What You Should Know When Buying a House That Needs a New Roof

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Roof Installation Doesn’t Have to Be a Dealbreaker for Your Dream Home

It is highly unlikely that you will never need to purchase a new roof during your lifetime of home ownership. In fact, needing a roof replacement is very common, especially if you buy or live in an older home.

So, needing a new roof does not have to be a dealbreaker when you’re buying a house. Here’s what you need to know about the process.

How Can I Tell a Home I’m Considering Needs a New Roof?

Buying any single-family home can feel like a gamble, but if you do your due diligence, you can make a confident decision. In general, there are two ways you can discover whether roof installation will be in your future if you buy the house.

  • Check the seller’s disclosure for the age of the roof.
    A seller’s disclosure is a document required by law that asks the current homeowner to reveal the age and condition of major systems, including the roof. If the disclosure indicates the roof is approaching or exceeds 20 years old, and it’s made of typical asphalt shingles, then a new roof may be imminent.
  • Refer to your home inspector’s report.
    If you paid for a pre-sale home inspection, your inspector should have checked the condition of your roof – to an extent. Home inspectors are not required to climb onto the roof, and most visually inspect from the ground. This could mean that your inspector’s findings are incomplete, which is why you also can get a free inspection from a roofing company so you can better understand the home’s roof condition.

Roof Installation Scenarios

A roof replacement could put you in a position to bargain. The seller could work with you to either install a new roof or cut you a deal on the purchase price. Your real estate agent can help you navigate this process. Here are some possible outcomes:

  • If a roofing company determines the home needs a new roof due to storm damage or other “act of God,” the homeowner’s insurance company may pay for the majority of the roof replacement. This is a win-win for both parties involved in the transaction.
  • The seller could install a new roof and pay out of their own pocket. Many home buyers are hesitant to purchase a home that needs a new roof, and with elevated interest rates, sellers are doing more to make their homes more attractive to shoppers.
  • You can use the fact that the home needs a new roof to negotiate a lower purchase price on the home. This can reduce the amount of money you need for a down payment, and you can put the difference toward roof installation.
  • You can ask the seller for cash back at closing (a “credit”) to pay for the new roof after you take ownership of the home. The details of this must be clearly outlined in your contract. Sometimes this type of deal occurs when you, the seller, agree to pay the previously agreed-upon price regardless of the condition of the existing roof.

Keep in mind that solutions to the roof issue will vary, and you need only accept what you feel is fair.

Always Ask the Roofing Company About Roof Warranties

Depending on the roofing company you or the seller select, your new roof may come with a warranty. Sometimes this warranty is non-transferable, meaning that whoever paid for the roof is who gets the warranty. If the seller pays for the home’s new roof, it is possible that you will not receive the warranty when you take ownership of the home.

You may even want to put in a stipulation in your contract that the roofing company must offer transferable warranties that stay with the house. This will protect you after closing should there be an issue with your new roof in the future.

Getting a Mortgage and Insurance When Roof Repair or Replacement Is Necessary

A home simply having an old roof is not likely to cause issues with your lender issuing your mortgage. However, the appraiser may drop the value of the home if they find that the roof is in poor condition, and the amount of the appraisal could drop the amount the bank is willing to lend you.

The other issue is that a leaky or damaged roof could impede your ability to get homeowner’s insurance, which is required before your lender will approve your mortgage. Some insurance companies are unwilling to extend new policies for homes in such a condition.

Understanding the limitations of your mortgage and homeowner’s insurance carrier can help you negotiate with the seller and either get a new roof or get a good deal on the purchase price.

Let Vision Construction Help You Get a New Roof

New roof installation goes smoothly when you work with a roofing company like Vision Construction. Serving the Kansas City metro area and surrounding states, Vision Construction not only provides a free, robust roof inspection, but we’ll also work with your homeowner’s insurance and make the entire process much more pleasant than you’d ever expect.

Contact us today to request your roof inspection for the home you currently own, or the home you want to buy.