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Old 11-21-2013, 10:04 PM
 
13 posts, read 35,221 times
Reputation: 19

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State: Kansas

We are under contract on a house and we had an inspector out to inspect the property. Most of his findings were pretty minor, nothing that my husband couldn't handle, except several issues with the roof. Our inspector was quick to tell us he wasn't a roofing expert but showed us pictures of the roof that showed deterioration with detailed descriptions and recommended we get a roofing company out to look at it and evaluate it's condition.

So that's what we did, we've had 3 different roofing companies all come out. I had asked for quotes on both repair and replacement. All 3 roofing companies have said the same thing, the roof is beyond it's life, is not repairable, and needs to be replaced, all 3 gave estimates around $20k. These aren't retail roofing companies they are reputable roofers/contractors in this city.

More Info: Roof is Cedar Shake, 17 years old. Shingles are splitting, curling, and some even have holes from apparent hail damage. Felt board (I'm not sure if that's the right term) is showing in some areas. It was in the disclosure that the roof was 17 years old, but we knew nothing of Cedar Shake and we both thought a typical roof's life was around 30 years, little did we know that a shake roof only lasts 15-20 years. You could argue that we could see the curling and splitting when we saw the house, but then again we didn't know that wasn't what a wood roof was supposed to look like. No one in our family has one, this house is the first time I've seen a wood roof up close. In other words, the current known condition of the roof was not taken into consideration when we put in our offer on the house because at the time we didn't think there was a problem with it.

As advised by our RE we put in our request for repairs, we did not ask him to fix anything else with the house but the roof. We asked for roof replacement. Today the seller's RE called to say she had a home-improvement company out that said the roof still had 3 years left and they could fix it for just $1200. We're stunned. The roof is no minor repair job. We haven't gotten the sellers official counter offer in writing, but we're assuming we're only going to be offered the sub-par repair job from a home-improvement company we've never even heard of, who shows no specialty or knowledge of cedar shake roofs on their website. We really do not trust this company they have chosen. One positive is that the seller has sent his insurance out to see if they will cover replacement or repair, no word on that yet.

Anticipating their counter of just the repair, my husband wants to ask for more off the price of the home to reflect the condition of the roof, I'm thinking the seller isn't going to budge and this is going to be the end of negotiations. When negotiating the first time with our offer, the seller was difficult to deal with at that time. He thinks his house is worth allot more than what it is, and it's been sitting on the market for 4 months with no offers, we are his first. We're not against splitting the cost of the roof ... but if the seller is under the impression that the roof can be repaired for $1200 then I doubt he's going to deal. What should we do? We really like the house!
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Kansas City North
3,474 posts, read 6,449,093 times
Reputation: 4206
I'd hold out for replacement (or price reduction for you to replace) or walk. I'd suggest replacing it with regular asphalt shingles, if the HOA will allow it. I'm in Kansas City and I know how popular cedar shake has been in the past, but it's slowly being replaced with asphalt. Your homeowners insurance will be considerably less as well.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:26 PM
 
8,439 posts, read 9,418,965 times
Reputation: 13162
If it was me......

I would first try and contact an independent roofing inspector (one you pay for the inspection) and have them provide a report. I would do this because, you’re talking a $19,000 price gap between your estimates and the seller’s estimates. It's always a questionable call when a sales and installation company provides an inspection versus someone with no vested interest in any work based on their inspection. If this report supports your roofers report, you have something to bargain with. I suspect the independent report is going to disclose major replacement issues but may be more level on items that could be repaired versus replaced.

I would also be asking the independent inspector for a under sheeting inspection to see what damages (if any) could have been occurring to the rest of the structure from problems associated with the problem roof. May include this while others charge a bit extra. Whenever you have a problem area, you need to look closely for any related (concealed or covered over for the sale) issues that could have occurred as a result.

The next thing I would do is get someone I trust to evaluate all the information. The cost to correct, the cost to purchase, the assumed value, the offers and counter offers. Although your real estate professional should be doing this. I like to use a person with no interest in the sale. I would do this because you have an emotional attachment to the house already and that may cause you to create reasons to accept the house without full repairs. Having someone act as your brains and not your heart, is something I personally would do considering a house is a major purchase. Heck people ask others for opinion on questionable items that cost only a fraction of the cost of a house.

That’s what I would do.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:45 PM
 
13 posts, read 35,221 times
Reputation: 19
Okey: HOA covenant states it has to be either a wood or concrete, any other material has to be passed by their architecture committee. In our addendum that asked for replacement, we capped the seller's responsibility at $20k and said we'd pick up anything that went over that amount. That's because we're thinking we want a roof that lasts longer and may upgrade to composite that looks like shake.

