Is selling or buying a house with an old roof advisable? It is possible to purchase or sell a home with an older roof. These days, homebuyers are looking for properties that are ready for immediate occupancy.
The escalating prices of building materials and labor and purchasers’ limited availability have created a market for turnkey homes. This is not good news for anyone trying to unload a fixer-upper with a leaky roof or other apparent problems.
Fortunately, this does not always imply that every homeowner with a minor roofing issue should replace their roof before listing their home for sale. Do you want to know, “Should I sell or buy a house with an old roof?”
A roof replacement can be a significant investment. Whether buying or selling a house, this guide will help you weigh the costs and benefits.
Should you replace your roof before selling your house?
It’s not necessary to replace the roof before you put your house up for sale. You can calculate the potential increase in the value of your home after a roof repair by adding the repair cost to your current estimate of the home’s value.
If your roof is in such bad shape that it could prevent you from selling your home, you should seriously consider replacing it. When unsure about whether you should replace your roof before selling, you should have it inspected to avoid draining your bank account for no return on investment.
This being, before you replace the roof, you need to ask yourself some of these questions:
1. Do you have time to replace the roof?
Replacing your roof might not make financial sense if you want to sell your home shortly. Roof replacements might take many weeks or even months to complete because of material and labor constraints.
Poor weather, such as heavy rain or snow, can cause delays in roofing activities since roofers cannot work in such conditions. Hence, consider climate and season.
2. The potential impact of roof repairs on your home’s marketability
A new roof won’t add much to your home’s resale value, but it could help you sell it more quickly. In addition, it can set your home apart from the competition in a market with more sellers than buyers.
A new roof decreases the chance that a buyer’s home inspection may reveal concerns that could lead to difficult conversations or cause the transaction to fall through. If you expect to sell the home soon, focus on repairs and upgrades that boost its visual value, such as a new roof.
3. Can you afford it?
To afford a new roof, you might have to sell your house “as is” and reduce the price to make room in your budget for the expense. Before spending money on roof replacement, consider completing other repairs or making additional improvements.
4. What’s the damage?
If the inspector finds roof concerns, consult a professional roofer about the cost of repairs or replacement. When a buyer uses repair or replacement cost as a bargaining point after you’ve made no moves, you can adjust the sales price accordingly.
Get quotes from reliable roofers. This is because professional advice and action costs can help you make a reasonable conclusion.
|Alters the outward aspect of your house
|A new roof installation can really turn a profit
|The roof’s warranty can be renewed at this time.
|You may end up changing the home appeal
|Makes a positive lasting impact on the customer.
|Some PUDs or neighborhoods have strict building codes
The return on investment for other repairs and improvements (like cosmetic upgrades) is higher because they are both less expensive and more enticing to potential buyers. When considering the pros and cons, it’s easier to decide.
Can you sell a house with a 20-year-old roof or a bad roof?
Depending on the roof’s state, you may not be able to sell your home (an old roof is not necessarily bad). Preparing your home for traditional real estate listing requires a sturdy roof to increase its market readiness and appeal.
Before proceeding, it’s essential to understand that you must disclose any faults the house has, especially when listing it on the housing market. This occurs because all states possess disclosure laws, albeit with slight variations between them.
The roof must pass the scrutiny of a licensed inspector before a conventional sale may proceed.Buyers who want financing and homeowner’s insurance must consider this step crucial and cannot skip it.
You can sell a house with a 20-year-old roof if the roof is maintained correctly (Preventative maintenance). Different materials, when maintained, last long, and all the new owner needs to do is continue the maintenance.
You can sell a house with a bad roof if you sell it to a cash buyer who buys the house as-is. Alternatively, you can offer the buyer a discount to offset the cost of roof repairs or maintenance if they’re willing.
With a transferable warranty, you can pass it to the buyer for future damage if maintenance suffices for the roof. As another option, you can split the cost of handling the repairs or replacement with the buyer.
Consider the following before selling your house with a bad roof:
1. The price of a new roof
Roof replacements are a great selling feature for real estate agents. Therefore, buyers appreciate them because they appease mortgage lenders and insurance companies.
A new roof could be costly, depending on the material and the installation costs. Other factors, such as the home’s location and the materials’ availability, play an important role in this.
|Galvalume Corrugated Roofs
|Steel Panel Roof
|Standing Seam Panels
2. The buyer’s lender might say no to financing.
Lenders may even refuse to provide financing to a buyer if they discover that the roof is in need of replacement. Therefore, you may avoid this kind of problem by getting a new roof before you put your house up for sale.
