Is Roof Damage a Deal Breaker When Buying a New Home?

Most home buyers run when they hear or see that a property has roof damage. Unless shoppers specifically want a house they can fix up and get at a low price, a faulty roof can send them running for the hills. However, if you’re looking for a negotiating point, a damaged roof is one of the best. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Considerations for Homes with Damaged Roofs

At the end of the day, it’s a very personal decision. Many experts say that you shouldn’t rule out a house with roof problems—as long as certain conditions exist.

First, if the damage is going to be repaired prior to the closing, there’s no issue with buying the home.

During the inspection period, obtain quotes from a local contractor. This gives you a figure to keep in mind if the seller chooses to offer a discount on the sales price rather than fix the damage themselves. That way, if you don’t agree with what the seller offers, you can make a knowledgeable counteroffer or walk away from the deal.

If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, it’s actually to your benefit to make the repairs. The seller may try to get the damage fixed as cheaply as possible. Since they aren’t going to be living in the home, the temptation to cut corners could result in more expensive repairs down the road.

Insurance Considerations

Federal Housing Administration loans require low down payments—sometimes as low as 3.5%. But to get approved for an FHA loan, homes have to be in habitable condition, and the buyer must show proof of property insurance. When you apply for property insurance, the insurer conducts a four-point inspection, which covers the roof’s condition, electrical, plumbing and HVAC. 

Taking the considerations above into account can help you decide whether to buy a property with a damaged roof or continue searching for a home.