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Should You Purchase a Home with an Old Roof?

Should You Purchase a Home with an Old Roof?
Finding a home you love can be a challenge, especially when considering location, school district, square footage, price and more. When it comes to homes on the market today, one important thing to note is the current age of the roof. Many choose to walk away from a home with an old roof when the sellers are not willing to cover the cost of replacement.
A well maintained and installed roof can last more than 30 years. However, a roof that has not been well kept, repaired or even experienced a hurricane or two may not be in livable condition. More importantly, you want to ensure that you will not have any issues with your home owners insurance due to the age and state of your roof.

Understand the Condition
If you are looking at a new construction home, you will not have a problem with the age of the roof, or even a home that may have been built in the last few years. As the years go on, the roof will be affected by climate, weather and debris especially here in Florida. From Tropical Storms to Hurricanes the roofs in Florida experience a variety of wind, wind burn debris, fallen tree damage and more.

The first thing to ask yourself when looking at a home is; how old is the roof? 9 years old or 20 years old can really make a difference. The older the roof is, the sooner you will know to budget and expect to replace it. All roofs are not created equal, and are installed with different materials. For example, Asphalt Shingles, Composite Shingles and Metal Roof Systems all have a different lifespan. All in all, depending on the region you live in, the weatherization plays a key role in when and how often your roof will need to be replaced.

What To Do
In order to make a decision, you should consider hiring a home inspector or roofing contractor to inspect the roof and its integrity. On top of that, a savy seller will have receipts and documentation of when the roof was previously replaced and any warranties it may have. Additionally this information can be found through your city’s building department. You can always get a second opinion, if you lack confidence in the information given. For the brave, you can ask to access the attic space yourself and inspect the roof internally.

Now that you have made the decision to inspect the roof, it may not need replacement RATHER repairs. If possible during due diligence in your contract, obtain an estimate on repairs and make a determination. You are most likely not the only person considering this home for purchase, and your Realtor should provide a due diligence period that allows you to gain estimates and cover your basis on repairs and replacements. You may even be able to negotiate the price point depending on the market due to the age of the roof.

So you find out that the seller is not willing to cover the cost of the replacement, and you are still wanting to move forward with the purchase but don’t know what to expect with replacement cost. Work with a local roofing company to obtain a reroof estimate so you can budget accordingly. In addition, ask yourself how long you plan to live in your new home? Maybe you do not need to make the replacement immediately, but can plan for the near future.

Costly Roof Situations
If you approach a home that is “sagging” or “drooping” this could be due to structural damage and the roof itself and home could be structurally compromised. Perhaps there are missing shingles on the roof and sunlight can be seen through the attic, this could be a bad sign. Moisture could be found in the attic space and mean poor ventilation was taking place causing mold or algae to grow. Lastly, noticing large amounts of staining on the roof and walls could meant the walls have been softened due to repetitive water intrusion from the roof and could lead to Mold and Mildew.
Ultimately, knowing the facts on the roof is a starting point to determining which home and roof age is right for you.