buying a house with an old roof

Buying A House With An Old Roof

Buying A House With An Old Roof

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Even if the homeowner does not perform a disclosure of the last reparation of the roofing (2) before a verbal offer is released with contractual value (6), the current condition of the roof will be discovered through the exercise of the home inspection (3), which is a legal right of the prospective buyer (4). An exhaustive scrutiny of the roofing, tiles, and shingles (1) is a standard article on the checking protocols of all the reputable home inspectors (5) because buying a house with an old roof or hidden defects (8) might have a huge impact on the negotiation of the price (7). When they communicate the buyer with the result of their inspection, along with the condition of the roof, the prospective buyer will either accept the deal (10) or do a price negotiation (9) in which conditions they would be buying a house with an old roof (11).

How to retrieve all the details and perform an informed decision about buying a house with an old roof?

  1. Request the seller written documents regarding the previous reparations performed on the roof.

  2. Bring a home inspector to examine the condition of the roof before buying a house with an old roof.

  3. Request an inspection and an estimation from a professional roofing specialist.

  4. Perform a scrutiny on the old roof visually yourself.

  5. Negotiate the price with the seller considering the estimation received, your cash flow to assume the repairs on the old roof, and your personal goals regarding the property.

    Bear in mind that FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans are very strict with the condition of the house. Therefore, the status of the old roof should be very good in those cases.

Rehab Loans Useful When Buying A House With An Old Roof

The cost of paying for a roof repair can be added directly into the amount of the loan you are applying for, but there are two different rehab loan programs in which the cost can be added to the total loan amount that are very important to consider when you are buying a house with an old roof.

Several products are available in the market to assist you in dealing with this type of situation, including the FHA 203K loan as well as the Fannie Mae Homestyle Renovation loan.

For an FHA loan, a minimum amount of down payment is required of at least 3.5% of the purchase price, with this exception, whereas for a Fannie Mae loan, the minimum down payment is 5%.

Other possibilities would require a higher down payment like this one, which we do not recommend.

The lending companies may also allow the seller to fund the roof repair escrow, which is a fund that is put aside when the transaction closes to cover the cost of those repairs.

It is often the case that the seller is willing to make the repairs on the roof along with the deal so that it can be successfully completed.

Regardless of what you decide, you will need to contact your lender to find out what your options are when it comes to roof repair, and you will need to double-check with the agent for the household insurance policy before buying a house with an old roof to confirm they will sign off on whatever plan you come up with.

What Does It Cost To Replace An Old Roof

For a 2,000 sq. ft roof with architectural shingles on a house with two stories, the US average ranges from $6,730 and $13,338 for people who replace a roof for the first time. However, most people are willing to pay a modal average of $8,700 for a roof replacement.

It will cost only $3,500 for a roof replacement on a 1,000 sq. ft house with a single story to replace asphalt shingles on the roof. On the 2-story house, the project will cost a high of $44,000 to install slate shingles on a roof covering 2,000 square feet with reinforcement of the roof deck.

National average cost$9,000
Average range$7,000-$12,000
Minimum cost$3,500
Maximum cost$44,000

Roof Replacement Cost by Project Range

Low cost range $3,500: Asphalt shingles on a 1,000 sq.ft. 1-story roof

Average Cost project $9,000: Replacing a 2,000 sq.ft. roof with architectural shingles on a 2-story home

High-cost project $44,000: Slate shingles plus roof deck reinforcement on a 2,000 sq.ft. roof of 2-story home

Average Cost to Replace a Roof by Size

The size of your home and roof play a major role in how much your roof replacement costs and have to be considered before buying a house with an old roof.

Roofs come in many shapes and sizes, but the general rule is that your roof will be roughly 1.5 times your square footage.

So, a 1,000 sq.ft. home will have a 1,500 sq. ft. roof. Roofing material is sold and installed by the square, which is 100 sq. ft. So if your roof is 1,350 sq.ft., you should purchase 1,400 sq. ft. of material on average.

These figures are a guideline. Make sure you have your actual roof measured by a professional to get the exact dimensions.

The average cost range per roof square replacement is $350 to $600 per square, but some materials cost less or more, depending on your roof’s condition.

