Seattle Home Inspector's Blog

head_left_image

What do you mean you want to know how much longer the roof will last?

     One of the most common things a buyer wants to know about the house is, “How old is the roof.”  This is code for, “How much longer will the roof last.”

Yup---its done     These questions are not all that easy to answer---especially the later one.

     While I do my best to give some “general” guidance regarding these questions, I make it very clear that whatever I say should be considered a “guesstimate” at best.  There are many factors that can contribute to the condition of a roof:  color, type, style, installation methods, exposure, maintenance, factory defects and many others.

     For example take your typical “15-year,” three-tab, composition roof.  Exposed to full sun, a light colored roof will tend to last longer than a dark black roof.  Protected from full sun all colors will last longer but if this protection results in the roof staying covered with moss the roof can be damaged anyway.  Frequent pressure washing will take years off the life of a roof, as will installing it over other layers of shingles.  Shingles that are stapled as opposed to nailed are more vulnerable to wind damage. 

    Roofs can be subject to other forms of mechanical damage such as from overhanging trees, shoveling off snow in the winter, hail, un-guttered water from upper roofs beating down on lower roofs, and downspouts from upper gutters flooding across lower roof surfaces.  Even pigeons and seagulls hanging out on the ridge pecking at the roofing granules can damage a roof.  Installing shingles when it is too hot can cause mechanical damage that will later result in a shortening of the life of the covering.  Of course using the roof for sunbathing and star gazing can cause damage to the roof----as well as uncontrolled falls to the bather/gazer.

     So when a buyer asks me how long is the roof going to last, these are the kinds of things I must consider in giving any kind of an answer.

     A roof that has few visible signs of aging is the hardest to predict in some ways.  We often have sources of information to give us clues as to when the roof was installed and then we can use rough rules of thumbs to give an “approximate” idea of how much longer the roof might last.  For example if the seller tells us that the roof was replaced when he bought it and we know he bought it ten years ago it is a “fairly” safe bet it is 10 years old.  That info, coupled with what it “actually” looks like at the time of inspection, one could reasonably expect to get another 5 years out of the roof----assuming that it is a 15-year-roof----and it looked like it might last another 5 years. Again, I always warn my buyers that these are “best guesses” and that there are many factors to take into account. 

    No home inspector is likely to “warrant” a roof and most are pretty careful to make their predictions “necessarily” vague.  The reality is, that predicting the life of a roof is very difficult and if one is accurate within 5 years one is probably pretty close.

    On the other hand, some roofs speak very clearly when they are past their expected life, as the following picture will attest. 

     There are no maintenance questions here. 

     There are no questions as to how much longer the roof will last. 

Just about done

     This roof was likely past its expected life 20 years ago.

Charles Buell

Seattle Home Inspectors, ASHI Home Inspector, Licensed Home Inspector, Structural Pest Inspector, Charles Buell Inspections Inc, Seattle, WA

 

Click on the Rose A Group by any other name. to check out:  AHA!---A Forum of Landmark Proportions---your Group

PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.Just quack on me to subscribe

 


Raven DeCroeDeCroe, is my "ethereal" home inspector assistant and occasionally flies into my blog and other people's blogs to offer assistance. To find out more about her beginnings just click on Raven.

The Human Rights Campaign

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Seattle Home Inspector

 

The Human Rights Campaign   QR code for Charles Buell Inspections Inc  ASHI.org

 

WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

Comment balloon 78 commentsCharles Buell • September 25 2009 08:57AM

Comments

Charles - I don't know how you got those pictures, but I replaced that roof 2 years ago. (And I thought it was unique)

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) almost 9 years ago

Hi, Charles. Good post! I am ALWAYS asked by buyers, "How old is the roof?" Your pictures are wonderful!!!

Most roofs in this part of the country are metal. People are now using the old rusted tin to create wainscoting for "country decor." (I'm hoping to get a picture of that one of these days....LOL)

Posted by Leslie Helm, Real Estate For Trail Riders (Tennessee Recreational Properties) almost 9 years ago

I thought it was just me??

