If a 5 year old house has had a new roof installed recently, is that a bad thing?

Asked by Bruce, Charlotte, NC Thu Aug 2, 2012

Does it indicate a structural problem with the roof and it's just going to need a new roof soon? Before spending money on an inspection, is it something to strike a house off the list of possibilities?

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Dianne Thomas, , Charlotte, NC
Sat Aug 4, 2012
In several areas of North Carolina, south of Charlotte (Steele Creek area) specifically, just about every house had to have a new roof due to a tremendous hail storm March of 2010.
1 vote
Steve Quinta…, Agent, Albuquerque, NM
Fri Aug 3, 2012
A new roof is usually a good thing, but it does raise questions about water infiltration, damage to the structure, mold and so on. These questions might be easily and satisfactorily answered.

If the prior roof was damaged by winds a new roof might have been provided by an insurance claim or the original roofer's warranty. There might be a new roof warranty as an added bonus for the new owner.

A small inquiry into this roof's history will help the buyer determine if they want to continue with this particular property.
1 vote
Lexie Longst…, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Fri Aug 3, 2012
First it is a new roof, and it probably has a warranty that goes with it if it is new. Charlotte had a lot of hail storms in the last two years and basically entire neighborhoods got new roofs from the home owners insurance companies. So it is likely that is what happened.
But there are other things...It could have had a fire, the roof material could have been a defective batch, a tree limb could have it it, there are lots of things that could cause a relatively new home to need a new roof. You may be able to tell from examining the attic yourself. Or .... ask the seller why. Most people will be honest.
1 vote
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Fri Aug 3, 2012
It's definitely unusual for a five year old home to have it's roof replaced as even the most modest roof will typically last 18-22 years and depending on the roof covering , and some external conditions could last 25 or more years. It may have been that the original roof was not correctly installed and needed to be replaced, and that once it was everything was fine. On the other hand it would certainly make me wonder about the builder who allowed such sub par work to be done to begin with which would call into question the house in general.

I would have my buyer broker ask about it and find out why the seller had a roof replaced when it was less than five years old and see what they say before I decided to rule it out, perhaps there's another reason that makes sense. Additionally if you move forward I would make certain my home inspector took a good hard look at the roof.
1 vote
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Thu Aug 2, 2012
Yes, I agree with Michael. The original roof might never have gotten a good "stick" and some the the nasty winds here in NC might have removed some shingles to the point where the insurance paid to have a new layer added. Hopefully they removed the old layer but have a roofer (not a home inspector) check it out if you plan a purchase. To think it is structural would be a real stretch in my opinion.
1 vote
Armando Roque, Agent, Gastonia, NC
Tue Aug 7, 2012
It's possible due to the past hail storms we experienced in the past 24 months that roofing was serious damage on shingles not on the home structure, it will be wise to mention this information when you are ready to pay for home inspection.

the best to find out is to ask the seller about the new roof
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Sat Aug 4, 2012
A new roof is a good thing. It means that it could last 20-25 years with reasonable care. An older roof would need to be replaced sooner.

No, it doesn't indicate a structural problem. In fact--though you can't assume this--whatever problem caused the previous roof to fail prematurely may have been addressed when the new roof was put on.

Have your agent ask the listing agent why the previous roof was replaced. Also, ask for the paperwork on the roof replacement. That's helpful because, as noted below, there's probably a warranty on it. But also the paperwork may/should indicate what the previous problem was and what steps if any were taken to address it.

If you otherwise like the house, buy it contingent on a home inspection. Check with your agent, but it might also be appropriate to make the purchase contingent on an inspection by a structural engineer.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Michael Brow…, Agent, Allen, TX
Fri Aug 3, 2012
A five year-old home that has had the roof replaced is not necessarily a bad thing; it could be that there was a severe storm that caused considerable roof damage. If you are pursuing the purchase of a home that falls within this situation, I would recommend a good roof inspection be done.
0 votes
Stephen Kast…, Other Pro, Fish Creek, WI
Fri Aug 3, 2012
First of all, it is a new roof and that's a positive. Secondly, it is relatively easy to inspect the home for signs of damage from water or ice ...and then, simply ask the owners or agent "why?" I would consider it an asset, but seek out answers.
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