Roof SizeHouse SizeAverage Old Roof Replacement Cost
1,000 sq.ft.667 sq.ft.$3,500 – $6,000
1,200 sq.ft.800 sq.ft.$4,200 – $7,200
1,350 sq.ft.900 sq.ft.$4,725 – $8,100
1,500 sq.ft.1,000 sq.ft.$5,250 – $9,000
2,000 sq.ft.1,333 sq.ft.$7,000 – $12,000
2,200 sq.ft.1,467 sq.ft.$7,700 – $13,200
3,750 sq.ft.2,500 sq.ft.$13,125 – $22,500
4,500 sq.ft.3,000 sq.ft.$15,750 – $27,000

Cost of a New 1,000 Sq.Ft. Roof

The average cost of a 1,000 sq.ft. roof averages $3,500 to $6,000. A roof this size is found on a home that is approximately 667 sq.ft. in size.

These costs assume that the home does not need roof reinforcement. It also assumes that the home has a normal pitch range that is between 4/12 and 8/12.

This means that the roof rises between 4 and 8 inches for every 12 inches of the roof. Roofs that have higher or lower pitches may have different costs.

1,200 Sq.Ft. Roof Cost

The average cost of a 1,200 sq.ft. roof is between $4,200 and $7,200. A roof this size would be on a home that is approximately 800 sq.ft. These costs assume that the roof would not require any reinforcement.

They also assume that the pitch of the roof falls into the normal range of 4/12 to 8/12. This means that the pitch climbs between 4 and 8 inches for every 12 inches of roofing.

If your roof is higher or lower than this pitch, it may have different costs and will vary the final cost of buying a house with an old roof.

Cost of a 1,350 Sq.Ft. Roof

The cost for a new 1,350 sq.ft. roof ranges from $4,725 to $8,100. A roof of this size, would be on a home of approximately 900 sq.ft.

These costs include the complete tear-out of the old material and the installation of the new material. They do not include any reinforcement of the roof or replacement of the roof deck.

They also assume that the pitch of the roof falls in the normal range of 4/12 to 8/12, meaning the roof rises between 4 and 8 inches for every 12 inches of roofing.

Cost of a New 1,500 Sq.Ft. Roof

The cost of a 1,500 sq.ft. roof is between $5,250 and $9,000. A roof this size would be on a home that is approximately 1,000 sq.ft.

These costs include the complete tear-out of the old roofing material and the new roofing installation. They do not include any reinforcements of the roof or replacement decking. They are calculated apart and you should obtain an estimation when buying a house with an old roof.

These costs assume that the roof has a pitch that falls between 4/12 and 8/12. If the roof is higher or lower in pitch, the costs could be different.

2,000 Sq.Ft. Roof Replacement Cost

The cost of a 2,000 sq. ft. roof replacement averages $7,000 to $12,000. This roof will most likely be on a home that measures approximately 1,333 sq. ft.

These costs are for a total roof replacement of the shingles and underlayment. They do not include the costs of decking replacement or roofing reinforcement for heavier materials.

They also assume that the pitch of the roof falls between the range of 4/12 to 8/12. Roofs with a pitch that is higher or lower than this could have different costs.

2,200 Sq.Ft. Roof Replacement Cost

The cost of a 2,200 sq.ft. roof replacement ranges from $7,700 to $13,200. A roof this size is found on a home that is approximately 1,467 sq.ft. These costs are for a full roof replacement.

This includes the tear-out and installation of the new roofing material. It does not include the replacement of the roof deck or roof reinforcement. If your roof has serious damage and needs either of these additions, your costs will be higher.

Cost of a 3,750 Sq.Ft. Roof

The cost of a new 3,750 sq.ft. roof is between $13,125 and $22,500. A roof this size will be found on a home that is 2,500 sq.ft.

These costs are for a full roof replacement when buying a house with an old roof.

This includes tearing off the old roof and replacing it with new roofing material. Costs do not include the replacement of the deck or the roof reinforcement. If your roof needs this additional work, your costs will be higher.

Cost of a New 4,500 Sq.Ft. Roof

The cost of a new 4,500 sq.ft roof averages $15,750 to $27,000. A roof this size will be found on a home that is approximately 3,000 sq.ft.

These costs are for a full roof replacement. This includes the tear-off of the old material and the installation of new roofing material.

Costs do not include any decking replacement or roof reinforcement. If your roof needs this additional work, your costs will be higher.

Material Requirements When Replacing An Old Roof

As long as you choose the right material, you will save a significant amount of money on your roof’s total price, both for the materials and the labor that is included in the installation process and will help you decide when buying a house with an old roof.

It is evident that in some cases heavy roofs require reinforcement of the deck, and in other cases they require specialized labor. Your roof material is a major component of the total cost of your roof together with the pitch and shape of the building.

Whether or not you can save money on your roof installation depends largely on the material that’s chosen. It is evident in some cases heavy roofs require reinforcement of the deck, and in other cases they require specialized labor.