The lender frequently prioritizes the buyer’s safety. Thus, their reluctance to provide financing due to a damaged roof is in the buyer’s best interest.
3. It can affect the selling price.
One of the most noticeable changes you can make to your house is to replace the roof. As it is one of the costliest upgrades, many property owners have doubts about getting back at least some of the money they spend on a new roof.
Regarding the return on investment (ROI), a new or upgraded roof consistently ranks high among experts’ top picks. A new roof may not provide a 100% return on investment, but it can significantly increase your home’s worth.
4. You’ll get an inspection either way
Generally, pre-sale home inspections are standard practice, particularly if the prospective purchaser intends to apply for financing. Prior to beginning any work on your roof, you should inspect it by a professional roofer with expertise working with the same or comparable materials.
Before the sale is finalized, the roof’s condition will be brought to your attention. You will be in a stronger position to negotiate if everything is in working order and there are no big damages.
5. The house may not pass an inspection
Home inspection failures are a major source of stress for homeowners trying to sell their property. Most homebuyers are concerned with the expected lifespan of a roof.
The buyer may back out of the deal if someone tells them that the roof has reached its useful life. Even if potential buyers miss issues like roof leaks, a seasoned home inspector will see them right away.
Perform a roof inspection to check for damage and excessive wear. Investing in a new roof can be a wise move if you want to sell your house quickly; it enhances appeal.
It’s possible that an old roof could cause you to lose a sale, so it’s important to think about replacing it if that’s a concern. Changing out your roof is a method to improve your home’s curb appeal and make it easier to sell.
6. The house may not be insurable
If a home fails an inspection, some insurance companies may decline to renew homeowner insurance coverage for houses with roofs over 20 years old. This applies even if the roofs are in excellent condition. If the home examination fails, you cannot renew your insurance until you repair or rebuild the roof.
Regardless of the state of the roof, homeowners need to get insurance.
Should you buy a house with a 20-year-old roof?
A home has caught your eye, and you’re considering putting in an offer. It’s in a wonderful area, has all the features you were looking for, and your agent is willing to negotiate.
There’s just one catch: the roof is rather old. Ignoring the roof’s condition could lead to major, unexpected difficulties if you don’t know all the facts or what to expect.
Knowing what to look for and how to assess your alternatives will increase the likelihood that you will choose the best roof for your home. If you’re having a tough time deciding whether or not to close the deal, these suggestions may assist you.
1. Determine the roof’s current state and any necessary repairs.
A roof is meant to protect the house and its contents, meaning it is subject to wear and tear. When house hunting, you need to understand that the house you buy won’t have a shiny new roof (unless the house was just built).
Eventually, the surface of every roof will show signs of deterioration and require regular maintenance.The question revolves around the age of the roof and its intended lifespan, as various materials come with varying durability.
Asphalt shingles are one of the most common type of roof cladding, but they do not last as long as other material options.
|Premium asphalt shingles
|20 to 30 years
|Architectural/ dimensional asphalt shingles
|15 to 25 years
|3-tab shingles (properly maintained)
|10 to 20 years
Metal roofs last longer when properly maintained. They are resistant to wear and tear as well as poor weather.
|Over 50 years
|Ribbed metal (with exposed fasteners)
|25 to 40 years
|Ribbed metal (with concealed fasteners)
|30 to 40 years
|30 to 50 years or more
|Copper and zinc
|100 years or longer
Tile roofs can last for decades and take up a lot of heat or cold when properly maintained.
|50 to 100 years
|Concrete tile roofs
|40 to 75 years
Check the condition of the roof:
A roof’s lifespan can be significantly extended by choosing high-quality materials (around 25 – 100 years). The frequency with which roofs need to be rebuilt is also significantly impacted by weatherization.
If you are unsure about the roof’s condition, you can:
- Check the ceiling and the attic yourself.
- Get a professional inspector to look at the condition of the roof.
- Find out when the roof was last repaired and have the homeowner provide proof.
- Consult a roofing company for a second opinion.
2. Now that you know the roof’s status, it’s time to decide how to proceed.
As supply and demand fluctuate, so do home values in today’s ever-evolving housing market. Keep in mind that in a housing market with more buyers than sellers, you are unlikely to be the sole interested purchaser of the house.
Instead of trying to coerce the seller into completing repairs before you move in, you should learn the art of negotiation. If you’re interested in buying a property with an older roof, ensure you thoroughly investigate the roof’s condition.
Before attempting DIY roof repair, assess the roof’s condition and needed resources, along with product costs. Also, consider your financial ability. There’s a significant cost range among roofing materials. If everything exceeds your budget, consider the following options to make it more affordable:
• Check if the roof has a warranty.
