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Selling a House With an Old Roof

James Anderson

December 28, 2022

Selling a house with an old roof can cause hiccups along the road due to home inspections; the prospective buyer wants and needs your roof's condition and age.  

With the current cost of roofing materials and the state of the market, many buyers won't consider purchasing a house that needs roof repairs or a total roof replacement - what are your options as a seller?  

Throughout this article, we will discuss ways that homeowners can successfully sell their house with a 20-year-old roof, buying a home with a 20-year-old roof, and sell a house with a bad roof

Selling a House with a Bad Roof 

Houses ready for immediate occupancy are in high demand among today's homebuyers. Buyers are more compelled than ever to invest in turnkey properties because they have less time, fewer skills, and higher costs to invest in renovations

This is bad news if a home has a bad roof or needs other repairs before being put on the market. Fortunately, this doesn't mean that every homeowner who experiences typical roofing issues must replace their roof before listing their home for sale. 

For those who have wondered, "Should I replace the roof before selling a house?" the answer is yes. 

Successfully selling a house with a 20-year-old roof 

Property inspections can be a stumbling block when selling an older home since the buyer needs to know the age and condition of the top.  

How can I successfully sell a house with a 20-year-old roof? 

1. Selling Through a Real Estate Agent in a Traditional Sale 

Most homeowners will wish to market their property with a realtor and complete a standard transaction. If you want to have minor roof damage repaired, such as a few missing or cracked shingles, get in touch with a local contractor. 

You might want to sell your house "as is," taking a cash offer or agreeing to a lower price from a buyer after considering the cost of a new roof and the property's overall resale value. 

The final decision is yours to make, but before you do, you should always take into account your realtor's advice, and can tell you with some degree of assurance whether or not the average buyer would be happy with the condition of your home. 

2. Selling To a Company That Buys Houses without Needing A New Roof 

Countless radio and television commercials promise to buy properties in any condition for cash. Some purchasers won't insist on a roof inspection or require you to make any repairs to it before buying your home. 

Companies like Veritas Homebuyers have an in-house roofing contractor and are willing to spend far more on a home with damaged roofing than a typical buyer

3. Selling To A Real Estate Investor That Specializes In Homes With Older And Bad Roof Damage 

A House With A Bad Roof

If you're considering selling your home, know that real estate investors are always on the lookout for deals, and many of them will even pay to get the house fixed up before making an offer. To save money, real estate investors sometimes buy properties without having them inspected or making any repairs

These investors will take a chance on your house because they anticipate a return from renting it out to tenants or selling it once the required repairs have been made. 

4. Selling Your House Needing Home Improvements Directly To A Private Home Buyer 

A private house buyer might be a fantastic option for a homeowner who wants to save the expense of a new roof but isn't interested in making any interior changes. 

To be clear, "for sale by owner" (FSBO) ads are meant for sales between private individuals. You may advertise your property for sale in various areas, including social media, newspapers, and real estate platforms. 

If buyers are obliged to employ a house inspector to evaluate the roof before purchase, they may save money in the long run. 

If you are selling your home "as is," you should still know that in most states, you are obligated to disclose any significant flaws, including those with your roof. It's possible to obtain a cash offer if you're selling your house as-is without making any significant repairs or upgrades. 

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Old Roofs & What Else You Need to Know 

You likely know a few essential features to search for while shopping for a new house. Consider factors such as mold, structural problems,  quality of the roof, and so on, in addition to your list of "must-haves." 

The roof plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety, warmth, and dryness of a home and its occupants. But when a roof is damaged or too old, it can be pricey to replace and warrant looking elsewhere for a place to live. 

Signs of impending disaster include things like missing shingles or a sinking ceiling. On the other hand, a well-maintained roof will have no missing shingles, appear sturdy and clean, and have clear gutters. 

Aside from that, the roof's age may also reveal a lot. Shingle roofs should be changed every 20 years or so, at the absolute least. So if the property you're seeking to purchase has an older roof, there are specific considerations you'll need to make. More specifically, an older roof may be more difficult to insure, even if it is in excellent condition. 

How to get homeowners insurance with an old roof 

A Person Holding A Blue And White Cube

What do you do if the house of your dreams has a roof that is 20 years old yet in excellent condition? Homeowners insurance is required whether or not you plan to replace the roof immediately after purchase. 

If your roof is 20 years old or older, you may find that your insurance company will no longer cover it. They'll instead suggest getting a new roof installed. 

Don't give up hope if you've been turned down for insurance because of your roof's age. There is a market for high-risk homeowners insurance, but premiums tend to reflect the inherent financial risk. 

Insuring an old roof is not a good long-term strategy due to the low payment value and high premium associated with high-risk home insurance. It could assist in the short run, though, as you save enough to fix the roof after buying the house. 

Major Risks Associated with Selling an Older Houses 

You may be debating whether or not to replace your old roof if you want to sell your property in the near future. After a roof has served its useful life, replacement may be necessary. Some potential problems that might arise while selling a property with an older roof are discussed below. 

1. Home May Not Pass Inspection 

A House Inspector

Home inspection failures are a major source of anxiety for sellers. Home inspectors are trained to discover roof leaks and other structural defects that are sometimes invisible to the naked eye. 