The price for materials will vary depending upon whether a lightweight material such as asphalt shingles are used; it would be more expensive to use tile sheets which may also need heavier structural support due to its extra weight.

Whether using an ordinary rooftop design with four slopes up from each side meets your needs, or if complex designs like hip-roofs make sense financially dependent upon many factors including site slope and building shape.

So when buying a house with an old roof also weigh the materials required for the reparation or replacement of the old roof, as follows:

MaterialCost of Old Roof Replacement per Sq.Ft.
Asphalt Shingle$2.50 – $4.50
Vinyl (PVC)$3 – $8
Bitumen$4 – $8
Rubber$5 – $10
Architectural Shingles$6 – $8
Metal$7 – $14
Cedar$8 – $12
Composite$8 – $15
Concrete Tile$9 – $18
Green$10 – $35
Solar$12 – $25
Clay$15 – $20
Slate$15 – $25

Cost to Replace an Asphalt Shingle Roof

The shingle roof replacement cost varies between $2.50 – $4.50 a square foot depending on the size of your roof.

There are several types of roofing materials that are commonly used for the roof, including asphalt shingles. It can be easily installed, it’s lightweight, and it’s inexpensive. It is a solution cheap to perform when you are buying a house with an old roof and you want to buy the house anyway.

The color of the film as well as the thickness and other characteristics of the film are all quite different. Several are constructed to resist hail damage, whereas others are coated in white in order to help keep the roof cool in hot weather. It is also possible to install asphalt shingles over a layer of asphalt, thereby reducing the cost of installation.

Vinyl Roofing Cost

It is not uncommon for vinyl or PVC roofs to cost anywhere between $3 and $8 per square foot.

An alternative to a pitched roof is to use this method. In addition to having little to no pitch, flat roofs are also more prone to leaks and have different needs as well.

Roofs made from vinyl are one of the best ways to meet these needs. The material is spread over the roofs in the form of rolls of material that are rolled. If you would like to make your roof more resistant to water, the seams on the roof can be sealed.

Bitumen Roofing Cost

In the United States, bitumen roofing is typically priced at $4 – $8 per square foot on average. 

A flat roof can also be constructed from bituminous materials. There are a few things to keep in mind concerning this installation and how long it will last.

This is another flat roofing material that has a black color, so it gets hotter than most other flat roofing materials.

Due to its lack of seams, it is much more water-resistant in comparison to other types of materials. On sheds and modest outbuildings, this is a very common type of roofing system to use.

Rubber Roofing Cost

The average price of rubber roofing is about $5 to $10 per square foot. Flat roofs are usually made out of rubber. The membrane is laid out across the roof in such a way that it is completely waterproofed.

As a consequence thereof, it is put on in one piece, allowing it to be the most seamless garment of all. Among the more popular materials for flat roofs, this is a long-lasting, rather easy to maintain, as well as fairly easy to install material.

Architectural Shingles Roof Cost

In general, the costs of architectural shingles range from six to eight dollars per square foot. New types of asphalt shingles have been introduced to the market recently, including architectural shingles.

The terms “laminated shingles” and “synthetic shingles” are sometimes used interchangeably. As a result of the fact that they are thicker, these shingles offer much more long-term durability than asphalt, with a much greater life expectancy.

It is because of their resistance to things like hail damage and their lightweight that they do not require any additional reinforcement on the roof.

Having a selection of different colors to choose from, they are easy to install. In recent years, architects have made houses more interesting, through the use of architectural shingles as roofing materials.

Metal Roofing Cost

In the United States, steel roofs average between $7 and $14 per square foot, according to the latest data.

Some metal roof types include standing seams, corrugated tin, and metal tiles, which come in several different sizes, shapes, and colors.

There are many advantages to metal roofs, such as durability, longevity, and a low maintenance cost. There are certain types of roof decks that need to be reinforced before installation, depending on the type you choose.

Cedar Roofing Cost

It is estimated that the average cost of a cedar roof ranges from $8 to $12 per square foot. It is possible to choose shingles or shakes for a cedar roof. 

Shakes are typically more irregular in size and shape, whereas shingles are typically more regular in size and shape. When used on a roof, both types must be treated as flame-retardant materials before being placed onsite. For a cedar roof to maintain its integrity, it is imperative that it is maintained in a timely and effective manner. There is generally no need to install any reinforcement for cedar roofs because they are naturally strong.