You must ascertain if the roof has a warranty and if it’s transferable to you, as part of your responsibility. Transferring warranties is typically a one-time deal. If it’s not transferrable, you can leverage this to request the seller replace the roof before ownership transfer. Some warranties can only be transferred once.
Despite the seller’s convenience, you can choose to replace the roof yourself to negotiate a lower house price. You and the seller may agree to split the expense of replacing the roof.
• Get the seller to foot the bill for the roof repair.
The home inspection will benefit your case if it reveals that the roof needs repair. Your realtor might suggest reducing the asking price due to the known roof issues, as the seller is likely aware of them.
The seller will probably not want to start over with a new buyer now that they know the roof is an issue.
• Request estimates for a roof repair or replacement.
You may need to either repair the roof or replace it entirely, depending on how old it is and how much wear and tear it’s suffered. To assist in decision-making between you and the seller, it’s beneficial to have an estimate of the roof repair costs.
You may be able to negotiate a price reduction off the house’s asking price to cover the cost of repairing or replacing the roof. This is if you intend to buy the house in its current condition and then do the necessary repairs yourself.
• Get a bargain on the house.
You can negotiate a lower house price or ask the seller for a credit to cover roof replacement costs. During roof replacement, some homeowners choose a reduced home price, requiring the buyer to manage and cover the contractor’s expenses.
Homeowners seeking a fast sale or dealing with financial challenges may offer a price reduction when the house requires renovations.
“An old roof is a great chip for lowering the price of the house. If you are in the situation that you are looking to buy a house with a roof that needs repairs or a new roof, there is always the option of buying the house in as-is condition and then just installing the roof yourself. You can save a lot of money this way!” Jordan Woolf |Real Estate Investor | We Buy Houses in Alabama.
3. Decide when to walk away from a house with an aging roof
Whether you are buying or selling a house, there are some exceptions that you need to make when considering the roof’s condition. Let the homeowner deal with the stress of fixing a roof if it’s in such bad shape.
Your home inspection should reveal major issues; if not, we’ll go over the signs of a deteriorating roof as a precaution.You need to replace the roof and not just fix some areas after an inspection.
Most of the time, the inspection will reveal further extensive damage or more than two kinds of damage. Some of the signs include:
- Roofing sagging. Roofs with sagging rafters indicate a damaged roof deck or roof framing from excess moisture or rot.
- The roof needs immediate repair if you can see natural light shining from your attic.
- The shingles are worn out if you see granules from shingles in the gutters or downspouts.
- Damp and dark shingles have material degradation that may lead to moss growth.
- If the shingles have moss growing on them, there is a high chance their structural integrity has been compromised.
- When the ceilings and walls are stained from the inside or have peeling paint, there is damage from excessive moisture. The roof may have many leaks that need attention.
- Missing, broken, or curled shingles indicate the end of their usefulness or extensive damage from a storm or blunt force.
- Suppose there are branches or a tree on the roof. This is very obvious.
- If the roof has obvious damage from the ground seen by an inspector.
“If you want a move-in ready house, then buying a house that needs a new roof isn’t the best option. Getting a new roof is an expensive endeavor that takes planning on your side. It’s easier just to buy a house that has a decent roof. We had a client buy a house in Athens, Alabama, with a leaking roof, and they ended up just selling the house to us because they didn’t want to deal with the headache!” James Anderson | Real Estate Investor | Veritas Homebuyers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Just because a roof is old doesn’t indicate it’s bad; a poorly maintained 5-year-old roof could easily be in worse shape than a 20-year-old roof. There are perks to buying a house with an old roof.
For starters, it’s a good time to renovate, as replacing a relatively recent roof is wasteful. Changing from asphalt to metal for roofing, for example, could be a good idea if the current materials are on the verge of failing.
The need to completely replace an older roof is not always the case; roofs can last many more years with the right amount of upkeep and quality materials. It is advisable to replace your roof before putting your home up for sale if:
•You fear that the poor condition of your roof will prevent you from selling your home in its current state and that repairs will not alleviate the problems.
•The expense of roof replacement is not an issue for you, or the roof was damaged in a recent storm, and your homeowner’s insurance will pay for repairs.
•You want to receive top dollar and move quickly, so you’re advertising to people who may not be able to afford or are motivated to do extensive repairs after closing.
Putting a new roof on your house won’t increase its value too much. About 60% of your investment is likely to be recovered, so a $10,000 roof will only add $6,000 to your home’s value.