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Ask these 3 roof questions before you buy that house

by: Kirsten Land on November 15th, 2016 about General

new-homeBuying a house? Do you know the key questions to ask about the roof of your new home? You may be surprised to find out what home buyers often neglect to ask.

Isn’t a home inspection enough?

If you’re considering purchasing a house, you’ve probably already scheduled time for a home inspector to come take a look. Unfortunately, that doesn’t often cover everything you need to know about the roof.

While home inspectors typically do a great job flagging areas of concern in your potential home, you should definitely ask to have a professional roofer come and inspect the roof, too.

This is an easy thing to overlook. Even though Brian is a roofer, when we purchased our house, we assumed the roof was totally fine since the home inspector hadn’t noted anything about it. We were so caught up with all the other stresses and details that go into buying one home and selling another, that it was easy just to not think about one more thing.

As it turned out, we found two issues after we purchased that we wished we had known about prior to purchase. First, the roof didn’t have enough ventilation, which can drive up energy bills.

Second, the gutters leaked. That can create soil erosion whenever it rains.

From experience, I recommend you have a professional roofer come and inspect the house you want to buy. It’s free. And it can save you hassle down the road.

1. Ask to see the seller’s roof report

Ask if the seller has had their roof inspected by professional roofers. If they have, you can ask to see the report. It should be a non-issue for them to share it with you. However, if they refuse or are reluctant, that might be a red flag.

Regardless of whether or not the sellers have had their roof inspected, you can also request to have a company come out and inspect the roof again. Any issues that are identified become items for you to negotiate in the contract.

2. Who installed the current roof?

If the roof is in fine condition, you should ask who installed it, and if there is a warranty on it.

If there is a warranty, it can likely be transferred to you as the new homeowner. This has to be done within 30 days after the signing. Contact that roofing company, and they will put the remainder of the warranty under your name. It’s just a simple sheet that you fill out.

Even if there’s no warranty available, find out who roofed the current roof. If it’s been installed in the past 5-10 years, and there’s a leak, call the company that installed the roof, and they will probably come out and fix it for free.

3. Does this roof have a system warranty?

A system warranty on the roofing materials is a must. For example, if there’s a shingle defect, then the shingle company will pay the roofer to re-do your roof.

If the seller is having the roof replaced before you buy it, ask them if the new roof will have a system warranty. If not, you can ask them to hire a contractor that offers a system warranty.

Not all contractors offer system warranties. It’s an added layer of protection for your roof, and can come in handy because an insurance company will not pay for a roof repair if the manufacturer’s material fails. It’s not an insurable event.

Buying a home is incredibly stressful. Lower your stress levels by knowing what to ask for about the roof. You’ll be glad you did.

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