The roof is checked for any evidence of damage or excessive wear during an inspection. Loose or missing shingles, holes or gaps, mildew development, and pooling water might indicate problems with the roof. 

2. The Lender May Refuse Financing 

An aging roof is only one part of your house, but it's a significant part nonetheless. A lender may reject a buyer's credit until they repair the roof, which is deemed crucial to the home's structural integrity. 

A damaged roof is a big safety threat, thus a lender's rejection to finance a house with such damage is normally for the buyer's own good. Putting your property up for sale might be a good time to think about getting a new roof to ensure that no problems of this nature arise. 

3. Could Impact the Final Sale Price 

One of the most significant renovations you can undertake is to replace your home's roof. It is also among the costliest options available.  

Many property owners have concerns about the amount they will have to spend replacing their roofs and whether or not they will get any return on their investment. 

Most professionals feel that a new or upgraded roof provides one of the highest returns on investment among all types of renovations. Although the return on investment (ROI) may not be perfect, a new roof will significantly increase your home's worth. 

4. The Home May Not Be Insurable 

You should always have home insurance regardless of the condition of your roof. However, your insurance company may refuse to renew your policy if your roof is older than 20 years unless you replace it with one that satisfies their requirements. 

Your homeowner's insurance may terminate if an inspector finds that your roof needs repair. However, if your roof is older than 20 years, your insurance company may only pay the monetary value of your claim instead of the full cost of a new roof. Many would-be buyers may be put off significantly by constant reminders of this fact. 

How to protect your older roof 

Tools And Plans For Selling A House With An Old Roof

There are things you can do to extend the life of an older roof if you decide to buy a property with one and are saving up for a replacement. 

  • Have your roof inspected before and after you buy the house to be sure it is in good shape. 
  • Stay on top of tree trimming. Branches that hang too low and are close to your property can cause serious harm if they fall during a storm. When tree branches are too close together, animals may be able to easily gain access to the roof and do harm from there. 
  • If you have an older roof, it's important to keep detailed records, including recent pictures of the roof's condition, in case a claim needs to be made. 

How much does a new roof cost? 

How much money will you need to fix an old roof on a house before you buy it? If you're in the market for a new home, you may have this question. Even though there are many variables to consider, the cost to replace a shingle roof is typically around $8,500

However, depending on the house's size, roof repair costs might range from as low as $5,500 to as much as $30,000. The price will vary based on variables such as the type of material chosen, ease of access to the roof, the current state of the property, and the necessity of acquiring any necessary permissions or licenses. 

Buying a House with a 20-Year-Old Roof 

If you want to protect your home from the elements, you must protect the most major element: the roof.  

Everything within a house is vulnerable to the elements without a roof, especially in the case of rain, snow, high winds, high temperatures, and ultraviolet radiation. But if you have a roof — and I mean a nice, new roof — you and your family and all of your possessions are secure from harm. 

That's why it's crucial to inspect the age and condition of the roof in every house you're considering buying. Buying a home with a roof that is 20 years old means that you may need to make repairs or even get a new roof in the future.

1. Inspect the Roof before Purchasing the House 

All too often, the houses that are for sale will need repair. However, some homes have roofs that are significantly more worn than others because they are older (twenty years old, for example). 

You must inspect the roof's state on your potential new home and determine if any repairs will be needed soon. A roof inspection before buying a home is the most efficient way to do both

2. Your Budget Should Account for Roof Repairs 

When buying an older home, it's important to get it inspected even if you're sure it's the right one. Buying the property without first having the roof examined is risky since several problems related to the roof's age might crop up after the purchase has been finalized.  

However, if you get a roof inspection done before buying the property, you'll know what repairs are needed, when they're needed, and how much they'll cost. 

Doing a thorough roof inspection before making an offer may factor the estimated cost of necessary roof repairs into your overall offer price

FAQ 

Do you have enough time to replace the roof? 

It may not be practical to replace the roof if you are in a hurry to sell your home. 
Due to material and personnel limitations, roofing replacements might take a very long period – perhaps weeks or even months. How quickly you can secure bids from roofing companies, evaluate those figures, and finish the job will determine the actual duration of the project. 

Why Would Potential Buyers Hesitate to Buy a Home That Needs Roof Repairs? 

After shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars on a down payment, mortgage, closing costs, moving expenses, and so on, new homeowners don't want to spend more money on a new roof and the associated labor to install it. 
When a roof is damaged or in poor condition, it can cause other issues with the property's upkeep, such as water damage to the ceiling and interior walls. It can make it difficult for the new owner to obtain home insurance. 

When selling my house, should I replace the roof? 

We're living in a fascinating era. Your house appears to be on the market, then. A question you should ask yourself before putting your property up for sale is whether or not it needs a new roof. 
It's up to you to determine if you'd be better off doing small repairs, replacing everything, or just trying to sell the property as-is to get the most money back. 
In all honesty, no one can say for sure. Although there is no rule that applies in all cases, there are certain things to consider when assessing the condition of your roof, your home, and your ability to sell it. 

Selling A House With An Old Roof
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