Home Inspection – Roof

When home inspectors arrive at a property to inspect,  they usually start with the roof.  Once on the roof the inspector can check the valley’s, flashing around the vent caps and plumbing vents, and how and/or  if it is leaking.  The worst thing to discover at the  inspection time is that the roof is shot, at it’s end of life and won’t make it through the winter.

That situation happened with a home I had listed and unfortunately that terminated the transaction and the buyer walked away.

Another house I listed had a different kind of roof issue.  There was a new addition and the original house didn’t get a new roof.  The home inspector didn’t like the way the two sections were joined together.  That became a controversy because the roof for the addition had been signed off by the county building inspector, the contractor that installed it had a good reputation, but two different inspections came up with different  ideas about what and how it should have been done.  In this case it was back to the negotiating table and a credit was given for the roof.

A buyer has a reasonable expectation that the roof will last 3 – 5 years as that is what is also required by any lender.  When an appraiser looks at the house and determines there is not enough life left, they would require the roof be replaced as a condition of the appraisal before the bank would loan on it.

Often sellers don’t want to pay for a new roof for the buyer since they won’t be living in the house.  That’s a difficult situation to explain to seller’s because the current owner has enjoyed the benefit of the roof and is now wanting to move out and leave the new buyer with a leaky roof.   A buyer purchasing a home is buying a roof over their head and don’t want a leaky roof.

One way to avoid this pitfall is to have the roof inspected prior to placing the home on the market and have any and all repairs made before it is shown or receives an offer.

Would you buy a house with a roof in the condition of the photo?