Composite Roofing Cost

Roofs made from composite materials cost between $8 and $15 per square foot, depending on the manufacturer. A composite roof is basically a roof made up of many materials, including fiberglass, paper, wood, asphalt, and laminates which are spliced together to make the shingles. 

The materials used in making these are highly durable, long-lasting, and aesthetically pleasing. In terms of type, color, and style, there are quite a few options. Installation is easy, and the roof does not need to be reinforced to install them.

Concrete Roof Tiles Price

There are about nine to eighteen dollars per square foot for concrete roof tiles installed. Roof tiles made up of concrete can have many different styles.

It can be fashioned in a manner that resembles rounded clay tiles or it can be flat tiles that resemble clay tiles. I could not gather the prices of this variation

As well as various colors and styles, both are available in a wide array of color combinations. In comparison to tile roofs made of clay, concrete roofs have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance. Depending upon how old, and what the structure of your current roof is, you may want to reinforce the roof.

Green Roof Cost

An average roof with a so-called “green roof” costs between ten dollars and thirty-five dollars per square foot. Creating a green roof can be done in a few different ways. It can go from being brief and sweet to be very intricate and extensive. It may be necessary for you to reinforce your roof in order to have the ability to handle such additional weight.

Green roofs can be installed on flat roofs or moderately pitched roofs, as long as the roof is not too steep in pitch. It is possible to install a green roof on a roof with a more extensive pitch, but it may increase the cost.

Solar Shingles Cost

A solar shingle installation costs anywhere between $12 and $25 per square foot. This unique type of solar shingle gives your house a solar power boost that you can count on.

These are shingles that you can install on your roof seamlessly rather than large panels that are installed as part of your roof. The materials can be used simply to cover entire roofs, but they are often combined with other materials because the sun does not often shine on the entire roof at one time. With these shingles, you can add a subtler and natural appearance to your home while helping to reduce your energy consumption, in addition to giving your home a more natural appearance.

Clay Tile Roof Cost

For a clay tile roof, the price is in the range of $15 and $20 per square foot. Among the roof tile types that have been used for generations is the clay tile. In addition to their many different forms and styles, they also come in a myriad of styles.

The lifespan of these roof tiles is quite long if they are properly cared for. However, they can be fragile and easily broken if they are not handled properly, so you should treat them with care. The installation of this roof might require you to reinforce a section of your roof based on the size and structure of your home.

Slate Roofing Cost

The average cost of a new slate roof can range from $15 to $25 per square foot, and there is some variation within that range.

The slate material is one of the most durable and longest-lasting roof coverings available on the market today. Generally, it can be expected to last at least a century in most settings.

There are a few different types of shades and colors available in slate, which is a natural material. There is no doubt that slate is heavy, so a roof will need to be reinforced to support the weight.

If your older home or roof is in bad shape, then you may need to strengthen it further and may have to spend more than you would on newer homes.

Material Lifespan In The Replacement Of An Old Roof

It goes without saying that shingles made out of composite materials are the lowest quality roofs on the market, other than those made of rolled material.

There are many types of composite shingle roofs that are perfect for houses, and they are the least expensive to install, which is why they are amongst the most popular in the market and chosen by many investors when they are just buying a house with an old roof and then flip it.

Architectural quality roofs, also known as 3d or “3 tab” roofs, are similar, but have different names: They are an upgrade from the lowly composite shingle roof.  It is important to note that these roofs can last for 30 years. Additionally, they possess a better aesthetic appearance than composite-based roofs.

When you look at the appearance of the 3-D shingles, you will be able to tell that they are different from a composite.  It doesn’t take long for you to start telling the styles apart once you begin to see a few of each style.

Business Case When Buying A House With An Old Roof: The Price Reduction Instead Of A Roof Replacement

The old roof is usually identified during the home inspection, where it is indicated in the home inspection report. As this is not a minor item, the prospective buyer and the seller will discuss this item and recalculate the price.

Buying a house with an old roof can have an important impact on the price of the house. They will do this negotiation by themselves or through the intermediation of their representatives, or realtors.

There is a tendency of buyers not troubling to bargain over minor details that will not have an impact on the deal altogether.

There is no such thing as a perfect house, and there is an implied assumption on the involvement of somebody who purchases a second-hand house that some thumps, abrasions, and contusions are just part and parcel of buying a second-hand home.

Markets may also have an impact: For instance, a buyer will be more choosy when it comes to buying in a buyer’s market and less demanding when it comes to buying in a sellers’ market.

