If a property has a leaky roof, there are several options and considerations. First, if the buyer and seller do not want to get the roof repaired or replaced prior to close, the best hope is to make sure the roof leak and water damage do not show. They must also ensure all references to roof issues are removed from MLS and other on-line sources (that both appraisers and underwriters often review). Buyers and sellers must then hope that the appraiser does not notice anything conspicuous during the inspection.
Sometimes, even if no water damage shows, appraisers still call for a “roof inspection” if a roof looks old or worn. In these cases, lenders will want a “roof certification” stating that the roof has a remaining useful life of at least 3 to 5 years (depending on lender/loan type).
If water damage is very conspicuous and a roof certification is impossible to obtain, the only solutions are: (1) replacing or repairing the roof prior to close; (2) paying cash for the property; or (3) using “hard money” (4 points; 10%) to finance the purchase.
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