Buying a home is a stressful process full of details that must be examined. The last thing you want to do as a home buyer is to end up in a home with an old or damaged roof. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure the home your buying has an adequate roof.
In most cases, a home inspection is required in order to obtain a mortgage to purchase a house. If you are entering a home purchase negotiation that does not require an inspection, get one anyway. They will cost you very little and could save you from making a mistake in purchasing the wrong home.
The home inspector is looking for signs of wear and tear, damage, hazard or dangerous situations around the home. The inspector will review the roof and give you their report regarding any items of concern. In general the inspector is looking for:
- Roof damage – such as missing, broken or sub-par roof materials.
- Age of the roof – how long it has been since the roof was replaced.
- Quality of the roof – whether the roof materials are of quality and performing inadequately.
If the inspector finds any problems with the roof, you should not purchase the home until the issue has been resolved.
In many home transactions, the seller is willing to pay for necessary repairs. Sometimes the seller may only agree to pay for the worst of the problems to be resolved. As the potential buyer you should always consider a problem with the roof to be a top priority repair.
If the seller does not agree to pay for the roof repair or replacement, you may be at an advantage. Instead of having the seller repair the roof, ask for an amount equivalent to the amount of a repair to be taken off the purchase price. By saving money on the purchase price of the home, you can hire your own roofer to repair the roof after purchase, this will ensure you are able to be sure the work is being completed by a professional.
The Final Decision
If you are unable to negotiate a deal with the seller regarding a roof repair, you are faced with a tough choice. In general, problems with the roof can be costly and if any repair is put off you could end up with severe damage to the rest of your home.
To be able to confidently proceed with the purchase, the roof should meet the following criteria:
- No water damage, or history of water damage that has gone unrepaired
- No fire damage, or history of fire damage that has not been replaced
- No more than 10-15 missing roof shingles
- No more than 2 layers of shingles without removal and replacement
- No damage to the flashing or undering materials without repair
- No flat or shallow sloped roof that does not meet code requirements
If the home you are interested in purchasing has a roof that meets these criteria, you may be able to delay any minor problems until a later date. Any roof problems that do not exceed these criteria are not life threatening or a deal breaker when purchasing a home.