If you know for sure it needs a new roof rather than offer a low price which has no explanation you can submit an offer on the property with a request that the seller replace the roof. You already know it is going to be an issue so make the repair part of the offer. If the roof is that bad, the appraiser may tag it as a needed repair which means it will have to be fixed before closing.
If the contract is written correctly, you can still get a home inspection done to determine if any of the other problems (cracks..etc) are a major concern. At that point, you can negotiate the other repairs.
Prudential Patt White Real Estate
Lehigh Valley, PA
I am a Keller Williams agent in the Tyler area. Before considering a home with areas of concern you should definately have a certified home inspector take a look at it. The cost of an inspection is nominal compared to the money you may lose if there are major repairs to be made. If there are repairs to be made and they are discovered by an inspector a REALTOR can help you negotiate for the sellers to have the repairs made prior to your purchase, or reduce the price enough to cover the cost of repairs. A local agent can help with finding a reputable inspector as well. I would be happy to help you with your home search in the Tyler area.
Based on this limited information, it's impossible to provide you with meaningful and accurate advice. With this said, before making your decision, it may be helpful to have someone that understands home systems that can advise you on condition and alternatives visit the home with you.
Have you already made an offer on the house? If not, then be sure your offer is low enough to compensate you for any repairs that may be necessary, as well as your time. Did the owner provide you with disclosures as to the condition of the house? If so, then they are saying, 'here are the problems, we are not going to fix them, adjust your offer price accordingly." I would be sure to have the house evaluated by a structural expert to be sure the cracks do not indicate a problem with the foundation and I would make my offer subject to that evaluation so I could back out if the problems are too costly or impossible to fix.
I do hope you are working with a real estate professional to help you in the purchase of this home. You should be. An agent should be able to guide you and to provide you with references to the other professionals you will need, including a home inspector and a structural expert.