In contrast, a roof that is due for replacement is far different from a roof that is imminent. In the unfortunate event that the homeowner will not back out of the sale, it is still likely that the agent will come up with one or more of the following factors:

  • As compensation for the cost to replace the roof on the home, reduce the price so that the purchaser is compensated for the loss.
  • Ensure the roof has been replaced before the sale is completed.

When you are the seller and you have a problem with the old roof, you are almost assured to pay for the roof at the very end of this process, so it is almost hopeless to avoid it.

Some would recommend to homeowners replace the roof before listing the property for sale. This will not only enable you to avoid an acrimonious engagement with a potential buyer but will also allow you to recoup your investments.

However, I will recommend to the seller not to repair or replace the roof before selling it. The homeowner will discount the cost of the roof from the final price. The price will be lowered and this will facilitate the acquisition as it is easier for the prospective buyer to find conforming loans, lower down payments, and fewer requirements overall for buying a house with an old roof.

Request An Inspection From A Roofer Before Buying A House With An Old Roof

Once the seller informs the prospective buyer about the existence and condition of the old roof, or it is discovered after a home inspection, it is recommended that you arrange with a roofing company or a roofer professional a thorough inspection on the roof and also, request an estimation.

This will allow you to negotiate the price with the seller if this is necessary.

The average roof can last thirty years or more with proper maintenance. But a poorly installed roof, shingles, or tiles of poor quality can cause the roof to need to be replaced a lot sooner than it should.

buying a house with an old roof

The seller should be able to provide you with information regarding how old the roof is, and check the gutters to ensure that the drainage systems are in good working order. Furthermore, you should watch out for dry rot conditions, which is often a sign of inadequate ventilation, and cause them to sag and crumble.

If you are standing on the ground, you can see if there are any cracks in the shingles, or if they are missing altogether. However, if you are going to offer the property, or if you are going to start the negotiations, it is worthwhile to get a roofer to do an inspection.

Ask to see the results of the home inspection if the seller proceeded with the sale before the home inspection was done. In some states, disclosure forms are also required, which gives sellers a formal opportunity to disclose any possible problems with their homes.

Factors That Influence The Cost Of Replacement Or Renovation Of An Old Roof

Type Of Roof Required

In order to determine the cost of a new roof before buying a house with an old roof , you will need to decide which type of roof you want. It is possible to choose different types of roofs based on your budget and the look you want for your home from a variety of different options. 

The asphalt shingle roof might be an option for you if you are on a tight budget and seeking a roof that is affordable. However, if you’re interested in upgrading to a more durable and visually appealing metal roofing system, this is a great option. 

You can find asphalt and metal roofs among the most commonly used roof types. However, you can also find roofs made with premium shingles that can be quite expensive if you choose to install them.

Having a roof such as this can give your home a distinctive look that truly stands out. There is a wide range of premium roofs including cedar shingles, slate, and tiles. 

Compared to an asphalt shingle roof, premium shingle roofs can be more than three times more expensive.

Materials Selected For The Roof 

A roof is made up of more than just the shingles you see on the outside. It’s made of different roofing components and materials that all go into the cost of your new roof. 

Including your shingles, the components that make up your roof system are: 

  • Underlayment 
  • Ice and water shield 
  • Starter shingles 
  • Ventilation system
  • Ridge capping

While these are the roof system’s main components, there are other roofing materials included in your roof replacement such as roof flashing, drip edge, and pipe boots. 

Remember, all your roofing components and materials impact the cost of your new roof. With that in mind, it’s absolutely crucial to invest in quality instead of getting the cheapest materials to lower the final cost of your new roof. 

Depending on the materials, a roof could last longer than you think. Asphalt shingles can be expected to endure for about 20-30 years before they need replacing, while composite or metal roofs have an average life span of around 40+ years! The weatherization that goes into your house will also dictate how often it is necessary to replace the roof.

Depending on what material is used as insulation and protection against water damage (like asphalt), some homes may see their roofs lasting between 15-25 years – but if more advanced products are developed like composites or metals which resist leaks from rainwater such as hail storms without being destroyed by them over time, then these types of houses might go up to 30+.

Labor And Time Estimation

Labor and time are two of the main factors a roofing contractor considers when calculating the price of your new roof. If anything takes time and labor, it will show up in the final cost of your roof replacement. 

If the roof is complex and hard to access, then it’s going to take longer and more labor to complete. From tearing off your old roof to cleaning up your property after the job is done, if it takes manpower and time, it’s going to impact the cost of your new roof. 

Access To The Roof

Your roofing contractor needs an easy access point to tear off the old roof, get the torn off materials into the dump truck, and send the new materials back up to the roof for installation. 

