Should I Buy a House with an Old Roof?

Believe it or not, the average house sells in just 65 days. That’s great news for sellers, but for home buyers, it means you need to move fast.

The sooner you can put an offer on your dream home, the better. But what happens when your dream home has an old roof? Does that mean you should give up and walk away?

Not necessarily. For many homebuyers, an older roof can end up being a selling point.

Here’s what you need to know so you can make the best decision for your budget and your needs.

Old Is Relative

Believe it or not, a roof that’s only a few years old may be in worse condition than one installed 20 years ago. It all depends on the types of materials used.

And if the homeowner neglected the materials, that lifespan shortens significantly.

This means a poorly maintained roof installed 10 years ago is functionally older than a well-maintained roof installed 15 years ago. Is one a better investment? Well, it’s up to you.

Keep in mind you’ll eventually need to replace the roof and spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing can make that process more affordable and more durable.

An Old Roof Isn’t Necessarily a Failing Roof

Preventative maintenance is the best way to extend any roof’s life. And if the seller went to great lengths to keep their roof in good condition, it might still be worth the investment.

Just because a roof is old doesn’t mean it’s failing. In fact, you might not see a single leak for several years after you buy the house.

And that means you can still consider buying the house without worrying too much about the roof’s age. As long as there aren’t signs of water damage, missing roofing materials, or visible signs of deterioration, you’re in good shape.

If the roof is in good shape structurally, getting it recoated with spray foam roofing can extend its life even further. You’ll worry about leaks, sun damage, and roof repairs far less if you get a new coat applied.

It’s an Opportunity for an Upgrade

Replacing a newer roof is a waste of money. The materials are sound, it’s protecting your house, and it’s best to keep what’s already working.

But if the roof is nearing the end of its life, you don’t have to stick with the same materials. Instead, you can install the roof you want.

Upgrade from asphalt shingles to durable metal. Or forget the traditional roofing materials and switch to a more durable spray polyurethane foam roof. If you’re already prepared to pay for a new roof, get the type you want.

If you’re planning on living in the house for at least a few years, it’s well worth the investment and can increase the resale value should you decide to sell down the road.

Might Save You Money on the Sale

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.

Every situation is unique, but an older roof shouldn’t cost you tons of money. Instead, it should help lower the purchase price of the house.

You’ll Still Get an Inspection

Pre-sale home inspections are a standard part of the buying process. During the inspection, you’ll find out which parts of the house need work and which are in good condition.

This includes the roof, no matter what age it is. And some newer roofs might be in worse shape than older well-maintained ones.

Before you close on the house, you’ll know exactly how bad or great the roof is. If there’s underlying water damage, the inspector will uncover it. If it’s in good shape and leak-free, you’ll be better prepared to enter negotiations.

Just make sure to work with an inspector that’s familiar with the type of roofing materials used. If the house has a spray polyurethane foam roof coating, get a roofer who understands the signs of damage to do the inspection.

Local roofing contractors know what types of damage are minor and which need immediate repairs. We’ll give you all the information you need to make an informed decision and can give you an estimate on the cost of repairs.

And if you need a full roof replacement, our team will let you know what needs to get done and how much a new leak-proof SPF roof will cost before you finalize the sale.

Know When to Walk Away

Make no mistake…buying a house with an older roof isn’t for everyone. And sometimes, it’s best to walk away.

If the roof will put significant strain on your budget, look for a different house. And if your mortgage lender won’t give you the money you need on a house that requires some renovations and repairs, keep looking.

There are homes out there for you.

But if you’re prepared to invest time in negotiating with the seller or ready to pay for a new roof when the time comes, buy the house you love.

It’s far more important to think about the property as a whole than to focus on a single feature. Even one as important as the roof.

Final Thoughts

Buying a house with an old roof is possible. You just need to prepare yourself to deal with future repairs or replacement costs.

But if you love everything else about the home, it’s worth considering. Take your time, get it inspected, and don’t hesitate to get a second opinion from your trusted roofer.

When you’re ready to upgrade the roofing materials, contact our experts and get a free quote for your home.