Posted by Julia Odom, Chattanooga Homes for Sale (Select Realty Professionals) almost 9 years ago

I'm glad to see people are still getting their monies worth...
Begin each day as if it were on purpose,

Paul

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Professionals.) almost 9 years ago

Charles, great post on roofs and how long they may last...WOW those photos I must say are unique......

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty, Martha Hilton, Broker) almost 9 years ago

Charles,

So, did they just put composition over shake in that photo?  What a fun job for a roofer!  You alwyas have such interesting posts.

Posted by Marcy Eastham (Town & Country Realty Corvallis Oregon) almost 9 years ago

John, sorry but they are out here too:)

Leslie, thanks

Julia---your roof looks like this?

Paul, getting your money's worth is "green":)

Rebecca, I wish it was unique:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Marcy, yes they did.  Very common even though NOT a good idea:)  I have seen as many as three layers of composition over original wood shingles.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Mr Charles,

When the boss and I arrive for such an inspection, you could almost knock me over with a limb on a tree when we get in that situation. We will have a buyer who will want a critique of a roof like that. My goodness, even they know going in that it is falling apart and is likely to leak. Other than my super-duper attic inspection, which might indicate it has been leaking, it seems like they know about as much about the roof as we do. It is shot.

Nutsy

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Charles, you are right. That is one of the most common questions we home inspectors get. And usually the most chance of having problems during the home inspection. but, we just report on the condition and let the buyer make a decision on how to proceed. Nice pictures.

Posted by Ian Niquette (Square One Home Inspection) almost 9 years ago

We always do get that question about how old is the roof.  These pictures illustrate nicely.  I've been driving by houses lately and thinking I need to snap a picture of the awful roof and blog it.  You beat me to it. 

Another blog might be the dangers of putting those metal roofs right on top of the one already there.  I drove by a house with the metal being placed on top.  One house I sold with a metal roof didn't pass inspection from the "home inspector" because he said it didn't have enough strength to hold that weight up.  Do you find this to be a problem?

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 9 years ago

Charlie,

It is pretty funny really. Even if the roof was a year old, if it looked like that, what difference would it make? As Nutsy says, shot is shot.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Nutsy, you have been hit in the head with a tree limb quite a few times I suspect.

Ian, thanks

Barbara, when money gets tight----people put off taking care of their roofs

Steve, that is kind of the point of my post about the difficulty of giving age estimates----shot is shot regardless of age.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Why didn't you just refer to the Magic 8-Ball for your answer.....

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) almost 9 years ago

Those are a couple of pretty sad looking roofs.....we replaced our about 2 years ago with metal. Love the sound of the rain, and we were getting very tired of patching our shingle roof.

Posted by Janice MacMillan, Associate Broker (ERA Joyner Realty) almost 9 years ago

Craig, I have one of those----will add it to my tool bag----thanks for the reminder:)

Jan, I think metal is the way to go----love them.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Surely no one is living there...? They would need a lot of buckets inside!

BTW, one can also sit on roofs to clean copper-bottom pots -- the sunshine lets you see all the places that need cleaning :)

Posted by Shoshana Shay (St. Pete Realty) almost 9 years ago

Shoshana---someone had been living there until fairly recently, but not at the time of inspection.  As unbelievable as it may seem the roof actually had only minor places of current leaking and there were no buckets anywhere.  Roofs with multiple layers can often be more "forgiving" than roofs with just one layer----especially roofs with no solid underlayment that can dry out between rains:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Our roofs here in southern NV stand up well to the heat. I don't know how many metal roofs there are though. Can we all say "bake"?

Posted by Kate Kate almost 9 years ago

Charles - That may well be the worst roof condition that I have yet witnessed.  It's amazing to think that someone was living there.  Was someone living there?

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) almost 9 years ago

You hit the shingle right on the nail ;-).  If a roof is older, I usually recommend that the home buyer get a roof inspection, and possibly a 'tune up' to replace missing shingles as well as keeping in mind the age of the roof, and keeping the replacement cost in mind for short term or long term home ownership costs.  Good post, thanks.