Rabrrita: Thank you for your suggestions. The roofing companies just did estimates, so we're going to do what you suggested and get a detailed roofing inspection done tomorrow. Our inspector did have lots of comments, descriptions and photos, but as you suggest we need a certified roofer to do an inspection. My husband has already emailed two of them tonight, hoping to get this done tomorrow. Getting a 3rd party opinion is a great idea as we are somewhat emotionally attached to this house.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Georgia
4,466 posts, read 3,565,786 times
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Easy to say, but hard to do: Don't get emotionally involved in this transaction. You can't negotiate effectively if you aren't emotionally ready to walk away from an unreasonable deal.

And if this were me, this WOULD be unreasonable. You have three different roofing contractors who are telling you the same thing. I understand that the seller may be unwilling/unable to take a $20,000 hit on his sales price, and she might be able to find an all-cash buyer to sucker in. If she counters with a price that is unacceptable -- walk. Terminate the contract, walk away, and look for another house. Don't get into a pissing war over "well, you should have seen that the shingles were curling when you made your offer." That's what inspections are for.

Step back, take a deep breath, and ask yourself: "Do I want this house enough to pay for it, bad roof and all, knowing I will have to replace it in three years?" You're the only one who can answer that question.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:56 PM
 
8,439 posts, read 9,418,965 times
Reputation: 13162
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovekittens1978 View Post
The roofing companies just did estimates, so we're going to do what you suggested and get a detailed roofing inspection done tomorrow. Our inspector did have lots of comments, descriptions and photos, but as you suggest we need a certified roofer to do an inspection. My husband has already emailed two of them tonight, hoping to get this done tomorrow. Getting a 3rd party opinion is a great idea as we are somewhat emotionally attached to this house.
Also, it's very hard for a seller to dispute an independent roofing inspection conducted by a person not affiliated with the sale or installation of roofing. Now, you need to ask your real estate professional if upon presenting your report to the seller, will they now legally required to disclose the roof problems? The reason is, this can become an incentive to a seller to negotiate because even if you walk, the roof issues may have to be disclosed to future potential buyers.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
36,476 posts, read 35,246,355 times
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1) You are not buying a brand new house. Seller is not obligated to replace the roof.

Unless the roof is BRAND NEW, inspectors ALWAYS find roof problems of varying degrees. And roofing companies, regardless of how reputable, will ALWAYS tell you a roof is "beyond its life," blah blah blah because it is their job to sell you a roof.

We once bought a house with a roof that we were told was "beyond its life...." We kept it 10 more years with 0 leaks. It was ugly, but we waited till we had enough to replace it.

2) If the selling agent is any good at all, the price of the house should reflect the condition of the roof. If not, make your offer based on that and fix it yourself.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:19 AM
 
4,430 posts, read 7,639,748 times
Reputation: 6300
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovekittens1978 View Post
but if the seller is under the impression that the roof can be repaired for $1200 then I doubt he's going to deal. What should we do? We really like the house!
Repair is the key word. It probably means, the roofer will replace the hail damaged shingles, 20 or so, and any other obviously damaged shingles to pass appraisal. Its not a re-roof. So you will need to re-roof soon anyway. Personally I would not want to live in an HOA that specified wood or concrete roof materials. I'm sure the list of HOA rules goes on and on.

If the seller is not willing to budge, you either suck it up and buy it, or walk away.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mntns., NC
9,703 posts, read 13,409,315 times
Reputation: 7884
This seller will have the same problem with another buyer and everyone who looks at this property; and the longer the house stays on the market with a bad roof, the gap between asking price and offers will widen.

Walk away, if the seller won't deal, he's not motivated enough to get to a closing. There will be another house for you.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:11 AM
 
4,430 posts, read 7,639,748 times
Reputation: 6300
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuilterChick View Post
Walk away, if the seller won't deal, he's not motivated enough to get to a closing. There will be another house for you.
I wouldn't walk away from a house over a negotiation conflict over egos. I would base the decision on facts, such as comps, condition of the house, how much you like the location/neighborhood. Every house will need a roof, its up to you to decide if the house is priced fairly at this moment and if you want to invest in a new roof right now, or 10 years from now with another house.

The seller's personality is the least important issue. You will live in the house for many years, but you will never talk to the seller again.

The seller priced the house at what he wants to sell it for. To simply walk away for a single reason, because someone won't negotiate lower is just silly.
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