Roof Issues

gmp3July 20, 2011

We had the home inspector and a roofer come to the home we have a contract on. The roof is the age of the home (which we knew) almost 20 years old. Neither the roofer or inspector would go on the roof because the singles are powdery and crumbling. The roofing material is no longer manufactured so no repairs can be made. There is a leak around one of the stacks, and drywall damage in a bedroom. What's fair to ask for? Of course I'd love to get a new roof, and the realtor mentioned it is unlikely the house can be insured nor will the lender overlook a roof in this condition, so regardless of who buys the home the seller will have to replace. We have not gotten a bid, but I am guessing it will cost 8-11K.

The house has been empty and on the market 18 months and we were the first offer, and it was a pretty low offer, but what we felt was a fair price, however we thought the roof was not an immediate concern.

The water heater and furnace are near the end of their useful lives but they do work, and the AC is somewhat new but not blowing cold, I think we will not ask for concessions on those items but replace the water heater when we move in, and ask that the AC and furnace are serviced.

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When buying an older home, you should expect that everything in it is old, but functional. So, if the water heater and furnace are working, you shouldn't be asking for money because they are old. If the AC isn't operating properly, you should expect that to be fixed.

For the roof, you'll need to get an estimate. As for what is fair? That is in the eye of the beholder. I'd propose a credit of whatever the estimate is and negotiate from there.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 8:28AM
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The roof is no longer functional if it is as described. You need to get some chances are that the sheathing may also need to be replaced if the shingles are in such bad shape.

If you ask for a deduction in the price, them you will have to come up with that amount to pay the roofing company who replaces the roof. For some folks, that is not that easy to do, so the replacement gets delayed, risking water intrusion, and more expense.

Better bet is to ask for money to be put in escrow based upon estimates..including the possibility of sheathing replacement.

That way, they get back whatever is not needed, but you are covered for worst case scenario and you can have the roof replaced ASAP.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 12:46PM
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Thanks Bill and Logic. I would like a fair solution. There is lots to do at this house withour replacing the roof.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 3:18PM
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Hmmm....maybe cuz I got stuck buying a roof for the house we are selling....I'd say push for a new roof. The reality is the owners are not going to be able to sell the house with a bad roof as no lender will sign off on the mortgage. With that said, if you (relatively) low-balled because you knew the roof was old, I'd consider splitting the difference by increasing your offering price.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 4:23PM
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We actually agreed on a fair price the property was neglected for years, we will be putting 55K in upgrades and improvements and that will make it worth roughly what we paid plus 55K. It is vintage 90s.

We didn't know how bad the roof was. In speaking to a neighbor (who I know but didn't realize she lived across the street and was helping the owners with mowing, etc.) I was told about 8 of the immediate neighbors got new roofs due to hail damage over the last several months. I am hoping the sellers make an insurance claim an get the ins company to pick up the tab.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 9:58PM
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Wait! Are you buying a house from Denise54?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 8:00AM
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No not Denise54, no daughter involved in sale, and we haven't given them our inspection results yet. Funny though I guess it is hail season.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 5:12PM
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"Neither the roofer or inspector would go on the roof because the singles are powdery and crumbling. There is a leak around one of the stacks,......8 of the immediate neighbors got new roofs due to hail damage over the last several months. I am hoping the sellers make an insurance claim an get the ins company to pick up the tab."

I don't even understand that reasoning other than it would make your and the owner's problems poof........go away at the insurance company's expense. If it were even actually hail damaged, that's almost a moot point. It would be like me taking out my old company panel truck with nearly 300K miles on it and rust so bad on the floor boards I can see the line on the road, and getting a ding from a grocery cart and expect my insurance company to get me a complete body and paint job. Even if they'd do it, I don't think I'd have the nerve to submit the claim.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 11:23PM
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Wow, seriously calliope?

It stands to reason that if the homes in the area were built by the same builder with the same roofing material and many direct neighbors suffered hail damage, and this roof is damaged, it just might be a result of hail. If that is the case, the homeowners' insurance company will not "get stuck", they will honor their obligation to the homeowner. If it is hail damaged is not a "moot point", if the roof has deteriorated due to age and is simply old the insurer won't pay. Your response sounds like you think I would like the homeowners to commit insurance fraud. I would like the homeowners to have the insurance adjuster make an assessment and claim what is due to them if it is hail damage. That's why most people purchase insurance. Would I rather have their insurance policy cover the 8K or so for the roof than them, yes, if the loss is legitimately covered.

Several years back our 12-year old shake roof was damaged by hail. We submitted a claim and the insurance company replaced the roof. That does not mean we cheated the insurance company, it means that hail damaged the roof and the policy premiums paid for "replacement value" of our roof, that is how our policy is written. We would have been idiots if we said, well we pay $1800 a year for insurance but we feel bad about asking for the insurance company to determine if there is hail damage because it is a shake roof near the end of its lifespan. The insurance company knew the age and material of our roof when they agreed to write a policy for us. Were we thrilled when they replaced it with dimensional shingles, yes. Did we do anything unethical by submitting a claim? Nope.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 1:58AM
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Well first off, I want to apologise if my post came across snarky so I can understand your reaction. I guess what I am saying is that with a home and a business, I've been pretty fortunate having a good insurance company and excellent agent, yet still enjoy fair premiums. Having a two hundred year old house and the type of business structures sensitive to damage from natural causes (greenhouses some with rigid shells and some with poly) I get pretty discerning about what types of claims I submit and what kinds I don't and just pony up and pay because of course it impacts my rates directly but also impacts the rates of everyone whom this company covers.

The condition of the roof you described in the first post implied to me that it was just another issue the homeowner neglected and was simply at the end of its life. Hail damage is typically remediated by total roof replacement and yes, I agree that decrepit roofs can also be damaged by hail and the cure is the same as for a new roofs and one does not commit fraud by submitting a claim and my reaction was more knee jerk than realistic.

I was reacting to a trend that people anymore tend to look upon insurers as hostile parties with deep pockets and insurance companies are inundated with claims where they're opportuned. Sort of like having a deviated septum and use that to get the nose of your dreams. Poor analogy, but common practise. I even had a doctor suggest it when I am perfectly comfortable with the nose I have. LOL

No, you're right.......if the roof was damaged by hail it is not unethical to ask the insurer to stand by it.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 10:40AM
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You say you have not given the sellers the reort nor a repair list yet. Most contracts have a timeline for notifying the seller of any repairs you may ask for. If you miss this deadline, you are accepting the property as is.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 10:53AM
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Apology accepted calliope, I can say the only claim we have ever submitted to our homeowners insurer was the roof, and we have been homeowners for 25 years.

The deadline for the inspection report is this week. We are trying to determine what type of shingle is an appropriate replacement. They had simulated shake which is no longer manufactured so we feel the replacement should be more dimensional than plain flat asphalt, but not slate or anything like that.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 10:30PM
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