Posted by Jeff Engle, PlacerAreaHomes.com (Neighborly Realty) almost 9 years ago

Hi Charles~  I guess not every homeowner keeps up with maintenance!  It doesn't make any sense to me....  Prevention is so much more practical, but what do I know!

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) almost 9 years ago

Judging by the gutters, it appears the homeowners were trying to grow a thatch roof.  I assume this was their effort to become more environmentally friendly.

Posted by Erik Hitzelberger, Louisville - Middletown Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes) almost 9 years ago

Charles,

Good information. Always learning more and more by reading informative blogs on AR. If the roof in those pics was that bad, I can only imagine the house below it sits upon!

Posted by Michael Myers (King-Rhodes & Associates) almost 9 years ago

I've seen a huge amount of "Free Roof Estimate - Hail Damage Repair" around here lately and even had a former client put a brand new roof on a 5 yr old roof because the inspector said there was a little bit of hail damage.

Posted by Darrell Walters (W. Darrell Walters) almost 9 years ago

Excellent advice and you're right about the code - how much longer?

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 9 years ago

This was a great, informative post!  When I sold real estate in California I always recommended my buyers get Roof Certs from C-39 licensed roofers.  One buyer noticed leaking around a skylight a month after he moved in and the roofer came right out and repaired it (the roofer had supplied a 2 year roof cert guarantee).  Money well spent!  And the buyer really appreciated the recommendation since it saved him several hundred dollars.

Posted by Katie Flansburg almost 9 years ago

Great information here. Love the photos! I guess the answer is those 2 may last 10 minutes or less!

Posted by Corinne Guest, Luxury Home Buyer Specialist (Barrington Realty Company) almost 9 years ago

Charles, my husband and I bought our house in 2003. Our inspectors told us our roof "probably" had about 4 years of life left in it. We replaced it 1 year later, because when it rained there were signs it was starting to or close to leaking in the attic. We also got gutters installed so this roof would last longer!

BTW. The funniest thing about it was that when my husband went to the office of the roofing company to pay, the cost of the roof was $3,500. He told the receptionist/bookkeeper he wanted to pay $1,500 cash and but $2,000 on a credit card. She had to pull out a calculator to see if 1500 and 2000 added up to 3500. Even my bad math skills coulda handled that.

 

Posted by Ann Cordes, Home Ownership is Not a Distant Dream (Century 21 Randall Morris and Associates, Waco) almost 9 years ago

Love the roof pictures:0  I t is pretty amazing how bad some can get!!!!

Posted by Courtney Cooper, 206-850-8841 (Team Leader/ Investor for Brand New Keller Williams North Seattle Office) almost 9 years ago

I'm guessing there may be some water stains on the ceiling inside those photographed properties?? Thankful to have a good roof over my head!!

Posted by Sonja Patterson, Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou (Keller Williams - BV) almost 9 years ago

Hi Charles. Many buyers ask me that question or a variation of it. I'm glad that this post was featured.

Posted by Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker, Licensed in Florida and Washington (Aloha Kai Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

great pictures...I love that what was seemingly covered some years ago is now in better shape than the current roof

Posted by Brian Kuhns, Fort Wayne Real Estate by Brian Kuhns (Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber) almost 9 years ago

Kate, this roof is for sure "baked:
Jason, no one living there at the time----but had not been vacant all that long.  There are lots of older people that live in homes and can no long maintain them and then they end up like this.
Jeff, are you saying that the inspectors you use don't give a good indication of what is going on with the roof?
Vickie, I agree but see my preceeding response to Jason----some people get to a point where they not only can not do the repairs themselves, but don't have the money to have the maintenance done, and have no family.  I actually see this scenario too often---sadly.
Erik----well at another time of the year the grass would have been "green":)
Michael, the entire house had many outdated systems and much deferred maintenance.
Integrity, sometimes mechanical damage can greatly reduce the life of a roof.
Lyn, for sure. (and thanks for the re-blog:)
Katie, so the home inspectors in your area don't do a good enough job of checking these roofs?
Corinne, I think you have "over-estimated":)
Ann, that is pretty funny---but I have seen similar things at check out lines at the grocery.
Courtney, this one is right in your neighborhood too:)
Sonja, surprisingly there were fewer than I would have thought.
Lana, thanks

