After enduring the home-buying process and finding a place that fits your needs, the last thing you want to discover is that the roof is in rough shape. For some buyers, an old or damaged roof is a deal-breaker. Extensive roof repairs can be costly and could be a game-changer when it comes to making an offer. However, an older roof that needs a little bit of work may not always be a reason to prevent you from buying a home. Here’s what you need to know about buying a home with an older roof.
What To Look For When Examining An Old Roof
If a roof is old, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s in bad condition. When evaluating the roof, the first thing you need to look for is simple leaks. You can identify simple leaks by spotting shingles that are out of place or flashing that needs to be repaired. These are very minor repairs that can easily extend the life of your roof. Plus, if you notice a small leak in an older roof, you can use it as a negotiation technique in the sale. The sellers may be willing to take a little bit off of the asking price in order to make up for the repairs.
Advanced Roof Leaks
More complex roof leaks are a whole other story. Advanced leaks are much more difficult to identify, as they are not always indicated by external damage. Usually, you can tell that water is entering the roof at Point A and exiting at Point B. And, as you can imagine, the further distance between the two points, the trickier the problem becomes. Be aware that these type of leaks are most common around ridge vents and tile roofs.
There are simple leaks and complicated leaks—and then there is structural damage. Roofs that are older and have been neglected for a long period of time may show signs of extensive structural damage. For instance, long-term water damage may lead to the saturation of the wood and interior materials of the roof. If the damage is so bad that the entire frame needs to be rebuilt, you’re looking at a roof replacement—with the potential for necessary sheathing and structural repairs.
If you’re still interested in buying a home in this condition, you’ll more than likely need to be an all-cash buyer. This is because it’s challenging to get financing for a home that is going to need extensive roof work.
Check For Permits
If the house you’re interested in is being advertised as having a recent roof replacement, make sure you do some research. If an inspection is done and no permits are pulled for a new roof, that usually means shortcuts were taken in its construction—or it was installed by an unlicensed roofer. It may also mean that no inspections were done and that it may not be up to code. If this is the case and you buy the house without a proper inspection, the problem is now yours.
Sellers know that a new roof is a key selling point for motivated buyers, so just make sure that the roof they put on is built to last. It’s worth the time that it takes to ensure the proper permits were pulled and that everything was done legally. Most new roofs come with a warranty through the installation company and the manufacturer, so make sure to obtain any pertinent paperwork at closing. That way, if you do experience any issues in the future, you know who to contact.
Homewerx Can Handle Older Roofs
If you fall in love with a house but the roof needs a little work, it’s not the end of the world. After the purchase is complete, call Homewerx for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can take a look at your roof and come up with a plan to ensure its longevity and integrity.