You've found the perfect home. It has the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, it's in a friendly neighborhood, and the yard is just what you've been looking for. Then, you look up to the roof -- and notice that it needs work. Many home buyers walk away at this point because they fear buying a home that needs any sort of roof repair. However, buying a home that needs a new roof is not always a terrible move. You need to dig a bit deeper to decide whether this home is still a good buy or not. Here's some guidance in that regard.
Is there any evidence of leaking?
A roof at the end of its lifespan is one thing. A roof that has been at the end of its lifespan for years, and has since been dripping water into the attic, is quite another. Fixing cumulative water damage will probably cost you more than replacing the roof itself, so unless you're getting this home for the cost of a used Honda, it's probably not worth your while.
Wait until after a rainstorm, and then venture into the attic. Look for drips of water, and feel the insulation to see if it seems moist. If you notice any mold growth or rotting beams, these are also signs of leaks.
Does the roof have sagging areas?
Look straight across the roof from as many angles as possible. If you notice that the roof seems to be sagging in any areas, walk away and find a different house. Sagging is a serious structural issue and has been implicated in many cases of collapsed roofs. You can't risk your family's safety no matter how pretty the master bathroom is!
Would the roof cost a lot to replace?
You could always buy the home (offering the owner a bit less because of the roof, of course) and then immediately have a new roof put on it. However, this is more feasible for a small home that's less costly to roof than for a big home with a complex and expensive roof. Some signs that a roof will cost more include:
- Larger square footage
- Many peaks and gables
- Specialty materials required due to overhanging trees or excess sun exposure
If you're not confident whether the home will cost a lot to roof or not, you could always have a roofing company come out and give you a free estimate.
Can the roof make it a few more years with just repairs?
The roof may not actually be in as bad of shape as it appears. If there are just a few peeling shingles or a loose piece of flashing, a roof repair company may be able to make a few hundred dollars worth of repairs so you can put off replacing the roof for five years or more. You can find out whether this is a possibility when the roofing company comes out to do an estimate.
What is the cause of the roof damage?
Finally, ask the homeowner and the realtor why the roof is in poor condition. Is it just because it is nearing the end of its 30-year life, or is there another cause, like a tree overhanging the roof or poor design that results in water pooling in certain areas? If the roof is relatively new and pretty damaged, there's a good chance the new roof might suffer the same fate -- which suggests you should move on to a different home.
Buying a home that needs a new roof or roof repairs is not always a bad idea. Consider the points above before you walk away from what could be your dream home. For more information, visit websites like http://www.kandrroofingandgutters.com.