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Brian, I was noticing the same thing and probably accounts for the minimal amount of leaking going on inside the home.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Looks like they had a different original roof... anyway, thanks for sharing these pictures and your post.  The pictures made me laugh!!!

Posted by Emily Lowe, Nashville TN Realtor (The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty) almost 9 years ago

I had a customer call me the other day because her insurance company wanted to know the age of the roof. When I inspected the house there were up to 4 layers of shingles in some places. The roof had been patched here and there with some newer shingles. Bottom line was it needed to be replaced. So isn't the question moot? I guess the insurer didn't get it.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Emily, yes, the house originally had a wood roof.

James, true----don't matter much how new the roof is if it has four layers:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Wow Those are some UGLY roofs

Posted by Gene perez (Greater Mortgage Solutions & Valley Hills Realty ) almost 9 years ago

Lovin the Eco-friendly roof there!  Would an all-moss covering not help protect my shingles from the sun, birds, hail and more? LOL.

Great post - and buyers do indeed expect you guys to have the Magic-8 ball for how long everything will last!

Posted by Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits (Realty World Alliance) almost 9 years ago

When people get a roof with a 25 year guarantee they don't quite understand that it is a warranty against manufacturing defects, not the age the roof is supposed to last. In Oklahoma that would be determined by when the next hail storm is coming.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) almost 9 years ago

Gene, would you believe they are both the same house?:)

Sheree, sure, go for it----and they get back to us all as to how it works out:)

Joe, good point and even then they will "prorate" it.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Sorry, as an agent, I do not even give guesstimates. This is where we need to be careful to not step out of our area of expertise. I will almost guarantee that if you get dragged into court, the judge is going to consider you to be the "expert" and the poor customer the "innocent and naive buyer". I NEVER give my opinion of structural conditions. Does it have a roof-over on the mobile? Yes, that is obvious. What condition is it in? Ask your home inspector or get a roofing contractor out. Or take your chances on what the seller has disclosed.

The agent that starts giving his or her opinions on drainage, plumbing, roofs, termite damage, etc is setting him or herself up for some serious liability problems. I have even seen agents get out measuring tapes to measure lots when the buyer or seller did not want to foot the bill for a surveyor.

I leave those matters to you inspectors who have much more expertise than I do. An agent doing the inspection is walking on thin ice indeed.

If agents in my area want to do it, they have my blessing. At some point there will be one less person to compete with since they will no longer be in the business. I will gladly pick up the slack.

Posted by John Elwell (CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

John, am I missing something?  Did someone say something about agents giving estimates?  You aren't saying that I should recommend "further evaluation" of the roof by a roofing contractor are you? 

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

There is so much information here.  My husband recently got upon our roof to replace a few shingles that the wind had blown off (we are on a corner). He wants to preserve it, and so far it has worked when ever this happens.  No trees.  I'm going to have him read this!  We sure need folks in your profession!

Diane

Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) almost 9 years ago

Diane, thanks for commenting---and good luck with your roof.  They can be maintained and patched quite successfully when done properly----to get a few more years out of them.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Charles I really appreciated this post. How old is the roof is code for how long it will last is so true.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) almost 9 years ago

Jennifer, thanks---glad you liked it.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Absolutely one of the most asked questions and now I have ammunition for at least a reasoned response. Thanks -

Michael

Posted by Michael Bergin, Northern Virginia Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES ) almost 9 years ago

Michael, glad to be of help---there are a whole lot of variables.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Charles - Almost every single one of my buyer's wants to know how much longer the roof and AC unit are going to last.  I wish Craig's magic 8-ball did hold all the answers.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) almost 9 years ago

I've been helping clients lately get home owner's insurance and one of the big questions . . . how old is the roof? One rep told me it made a big difference in policy costs.

