“You May Need a New Roof if . . . “

Sometimes, it’s a close call whether a roof has any useful life remaining.

Other times . . . it’s definitely not.

If one or more of the following apply . . .  the roof in question is in the latter category (apologies to Jeff Foxworthy’s, “You Might Be a Redneck if . . .”).

10.  It was last replaced 30 (or more) years ago.

9. Large sections of shingles are cupping or curling (or missing!).  See, photo above.

8.  The rafters have water stains.

7.  If the roof shingles are asphalt (the most common type in the Midwest) . . . there’s no asphalt left

6. There are buckets strategically placed around the home.

5. Said buckets are full.

4. There is plastic, tarp, or other water-proof materials strategically placed in the attic.  See, #9.

3.  There are multiple stains on the ceiling — or fresh ceiling paint in multiple locations. 

2.  A reputable home inspector or roofing contractor pronounces last rites.

1.  The roof’s shingles are the subject of a class-action lawsuit. 

(Im)plausible Deniability

In the vast majority of cases, when one or more of the above is present, it doesn’t exactly come as a shock to the homeowner that the roof is bad.

Nevertheless, whether it’s due to Seller denial, tight funds, or some other explanation, the burden is usually on the prospective Buyer — assuming they still want the home — to substantiate the roof’s failing condition (with photos, inspector comments, contractor quotes, etc.).

Once they have, the Seller essentially has two choices:  1) reach an accommodation with the current Buyer; 2) update their Seller’s Disclosure to tell future Buyers about the roof’s condition — which in practice ensures the same outcome as #1.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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