Should You Buy a House with a Bad Roof?

So, you’ve finally found the home of your dreams. It’s in a great location, it has the right number of beds and baths, great light… and then you find out it has a bad roof. Do you turn away? Or do you move forward with the deal? If you find yourself in this situation, here are some things to consider.

How Long Does a Roof Last?

The amount of time your roof lasts varies depending on the type of roof you have. Here is an approximation of what you can expect. 

  • A composite shingle roof will last about 15 years. 
  • An architectural shingle roof will last 20 -25 years.
  • A metal roof can last more than 30 years. 

Depending on the type of roof you have and how long you’re planning to stay in your home, it’s likely you will be dealing with a roof replacement at some point. However, it’s in your best interest to buy a home with a roof that was recently replaced. 

What Does it Cost to Replace a Roof?

The cost of the repair will vary depending on the extent of the damage. If the roof only needs the shingles replaced, you’re looking at around $4000 for a starting price. 

More extensive damage can also occur beneath the shingles to the plywood, struts, etc. If this is the case, you may be dealing with a considerably more expensive job.  

You should also consider that a damaged roof could leak causing more damage within the home. This can add to your expenses. 

Any requisite damage should be identified in your home inspection. 

Options for Dealing with Bad Roofing

If a bad roof is found in a home inspection after an offer was made, you can use it as leveraging power. For instance, you can bargain with the owner to see if they will lower the cost to essentially take care of the cost of any repair work. 

If you are buying a home that is already priced to factor in roof repairs, there are certain loans that can help you financially. These include the FHA 203K loan and the Fannie Mae Homestyle Renovation loan. However, it is advisable to make sure you qualify for these loans before moving forward. 

If you are unable to qualify for a loan or if the seller is being unreasonable about negotiating, you may want to walk away from the deal. You may also want to walk if the roof leaked to cause damage to the home’s structure. If this is the case, you can be dealing with nightmare repairs for as long as you own your home. 

A damaged roof isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but it can put a damper on plans to move forward with a home sale. If your dream home has a damaged roof, consider your options before finalizing your plans. Good luck finding a property that makes you happy.