The harder your roof is to access to do these tasks, the more it impacts the cost of your new roof. But what can make your roof hard to access?

The amount of landscaping you have around your house, a fence, how far away the materials and how far the dump truck is from the roof’s access point all go into accessibility.

For example, a home with rows of shrubbery, a fence, and a driveway that is far away from the installers and your roofing materials will cost more than a home with a roof that is easy to get to.

Roof Penetrations

Chimneys, pipes, skylights, exhaust fans, vents, and air conditioning units all fall into the category of roof penetrations. Some of the common penetrations that your roof has are plumbing vents, gas vents, kitchen/bathroom vents, skylights, and chimneys.

The more penetrations your roof has, the more time and manpower it takes to work around them to install your new roof. Smaller pipes or vents won’t add that much to the cost. 

However, bigger penetrations such as skylights and chimneys take longer to flash and to work around, so they add more to the cost of your new roof.

Roof Slope And Surface Level

This may seem pretty obvious, but the square footage of your roof impacts the cost of your new roof. Square footage affects the amount of materials used, labor, and time needed to complete the job. 

The size of your roof impacting the price is pretty obvious, but most people don’t consider their roof’s complexity when getting an estimate for their roof replacement. Roof complexity is how many facets, hips, valleys, and the pitch (steepness) your roof has. 

A roof that is cut up with a high number of facets at multiple angles, hips, valleys, and a steep pitch is more difficult and takes a lot longer to roof than a simple ranch style roof with only two or four roof facets. 

You also need to consider how tall your roof is. The higher the roof, the more precautions the installers have to take. For their own safety, they have to move slower and more carefully.

Surface Of The Roof That Needs To Be Repaired or Refurbished

The surface of the roof is the decking.

Decking is the wooden boards that make up the framing of the roof. These boards are what your shingles and other components are installed on. 

The amount of roof decking that needs to be replaced will impact the price of your new roof. Be aware, it can be difficult to tell what the condition of your roof’s decking is until the old roof has been torn off.

If your roofer knows you need it replaced at the start, it will be included in your roof estimate. On the other hand, if they find that your decking is bad while tearing off the old roof, the cost will be added to the final invoice. 

Tear Off And Waste Removal

When you get a new roof, your old one is usually torn off. During this tear-off process, there’s a lot of debris coming off your roof. All that debris has to go somewhere once it comes off your roof. 

The debris from your old roof will be loaded up into a dump truck to be taken to a dump of the contractor’s choice. The dumpsites charge significant fees for this service, and they are going up all the time. 

Because of this, the dump fees and the labor cost of the employee to dump your old roof will impact the cost of your new roof. 

Operating Costs

Every roofing contractor has operating expenses to keep their business going. These operating costs will always factor into the price of any roof work that needs to be done. 

Some common operating costs are:

  • Building cost and utilities, shop and truck yard
  • Advertising and promotions
  • Vehicles (fuel and insurance)
  • General liability insurance
  • Workers compensation insurance
  • Licenses and bonds
  • Training 
  • Payroll and payroll taxes
  • Taxes (Federal and local government)

Defects Usually Found When Buying A House With An Old Roof

Here are some telltale signs that your roof might need to be replaced:

  • Sand-like granules collecting in your gutters
  • Mold along the edge of the roof
  • Dented shingles
  • Missing shingles
  • Torn flashing
  • Sagging
  • Daylight showing through into the attic
  • Dried out caulking under the flashing
  • Blistered ceiling paint and/or stains on the interior of the home

Structural Damage

If the actual structure of the roof is compromised, it’d be wise to step away from the situation. Replacing cracked or deteriorating roof beams can be an expensive and unnecessary investment for a home buyer to deal with.

When buying a house with an old roof, just bear in mind that you will not be granted an FHA loan, a VA loan, or a USDA loan if the house has structural damage.

You should obtain a complete estimation from a professional roofer and evaluate it afterwards.

Missing Shingles And Algae Overgrowth

What are the facts that you can confirm with respect to the roof shingles missing? Is there sunlight in the attic space from time to time? A large number of shingles and other materials in this area are old, and it is likely that they are in need of replacing immediately. It is also advisable to look for algae and moss growing at the external side of the wall.

A problem with the attic’s ventilation could mean that there is a lack of adequate ventilation and further work is required to address the issue.

There are many different things to look for when checking on your roof. Some of these include sunlight coming in from the attic, whether any shingles or other materials have been disturbed recently and how old they are, if there is moss growing at the external side of a wall leading into an attic space and finally, what kind of ventilation system is installed.

