Should You Buy a House That Needs a New Roof?

Is the need for a new roof a make-or-break aspect of buying a home? Should it be?

You’ve found a Utah home that seems perfect — other than the fact that it needs a new roof. Conventional wisdom says you should pass on the house and look for another one. But if you love the house, you can consider other options.

new roof

Home buyers often have considerable negotiating power in this type of situation. Many insurance companies won’t issue a policy on a home that requires roof replacement, and mortgage lenders require buyers to get homeowner insurance.

Consequently, the home seller may be willing to negotiate a roof replacement into the sale price. Even if the seller can’t or won’t negotiate, you have other options if you’re interested in a house that needs a new roof.

Option 1: Ask the Seller to Pay for the New Roof

Do you have a real estate agent? Realtors® provide free services to home buyers, and they can help negotiate the best deal — including that all-important replacement roof.

In the case of a home that requires roof replacement, the best-case scenario is for the seller to absorb the cost without changing the home sale price. It might be a big ask, but an experienced Realtor® may be able to make it happen for you.

Make sure, however, that your agent specifies that you and the home seller agree on a roofing contractor and the scope of work. Otherwise you could end up with a cheap, low-quality roof that’s poorly installed.

Even better, have the seller reserve an agreed-upon sum of money in escrow, to be used to pay your roofing contractor once the new roof has been installed.

Option 2: Agree to Split the Costs of a New Roof with the Seller

If the seller won’t agree to bear the full expense of roof replacement, suggest sharing it. Home sellers will often accept a 50/50 split, although you may be able to negotiate better terms if the house has been on the market for a while, or if the asking price is high compared to comparable properties.

Under this type of arrangement, both parties could agree to deposit their share of the new roof’s cost into escrow, for payment to the contractor upon completion. Or the seller could simply reduce the purchase price accordingly.

Option 3: Take Out a Purchase-and-Renovate Loan to Pay for a New Roof

Even if the seller won’t agree to absorb any of the roof replacement costs, you may still want to pay for it yourself. This is a wise move if the you or your agent was successful in negotiating a favorable purchase price.

But if you don’t have the cash (and who does?), don’t stress. You can finance the new roofing with what’s known as a purchase-and-renovation loan.

With this type of home finance loan, repairs and upgrade expenses can be added to the home’s purchase price to arrive at the total mortgage amount. Let’s say the price of the house you want is $200,000 and a new roof will cost $15,000. Your purchase and renovation mortgage loan would total $215,000.

When you and the home seller have come to terms, contact Knockout Roofing to install your roof. Our experienced team has a history of quality service throughout the state of Utah. We also offer expert roof inspection services to both home buyers and sellers in Utah. Contact us today to determine if the house of your dreams needs a new roof, or if repairs may solve the problem.