“You need a new roof” is probably one of the last things you want to hear about your home. That, along with a cracked foundation or other structural issues, can be incredibly stressful and difficult to address. Big problems often mean bigger repair budgets, and we know what a burden major repairs can be on homeowners. We recently worked with a homeowner in Vista, CA who wanted to sell his house, but was nervous about listing it due to a potential roof issue. His house was well-located in downtown Vista off of Vista Village near the movie theater, and everything fun offered in the “Main Street” area. While he loved being able to walk to local eateries and breweries like (his favorite) Mother Earth Brewing, his home had begun showing its age and he wasn’t financially equipped to deal with it. Upon our initial visit, we knew that he needed an entirely new roof. Here’s how we knew…

Is Your Roof Shot? Here are Some Warning Signs to Watch for:

  1. Your roof’s expiration date: Even if your roof seems to look okay, if it is old, there is a very good possibility that it isn’t despite the physical appearance. Some asphalt shingle roofs could easily last 20-30 years, but you should start paying attention after you hit the 20-year mark. Some say that a roof’s “expiration date” is right around 25 years.
  2. Curling shingles: Potential leaks can create a common problem: curling. If your shingles appear to be curling up on the corners or in the middle, you do have a problem on your hands. If this is prevalent, you should expect to have to repair the roof or replace it within 1-5 years.
  3. “What shingles?” In some cases, whole shingles can be missing completely. It’s okay… if just a few are missing, it should be fairly easy to replace them. The only problem you have in replacing just a few shingles, or a small section, is that it is incredibly difficult to match shingle colors. There are so many new colors and the colors usually shift due to weathering over the years. In other cases, shingles can crack from excessive wind damage. If the cracking is appearing throughout many areas of the roof, you may need to think about getting a new roof.
  4. Granules in your gutter: If you begin to see granules in your gutter after 10-15 years of having a roof, you may have an issue. What does this mean? Granules protect the asphalt from the sun…without it, you will see deterioration of your roof (your shingles will bake in the sun and fall off). If you’re beginning to see this, your roof is likely halfway into its lifespan.
  5. Mossy shingles: While this may be a sign of aging, the moss itself isn’t cause for concern or replacement. The moss or algae you’re seeing may be an aesthetic burden, but it is only a cosmetic issue.
  6. Can you see the light?: If you can see light coming through your roof while in your attic, you can probably guess that this is a bad sign! Red flags all around! This can mean active leaks and many more problems moving forward. Call a professional and have this fixed sooner than later if you’re not interested in selling.
  7. Sagging roofs: All alarms are sounding, this is the ultimate red flag! If you can physically see a dip or “sagging” in your roof, you can assume that you’re dealing with extensive damage that involves some type of structural repair. Often times, sagging roofs mean a problem with decking in the attic, or worse, the beams that support the foundation. This needs to be fixed right away.

Fix the Major Repairs on Your Own or Sell the House?

Whether you decide to take on roof repairs yourself, or to avoid the problem altogether and sell, probably depends on your current financial and living situation. Do you have the funds to replace your roof? Roofing repair or replacement can cost anywhere from $12,000-25,000. If so, do you want to go through the renovation time and process? If you’ve answered yes, here are some tips to help you make good choices in roof replacement:

Fix the problem:

  • Do your homework: Shop around and pick a contractor that you can trust and rely on to do this big project correctly. Don’t select a contractor based on price, and be sure to ask your neighbors if they have any referrals. Because roofing contractors don’t typically get repeat business from customers (given the fact it’s an “every few decades” project), customer service isn’t always their priority.
  • Do it right: Technically, you can have two layers of shingles on your roof. While this can save you $1000 and a bit of a mess, it isn’t best practice. Taking away the old shingles can provide your contractor with the ability to add things like an ice and water shield. Also, don’t skimp on the quality of your new roof. A good roof should last you another few decades, so compromising on quality based on price should not be the route you take. This is an important, lasting investment that you will make into your home.
  • Mind the paperwork: Due to the liability and money involved in adding a new roof to your home, you must pay attention to the paperwork. You will need a building permit for a roofing project (for your contractor to follow), a written contract between you and the contractor and lastly, ensure that your contractor provides a letter from their insurance carrier.

Are You Ready to Sell Your House and Avoid Costly Repairs?

If you’re like many of the homeowners we work with, and you don’t want to take on roof renovations, we can help you. While you do have options in selling: with a traditional agent, on your own, or with a cash buyer- some options may be better for you than others. First-time home buyers will likely be scared away by the need to replace a roof, but a cash buyer like us actually prefers to purchase homes in need of major repairs (where there is an opportunity to add value). In selling direct to someone like us, you can literally leap over any and all repairs your property may need and ultimately sell it exactly as it is.  Selling a home that is falling apart can be very intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Sell to a cash buyer who is passionate about revitalizing communities, and to making things simpler for homeowners.

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