How to Handle Buying a House With Roof Damage
You’ve been searching for months, and it looks like you’ve finally found your dream home. The neighborhood is perfect, there’s a pool out back, and there’s even plenty of room for your growing family. There’s just one catch — a recent hurricane has blown shingles off of the roof. Is it buying a house with roof damage ok? What exactly are you be getting yourself into?
Is Buying a House with Roof Damage a Good Idea?
Roof damage is serious, but it doesn’t have to be an instant turn off for buyers, either. Here are some tips for buying a house with roof damage.
Assess the Damage and Get a Quote
Not all roof damage is the same, so the first step in your decision-making process should be to assess the severity of the situation. During the home inspection period, have a licensed roofing contractor do this for you so that they provide you with a quote for repair or replacement.
If the damage is minor and there are just a few shingles missing, the repairs may only cost a few hundred dollars. In this case, the seller will either fix it or take the cost of repair off of the price of the house so that you can fix it yourself.
That being said, what looks like nothing more than a few missing shingles could actually be a far more costly problem underneath. Over time, a small leak can result in major water damage. Before you buy a home with roof damage, have a professional home inspector look for signs of structural damage, mold, and mildew on the interior.
If the only evidence of water damage is a few spots of discoloration on the ceiling, that’s usually an easy fix. But if the leak has been present for some time and the home’s structure is compromised, you’re better off putting your money elsewhere.
If the damage is more severe — a large number of shingles are missing, the roof is rotten or caving in — then things get a bit more complicated. When the damage is so severe that the roof is past the point of repair and needs to be replaced completely, most buyers choose to walk away. While this is certainly an option, it isn’t the only option. If you’re able to negotiate with the seller, you might be able to get the replacement you need for a fair price.
Who Should Fix the Roof Damage?
You decide that you want to fix the roof and buy the home. Should you close the deal and fix it yourself, or have the seller take care of it beforehand?
Option #1: The Seller Fixes It
This is usually the most common option, especially if the repairs are relatively minor. They may choose to fix the problem before selling or subtract the cost of repairs from the selling price. However, the seller is not obligated to do this.
Option #2: Split the Cost
You don’t want to have to pay the full price of a new roof, and neither does the seller — that’s why it’s becoming more common to split the cost. If the seller refuses to fix the problem or reduce the price so that you can fix it yourself, you might be able to negotiate a 50/50 deal.
Option #3: The Buyer Fixes It
This last option gives you the most control but also costs you the most money if the damage is severe. If you plan on fixing the roof yourself, it’s recommended to get a second opinion from another roof inspector so that you can make your budget as accurate as possible.
Whatever you do, don’t let the seller fix the roof after you’ve closed the deal. At that point, their only goal is to save money. They’ll likely choose the cheapest roofing service available and leave you with a second-rate repair job. If you’ve already proceeded with the sale, try to negotiate the price down so that you can hire your own quality Tampa roofing contractor who will get the job done right.
Should You Buy a Home with an Old Roof?
Like homes with roof damage, homes with older roofs tend to scare away buyers. Should you buy a home with an aging roof, or will it be more trouble than it’s worth?
That depends. Exactly how old is it? The average lifespan of a roof varies by material. Twenty years may sound old, but a 20-year-old clay roof may still have 80 more good years in it. Under normal conditions, the average lifespan of each material is as follows:
- Slate/Clay – 80 to 100 years
- Metal – 40 to 80 years
- Wood Shingles – 20 to 25 years
- Asphalt Shingles (3-tab) – 20 to 30 years
- Asphalt Shingles (Architectural) – 25 to 35 years
- Asphalt Shingles (Luxury) – 30 to 50 years
A roof’s lifespan also depends on the quality of workmanship that goes into it. Extreme weather conditions like hurricanes or tornadoes may also shorten the lifespan.
If the roof is old but undamaged, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing it just yet — as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. At the same time, you don’t want to put off replacement until the last minute, especially if there are signs of significant wear and tear. It’s a good idea to start planning ahead for an eventual replacement.
Asphalt Shingle Roof Replacement in Tampa, FL
Don’t let roof damage stop you from buying your dream home. If the roof needs to be replaced, call our roofers in Tampa to install brand new asphalt shingles. Made from high-quality materials and expertly installed, you won’t have to deal with the stress of repairs for many years to come.
On the other hand, if you’re a seller struggling to sell your home, a beautiful new roof might be exactly what you need to attract buyers. Give Westchase Roofing Services a call today to request a quote for a roof replacement in Tampa.