Anonymous asked in Home & GardenMaintenance & Repairs · 1 month ago

Would U invest $15K for a new roof - a 104 yr old house worth about $125K that you look to sell within 1-5 yrs, or let the next owner do it?


It has hail damage and needs minor repairs costing $750-$1000 that would likely hold me over for the 1-5 years. Theres not currently insurance, and no insurance company will insure it until those repairs are made. It now has 3 layers....the original wood 'shake,' (not sure why they call it shake), plus two more layers that were slapped on after that, the top layer being 34 yrs old. It doesn't leak. I've been told that no mortgage company will issue a loan to the next buyer without a new roof. 

Update 2:

I'll either have to sell to an investor for 'pennies on the dollar' & they takeover from here, or do an owner carry which I'd rather not do, but will if I have to, provided the next owner has the cash to replace the roof, protecting OUR investment for a long time. Not much has been updated from the original patches to the original galvanized pipe, lots of paint, and refinished hardwood floors. It's an attractive STYLE (Craftsman) & I've had several people ask if its for sale.  

Update 3:

A big plus is that the house is paid for and offers security. I don't want to regret selling it, but I don't like the neighborhood (69% of houses on my block have wrought iron fences in the front yards, giving the sense of being in prison.) I can't sell it and get anything better anywhere else for the same price. I might could get a much smaller 1-bedroom condo, which requires HOA dues, but no yard work or maintenance, which I hate. I like cheap rent, and apts only make the landlord rich.    

Update 4:

I feel like if I pay for the roof, I'm investing in the neighborhood, when I'd much rather be in a different neighborhood. It's a central, urban location, an investor's dream for people who want to buy cheap, get rental income, and tax depreciation deductions. Thats not me. Dont want tenant headaches. As for the roof, one contractor who looked at it said, 'you'd get your money back' (when I sell) but I don't see any guarantees of that. $15K is a full retail estimate from Lowes. No bargain. 

19 Answers

  • F
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    You might as well repair it properly. If you sell, a buyer will use the fact that it needs a new roof to lower the price, or it may put off a lot of potential buyers.

  • adam
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    I would do a slate roof. They are rated for 100 years . Well worth the cost. I would never sell that house. It built far better than anything today.

  • 1 month ago

    That's not a bad estimate, though you MIGHT be able to find one for less--and a new roof is ALWAYS an investment that will not only pay off in the life of the house, but in the selling price as well. You'll find your sales price will not be nearly as high without a good, solid roof.  Sure--you can let new owners deal with the problem, but you'll have to disclose that problem before you sell, which will lower your price considerably. Because new homeowners do NOT want a home with an unsound roof. 

  • car253
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    How many square feet is the home ?    You are better off putting the new roof on and staying where you are at.   The neighborhood is not perfect but things can be worse somewhere else, like HOA fees in a condo with bad neighbors.   The home is only worth $125,000?   Really?    You cannot get a small garage in Los Angeles for $125,000.       Put the roof on the home.    Shop around and get some more estimates.    Lowes estimates are high.    Try some mom and pop roofers.   But check reference and insurance and Yelp reviews.   Check Angie's list.  Big mistake to sell.   Stay where you are and put the new roof on. 

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  • Droopy
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    Well sounds like your not far from leaks if you don't already have them.   An if you get water damage then the value of the home is gonna plummet. An if you don't then in five years who ever buys it is gonna want it replaced or price drop to replace it.  an it will cost more in 5 years.

  • garry
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    depends if you want a roof over you for the next 5 years ..

  • 1 month ago

    If it needs a new roof within the next 5 years, the buyer WILL charge you for a new roof one way or another.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I'm surprised that you have an estimate as low as $15K because it's a complete tear-off with three layers, much more labor-intensive and costs more. Plus, underlying problems could be revealed which would have to be repaired before re-roofing. 

    "New roof w/n the past five years" is a great real estate selling perk, even on a fixer-upper. Doing the work now will save you in the long run. 

  • 1 month ago

    does it leak now?  and do reputable realtors in your area manage to sell houses that need a new roof?  or do such houses always fall into the "fixer" category and thus have their sale price driven down by the estimated cost of the repairs plus a further 10 percent [or more] of the total sale price?

  • 1 month ago

    At a minimum, I'd say you need to keep the roof patched until you know you will sell.  If there is a leak, the downside of damage to the house is significant.

    I don't see much of an upside, financially, unless patching now is comparable tto putting on the new roof.

    When the time comes to sell, you can run the numbers, then.  If it's not that great a neighborhood, as you pointed out, the mortgage company will be the main impediment, as it will require insurance on the house.  There would probably be a buyer willing to take the house in that condition, but the chance of finding one who doesn't need a loan is low.  The positive of waiting is that you can add the new roof from your cost basis for capital gains purposes if you do it right before the sale, but on the other hand, capital gains on a house don't matter that much in today's tax climate where you can exclude or defer gains under many conditions.

    If you do get the work done, be sure to use someone referred by a friend if you can, or at least ask neighbors via NextDoor or a similar site.  Prices could vary wildly, as could quality.

    And needless to say, if you plan is to eventually move, you should be furiously saving up money now, while you have no mortgage.

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