.”

Termite/pest inspections are not required unless the lender, appraiser, inspector or State law requires the inspection to confirm the property is free of active infestation.

USDA Loan Inspections Summary

In summary, when questions arise about what type of inspections are required for a USDA loan remember the following:Highlands County FL USDA Loans

  • While home inspections are highly encouraged, they are not required
  • After appraisal is completed, additional inspections may be required
  • Private Wells and individual water systems require a water quality test
  • No specific septic tank inspections, unless required by the appraisal

As you know by know, USDA loans are in the blood of my entire team!  As a USDA Approved Lender, Metroplex Mortgage Services is proud to serve our rural communities. 

800-806-9836 Ext. 280

Just call or email if you have any USDA qualifying questions, want to discuss a new scenario, or would just like to take advantage of our free 2nd opinion service which is great for both existing transactions & pre-qualifications

I want everyone to make it a great day, and look forward to seeing you right here for the next tip of the week!

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