The roof of your home might be in need of repair. Signs that you should get it checked out are shingles missing, sunlight penetrating the space between joists and rafters or moss growth on the exterior walls.

Water Damage Found When Buying A House With An old Roof

Water damage on the ceiling or wall surfaces will cause the ceiling and walls to soften or rot if you ignore a leak in your roof for too long.

For an extended period of time, there may have been an unnoticed leak in the roof that has created damage to the interior of your houses, such as the ceilings and walls. It is best to run your hand along with any stains present on these surfaces, and if they feel soft or even moldy in any way, that indicates that there has been some type of serious moisture present in the building!

If you notice a leak in your roof, don’t ignore it for too long because water damage can cause the ceiling and walls to soften or rot.

If there is an unnoticed leak in the roof for an extended period, then this could have already damaged the interior of your house’s ceilings and walls as well. If any stains are present on these surfaces, run a hand along with them – if they feel soft or moldy looking at all; that means that some sort of serious moisture has gotten inside!


Almost all old roof leaks are self-repairing, but those that are not addressed for a long time will damage your ceilings or walls in the form of water damage, which could cause the latter to develop softening or rotting characteristics.

For example, if you’ve had an unnoticed leak in your roof for quite some time, it is likely that the water has caused extensive damage to the interior of your home, such as the ceilings and walls.

My recommendation would be for anyone who sees stains on these surfaces to run their hands along with them in order to determine to which extent they have become soft or even moldy, an indication that the roof has been severely damaged by moisture.

When selling, how much value does a new roof add?

You will increase your resale value on your home if you add a new roof. A new roof can increase the value of a home by an average of $12,083 in a survey performed in the contiguous states and then aggregated for national averages.

Return On Investment For A New Roof

A survey shows the ROI calculating that when you have a new roof installed, you can recover around 62 percent of the installation cost through the increased value.

Several factors can impact your return on investment. For example, most contractors will try to avoid layering shingles, as it can shorten the roof’s life by up to 43 percent. Furthermore, it will trap heat and add too much weight to the roof. So, if you have a new $5,000 roof placed atop an existing layer of shingles, your return on investment will be lowered.

Regularly maintaining your roof will also impact your return on investment over time. For example, if you’ve just been hit with a big storm, have your contractor come out and do a thorough inspection, because small dings and dents that can be repaired easily now might be a bigger problem later.

Also, the materials you choose can impact the return on investment. Let’s say you put an asphalt roof on a home in a division where every other house has wood shingles – you’re going to be devalued for that, especially if you’re looking to sell any time soon.

Buying a House With An Old Roof That Contains Asbestos

Some older homes have roofs that include asbestos in the material. As we all know, asbestos, though commonly used decades ago, is a massive health risk when people are exposed to it. Therefore, before buying a house with an old roof, you must be having asbestos professionally removed and replaced with safe materials adds a health value that cannot be quantified.

The challenges of buying a house with an old roof

There are two main challenges with buying a house with an old roof.  

One of the main challenges is that it is possible that your roof might already be leaking, and if it is, it’s causing damage to the rest of your home.

There will be a number of problems that will begin in both the ceiling and attic of the house.  In the event of a leak, the sheetrock will sustain damage and staining, the insulation will be wet, the wiring may be exposed to water, and anything in the attic will suffer damage.

In the end, the problem will not be resolved if the drain is not addressed, since the water is eventually going to drain through the walls and, in the end, also through the light fixtures, causing damage throughout.

You may have to be very careful if you are thinking of taking over the roof that you installed when you bought it and which had leaks when you first bought it as there may have been more damage underneath that you or the inspector would not have been able to detect right away.

When it is found that there is a leak inside the house, it will be necessary to consider the damage that could occur to the inner walls of the house as well as other areas.

In case you are planning on getting a mortgage to buy the house, it is imperative that you acknowledge the fact that you will need to obtain homeowners insurance in order to protect the investment.

If an inspector deems the roof under poor condition or older than the original roof, the homeowners insurance companies might not cover the house.

Some homeowners insurance companies have a particular cutoff date they still consider an adequate timeframe for the coverage of a roof that is older:

Composite Shingle = 15 Years

Architectural Shingle = 20-25 years

Metal Roof =  Over 30 years

Cash Flow: Situation Where It Might be Worthwile To Accept Buying A House With An Old Roof

Now that you are in possession of cash, you have become a much stronger player in the deal as a result.  The seller does not have the money to fix the roof, and so you can take advantage of a situation where you have the cash to fix the roof.  This will be hard for the seller to sell the house as there are a lot of lenders and insurers that aren’t going to touch a house that has a bad roof. This will scare all potential buyers who would not be encouraged of buying a house with an old roof.