Posted by Stephen Kappre, Helping You Home (KW Hometown) almost 9 years ago

Hey Charles,

Nice pictures and post. I always tell my clients, and have it written in my contract that I cannot predict the life of any item, roof included. We as inspectors cannot tell if a roof will even leak unless there are obvious conditions. The only one to guarantee the roof will not leak,or how long it will last is the installer. So I inform them of the condition of the roof covering and any potential leak areas.

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

I love that question, I am a custom home builder in southern California and I get that all the time:)  I would say if the house is 15 years or older, most likely the roof is ready to be redone.  Most home owners are into remodeling or building a new home, but not likely to keep up the maintenance very well.  Water is a Contractors & Homeowner's worst nightmare.  The composite roofing or shake roofing material is the worst thing you could do for your home.  Owens Corning make a 35 year or a 25 year.  I would recommend when suggesting replacing a roof shingle to your potential buyer or previous client, to not go less than a 25 year.  Color has nothing to do with anything, however black or darker colors tend to absorb more heat, instead of reflecting it.  If you have a client that needs to replace their roof.  It's not necessarily the shingle that matters, it's all about the  underlayment roofing paper.  Make sure its class "A" roof assembly and that the roofer doubles up on the paper.  Over lapping the seems properly at a minimum of a 6 inch overlap to be safe.  If budget is a problem for your clients then the composite asphalt shingle is the way to go, make sure to use Owens Corning though.  If money isn't an issue, a cement tile or a clay Spanish style roofing tile is much better, plus if they are "Green People", it is cleaner for a rain water catch system, than a asphalt composite shingle.  But, if you want the best, go with the metal roof that is galvinized or copper, and don't forget the paper underlayment rule and your bullet proof.  :)  Hope that helps you out for future clients.  If you ever have a question, don't hesitate to ask.

Posted by David W. Brown (Thor Design Building & Development, Inc. CL#877779) almost 9 years ago

Steve, I think that is true----still hard to do though:)

Eric, thanks, that is really all any of us can do isn't it.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

David, thanks for the comment

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Great information, we get asked that all the time too and just suggest that they have the roof inspected. I can see where it would be difficult to predict when a roof will need to be replaced, unless it's right now.

Posted by Monica Bourgeau, Business Coaching (New Phase Business Coaching) almost 9 years ago

I would have to say that those roofs have seen their better days. One word really comes to mind - kaput...

Helping you live your American dream...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Great post.  I was wondering about metal roofs, I do not see a lot of them in the Chicago area. thanks for the thumbs up on them.

Linda Metallo, Re/max Impact, Lockport, Il.

Posted by Linda Metallo DiBenardo (Re/max Impact, Lockport, Illinois) almost 9 years ago

In AZ I have some basic guidelines I tell people about!!  18-25 years for concrete tile....12-15 years with shingles....foam or build-up 5-10 years.  Obviously just guidelines...but I try to manage the expectations on the front end!  All The best!! Great Post!!

Posted by Stephen Arnold, CRS, GRI, SFR (HomeSmart Elite Group) almost 9 years ago

Charles - excellently stated, I learned a bit from reading this post and will certainly be able to use the information.

Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) almost 9 years ago

So Charlie,

Did you advise the client to do anything other than a dab of moss killer?

 

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Charles--great photos there! I can tell you that I hate it when inspectors write in their reports "Heater functioning properly, however due to unknown age of furnace inspector recommends buyer have a licensed HVCC contractor look at furnace to estimate remaining life."

I know you guys cannot TELL how long a roof or furnace will run correctly, but if you're hired to inspect, and it's working RIGHT NOW, it seems to me that little CYA line (repeated over & over for major systems--roof, a/c, heat, etc) just makes the buyer more nervous.

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) almost 9 years ago

Charles,

What a fun post! Guess this is the home-inspection equivalent of "What will it be worth in 5 years if I want to sell it then?"

