If you’re like many people buying a home for sale in Ellicott City or a nearby community, you’re looking for something that’s ready to move in – a so-called “turnkey” home.
But what if you fall in love with a home that has roof damage (or there’s a great house in your price range with roof damage being its only major flaw)?
Here’s what you need to know about buying a home with a damaged roof.
What if the House You Want to Buy Has Roof Damage?
First things first: The extent of the roofing damage might have a lot to do with your decision. Sometimes it’s mainly cosmetic – there are a few shingles that are cracked or missing, but there haven’t been any water incursions; sometimes it’s extensive, like when the roof has worn down over time and had little or no maintenance during the time the current owner has been in the home.
Roofing damage is a tough one, though, because it’s hard to tell how significant it is. Even one broken shingle can lead to a leak in the attic, which means when you buy the home, you’ll have to find and stop the leak… and there could be extensive damage from water over time.
Aged Roofs: What You Need to Know
The average asphalt roof is built to last between 20 and 30 years, but there’s a little leeway in both directions. Slate, copper and tile roofs may last about 50 years, and concrete can last even longer.
But just because a roof is old doesn’t mean that you should shy away from the house. Your best bet may be to ask the homeowner for the results of his or her last roof inspection, which can clue you in to whether there’s any damage and let you know how much longer the roof is likely to last.
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What About Roofs That Have Been Repaired?
In most cases, if a roof has been damaged in the past but it’s repaired now, there shouldn’t be a problem with it – but you’ll need documentation that shows exactly what the roofing contractors fixed, how they fixed it, and which materials they used.
When the Roof is Still Damaged
If you visit a home with a currently damaged roof and you’re still interested in making an offer on it, you’ll have to do some homework to find out how much it’s likely to cost to fix. During the inspection period, you can get a quote from a licensed contractor to repair or replace the roof – and then you can ask the seller to fix it or to take the amount it’ll cost you off the home’s sale price. In many cases, it’s best for you to get the seller to knock that amount off the sale price – that way, you can choose your own contractor and you won’t be dependent on the seller’s choice.
If you and the seller don’t see eye-to-eye on repairing the roof or discounting the home’s price, you can still walk away from the deal (provided your Realtor(R) has put the right contingencies in your contract).
Are You Buying a Home in Ellicott City?
If you’re ready to buy a home for sale in Ellicott City, we can help you find the right one.
Call us at 410-465-5822 to tell us what you want from your next home or to schedule a tour in a home you’ve seen online.
Use these links to check out the hottest listings:
- Ellicott City homes for sale
- Columbia homes for sale
- Catonsville homes for sale
- Pikesville homes for sale
- Owings Mills homes for sale
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