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Buying a House With a Major Roof Issue – What to Do?

We have a purchase involving a house with a very leaky roof. The buyers want to replace it in any case, but nobody wants to replace the roof prior to close of escrow (the seller does not want to pay for it; and it is risky for the buyer to sink money into a house he does not own).

Solution #1:

Have seller patch and repair leaks, and hope the appraiser does not “call out” roof issues in his report. If the appraiser says nothing, we can close escrow and the buyers can repair the roof after close.

Solution #2:

Do nothing, but be prepared to replace the roof prior to close. The appraiser will “call out” the dilapidated roof, and the lender will then require a “roof certification” prior to close of escrow. And getting such a certification will require a new roof. Fortunately, we have contractors who work quickly and who will put demands in escrow in lieu of demanding money up front. So getting a new roof prior to close of escrow is not the end of the world.

Note, however, that we would not recommend the new roof to be installed until ALL contingencies (loan and appraisal) are removed.

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 1197176, NMLS# 310167