Guess I'll have to borrow Craig's Magic 8 Ball!

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) almost 9 years ago

Charles:

Where's the picture of the duct tape?  I don't see any!!! Great post and great pictures.   I loved it!

Posted by Carol Pease, CRS, Broker-Associate 512-721-6320 (JP & Associates Realtors) almost 9 years ago

In much of my neck of the woods roofs need to be Texas windstorm certified, or the buyer cannot get insurance. You, and the insurance co, can verify online when it was certified. A sellers disclosure stating roof is "approx. 7 years old" can then be checked online, and can be twice as old, for example. A roof installation that was never certified . . . run to the next house!

Posted by Sara Goss, Realtor - Houston Bay Area, Texas (HatmakerGroup.com GMAC Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Good information.  So are you saying that we need to replace our rooof on our hunting cottage since it look like your pictures.

Posted by Carolyn Todd (Mentone Cabins Realty, LLC) almost 9 years ago

I read this blog yesterday, then went to see a house with my first time home buyers. The property disclosure states the roof is 24 years old, yet looks in great condtion. Can't imagine it being 10 years past it's life expectancy.  Any ideas? Mine is that it was replaced at some time by a previous owner without the knowledge of the present owner. Will an inspector be able to tell?

Thanks for the timely and informative blog.

Posted by Linda Jandura, Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist (Raleigh Cary Realty) almost 9 years ago

They laid comp over cedar shake??  WOW -- that's a new one for me!

Thanks for the post, always fun to read!

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) almost 9 years ago

Charles:

Those are some pretty old roofs.  I hope your answer was - not much longer.

 

Posted by Claudette Millette, Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass (The Buyers' Counsel) almost 9 years ago

Charles: I really got a kick out of this blog ~ every buyer asks that question, but after looking at that roof??? Really like the post.

Posted by Sandy Childs, Realtor - Spartanburg, SC (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Around my neck of the woods, the roofs are usually 20 or 30 year shingles...  however, the roofs usually only last until the next big hail storm and everyone gets a new one!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) almost 9 years ago

Kevin, I just had one today that was 17 years old----"15yr" type roof----and it just plain looked too good to be that near is supposed life expectancy.  Well a few areas did due to mechanical damage and a couple of replaced shingles---but overall it looked pretty well maintained.  I wish there was not so much disparity----it would make my job easier:)
Michael---or ""toast"
Linda,  I like metal a lot----it is recyclable and lasts much, much longer.
Stephen, good point in managing the expectations.
Mike, thanks
Steve, dang I forgot that---addendum coming right up!
Erica, I would like to see buyers educated more to expect to see that kind of language in the report.  This kind of language is actually what protects all parties in the transaction.  Without it there there is no context for the buyer to know that the furnace may not work tomorrow.  I would say something like:  "The furnace is 20 years old and was operated using normal operating controls.  Life expectancy of this type of furnace is 20-25 years.  I recommend having the furnace serviced and that the unit be invasively evaluated by a licensed heating contractor, including a complete check of the unit for carbon monoxide."
Irene, excellent analogy!  Love it:)
Sara, interesting approach.
Mentone Cabins, I think it is safe to say that ANY time your roof looks like this house----replace the roof---or house whichever is easier.
Linda, yes----there are many clues.  I would be very surprised if a 24 year old roof composition shingle roof could "fool" me----but I have been a fool plenty of times:)
Carla, yes---happens all the time out here.
Claudette, in this case my buyer didn't need my opinion of the roof:)
Sandy, thanks----and thanks for the re-blog:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Donna, hail can make a mess of most types of roofing.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Charles,  I bet I could find a roofer to give it a "3 year" estimate.  :)

Posted by Paul Duffau, Caring for People, Educating about Homes (Safe@Home Inspections, LLC in SE Washington) almost 9 years ago

Paul, I sure hope not:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

So how much longer will this roof last?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay, you know the answer can only be "as long as it does":)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Participate