Home Buying in New York>Question Details

Valentino.da…, Home Buyer in New York, NY

Should I go into a contract to purchase when the housing inspector says that the current roof needs to be replaced?

Asked by Valentino.davis92, New York, NY Fri Oct 5, 2012

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Susan Vanderburgh’s answer
If you feel comfortable with the impending expense and you really LOVE the property. Weigh the costs of repair versus longevity of ownership and recovery. Do you want to break even or does it not matter? If you are to live in the home, you probably want to do more than just the roof. If you are investing, cost matters more if your margin is slim.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 9, 2012
I would get written estimates from the roofing contractor and use it for negotiating the price...
If you can't agree on how much it would cost to replace the roof with the seller - they can invite their own contractor and get estimates, so that you can compare notes and agree on something reasonable based on 2 opinions.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 6, 2012
If you are uncomfortable with the idea, consider acquiring a second opinion from any roofing professionals.....
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 6, 2012
So after all the answers below, you still need to make a decision. It comes down to you but you paint with a broad stroke. It's difficult to know based only on what you've wrote, if the roof needs new shingles or if it actually needs to be replaced. Why isn't your broker negotiaating on your behalf? I'll bet you don't have one thinking you could get a better deal without a commission being paid. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
I like Janet Nations answer. Every house will have "something" and a roof needing replacement is something that will happen to every house- I would try to negotiate it as a credit at closing or see if the seller will take care of it. Depending on the price and demand for the house (is it already selling at.a discount price that reflects need or repairs? Are other buyers also interested?) thy may be willing to accommodate your request to keep the deal alive.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
When you made your offer on the house, did you notice the roof; is your offer reflective of the current condition of the house including the roof? Is the roof leaking or is it just old?

Honestly I would not personally walk away from a house just for the roof, you did not mention anything else so I am assuming the other issues are "acceptable". No matter what house you choose, there will always be deterioration due to normal wear just like a second hand car but the home still functions well. If you want a perfect house, you will need to purchase new construction and even those can be questionable at times. The primary purpose of a typical home inspection is to know what you are purchasing and budget for minor repairs that can be major issues in the future if left unattended. Depending on the price, you might be able to get the seller to do some or all of the pairs or none at all.

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 6, 2012
The housing inspector will offer an opinion but it does not hold the weight of an architect's report. Nonetheless, you should use this as a bargaining chip to negotiate a lower purchase price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 6, 2012
Hi, nobody can ever tell how many years are left on a roof unless there are visible leaks, etc. All homes need maintenance, you have to decide whether the price you are paying reflects some of the work. If that's all it needs and you feel the home is still worth it then yes go to contract.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 6, 2012
These are all good answers. Might be a good idea to bring in a roofing contractor for a more qualified and detailed opinion of condition and estimate of price. You may need to request an extension on your inspection contingency to do that always keeping in mind that time is of the essence in a house purchase contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 6, 2012
In many instances, a home inspector may cite in his report that the roof is at or near its functional life span and needs to be replaced. That does not mean that the roof is not structurallly sound. If there are no current leaks, the seller may be willing to reduce the price but is not under any obligation to do so. The cost to replace the roof may vary greatly depending upon whether it's the entire roof (i.e., front or back or both) or whether the plywood sheathing needs to be replaced as well. You may want to ask your inspector that question. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 6, 2012
There is no reason not to buy a home just because it, (possibly), needs a new roof.

First........get a written estimate for the replacement cost from a roofer (remember, home inspectors are not always the final word - they give you an overview of the condition of the house - you need to follow up with an "expert" to evaluate any specific issue).....then..factor whatever you discover into your offer..............or....ask for a credit at closing from the seller..............or..........ask the seller to do the roof if it actually needs to be replaced.

Often the home inspector will recommend replacement when anything is " beyond, or at, the end of its life epectancy".
That's pretty standard verbiage on any home inspection report.
Do your due dillgence..............then decide what is the best way to proceed.

Best wishes............
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 5, 2012
My advice is speculative as I don't know the exact situation. You hopefully have a buyer's agent providing expert advice. Generally I think there are two problems. The first is the cost to replace the roof, the second would be how much to repair the damage caused by a bad roof, which can be expensive. If your accepted offer takes that into account, then I think you are good to go, if not I would seek a reduction in accordance with the damage, unless it was an as is sale and was priced accordingly.
Tom Brady SFR, e-Pro, SRES, GREEN
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Notary Public, Ret. NYPD Lt.
"We treat you like family!"
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
255 Executive Plaza - Suite 104
Plainview, New York 11803
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 5, 2012
You could make a condition of the sale be that the owners would have to replace the roof prior to closing. Or you could offer less and make the repairs after closing. Roof replacement could be rolled into the loan with a 203k loan. But be aware that if the roof is in dire repair, it may be difficult to get financing and you wouldn't be able to insure the roof if your insurer deemed that the roof was past its lifespan.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 5, 2012
When you reply to inspections you can request that the home owner do the work to the roof before you buy it. Or you can request that the price be adjusted due to the roof needing to be replaced.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 5, 2012
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