When you go to the closing table with cash, or if you can afford to handle the repairs related to the house during the closing process and escrow, you can use your leverage to get a great deal.

For instance, suppose that the roof repair will cost you a total of ten thousand dollars.  You have no reason not to try to get a 15-20K discount, since the seller’s pool of likely buyers has shrunk dramatically, and you should be able to negotiate a discount because of the seller’s limitations and the risk you are taking.

In many cases, a roof in this situation may end up working in your favor as an opportunity that is: buying a house with an old roof for a discount if you 1) are able to afford the new house b) exploit this opportunity.

When you should walk away from the bad roof deal

It would be best if you felt that you can get a loan product that doesn’t allow big repair escrows or has strict specifications for the property’s condition (for example a VA / FHA loan), in which case, you may want to reconsider the deal.

Furthermore, if it seems the seller is being unreasonable about the price or denial about the condition of the roof, then you may want to pass on the deal.

It may be that you decide to use a leak that already exists in the roof as a guideline in the event of a leak to proceed accordingly.  Having leaks in the roof means you’re exposing everything you’ve got under that roof to the elements, and you can’t be too careful since water will affect severely your house almost instantly.

Get a Quote

You cannot talk if you do not know how much the repair or replacement will cost. You need to get a quote from a contractor. Make sure that everything gets an inspection. Once you have the price of repair or replacement, you can continue working toward the perfect deal. The seller might not offer you the full price of the quote, but he or she might offer other concessions.

Roof Replacement And Curb Appeal

It is possible to tell when the life of a shingle roof is nearing its end when you see visible evidence of its deterioration. In the vast majority of cases, the tiles are missing from tiled roofs, and when they are missing, the roof’s underlayment is evident, as the tiles are often missing. The front of your house is going to be the first thing that any potential buyer is going to see when it comes to seeing your home.

There is nothing more important than first impressions in life, therefore curb appeal matters. There is nothing new about it, however it is doubly true in this era of online advertisement. It’s possible that a buyer’s first impression of your home is formed in only a few seconds between swipes or scrolls.

In most cases, this is not the case; however, it does seem to be the opposite; a newly repaired roof, that looks neat and well-maintained, can send very different messages about your house and how it represents its value. A strong offer is important when it comes to securing the interest of potential buyers.

A new roof provides a shiny, clean appearance to your home and it’s one of the first things potential buyers will notice. A good-looking house is worth more money! In addition to this practicality factor for homeowners in need of repairs, there are many other benefits as well from having an updated roof such as improved insulation against noise pollution (lower stress levels), less chance of mold growth if left untreated; plus you can even save on utility bills by installing solar panels with increased efficiency.


It’s normal to negotiate with the seller on the final price of the house. And an older roof might just give you some leverage here.

If the roof is nearing the end of its life and you’re willing to assume the cost of replacing it, you can ask the seller to lower their asking price by at least that amount.

After all, they could have replaced the roof themselves, but they chose not to. And they’re passing that expense onto you.

If they’re not willing to lower the price to adjust for the roof replacement, it never hurts to ask them to pay for the replacement before closing. Keep in mind, you might end up having to compromise with the seller or paying for part of the roof replacement yourself.

Further Readings

We recommend to the readers our studies about buying a house with aluminum wiring and buying it with an old roof.

Sources And References

  1. “Shingle” def. 1. Whitney, William Dwight, and Benjamin E. Smith. The Century dictionary and Encyclopedia. vol 7. New York: Century Co., 1901. 5574. Print. Accessed 1/11/2021
  2. Passmore, Augustine C.. Handbook of technical terms used in architecture and building and their allied trades and subjects,. London: Scott, Greenwood, and Co.;, 1904. Print.
  3. Kang, Kaffee, and Rob Thallon. Graphic guide to frame construction. Student ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1998. 177. Print.
  4. “The Bitumen Roofing Industry – A Global Perspective: Production, Use, Properties, Specifications and Occupational Exposure” (PDF). March 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  5. “Installation, Care, and Maintenance of Wood Shake and Shingle Roofs” (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture.
  6. “Mastering Roof Inspections: Wood Shakes and Shingles, Part 1 – InterNACHI” Retrieved 2021-06-14.
  7. CME. “Roof Tiles” CME. Retrieved 3 September 2019.

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