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Sellers did not disclose bad roof, am I stuck with the house? Did not close yet.

I made an offer on a house this winter.  I did everything that I was suppose to do, got an inspection, had them cure the problems found.  They fixed what was suppose to be fixed, however, when I asked about the age of the roof, the sellers said it was 12yrs old.  My inspector was unable to properly evaluate it because it was snow covered.  It is now spring, and the roof needs to be replaced, immediately. I feel as if this should have been disclosed to me prior to putting in an offer.  It is extremely obvious that it needs a new roof now that the snow is gone.  Am I stuck closing on this house?!  I had a roofer come out to give me an estimate, and it was $12,000!  I'm getting the house for $69,500.  
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March 23 2012 - Peshtigo
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Go to an atty. ASAP.  If you want OUT and If you are financing, notify the lender immediately. Send them the roofers estimate. You must have an out clause if you get declined for a loan and lenders usually won't loan on collateral with a bad roof.  Buyers are protected well.  See what your atty says.
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March 23 2012
Your inspector couldn't sweep some of the snow off the roof???

Unless you cannot get insurance because of the condition of the roof, you may be stuck.  The inspection contingency is there for a reason.
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March 23 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
I'm sorry you are in this difficult situation.

You probably should review the situation with an attorney.   While you say "seller didn't disclose", you don't know that they knew that the roof is towards the end of its useful life. "Obvious" is something that lawyers like to argue all the time!    You did sign off on the inspection contingency, and chose to take the risk with the roof.  Now you are regretting that choice as it appears it was an expensive decision.

Good luck at identifying a solution.  Let us know how it goes.
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March 23 2012
Why do you think that roof needs to be replaced now? Is it leaking or it looks old? How old is a this roof? Did you get that answer from the roofer who gave you the estimation? Do you have the seller's disclosure about roof age in writing?   Did the inspector marked the roof as something that he can't evaluate? 
Depending on the answers you have different ways of dealing with the situations. Talk to your attorney and the agent
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March 23 2012
Profile picture for user389428
In my opinion, you are not stuck.  Seller's agent is responsible to disclose any and all issues with the house.  You can, by all means, cancel the deal and seller can not harm you financially.  If he said the roof was only 12 years old, he will have to prove it by producing the invoice.  If he does have an invoice to prove it, then you are covered by shingles manufacturer's 30 yr warranty.  By all means you are not obligated to purchase this house.  Just threaten the seller that you are talking to your lawyer and his realtor will gladly return your deposit if he/she purposely hid information from you.  If he did not tell you about the roof, it is quite likely that he also did not tell you about other more serious structural issues.  Talk to your lawyer.
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March 23 2012
Realtors can not offer legal advice, and that is exactly what you need at the moment.  What comments did your Home Inspector made on the roof? The real estate attorney will ask you bring the Home Inspection report and he/she may also ask for proof of the installation of the roof, and the property disclosure.  Good luck!
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March 23 2012
Profile picture for the_country_hick
If you read the article in the link below it may be helpful to you.

Holmes v. Summer: dilatory disclosures and the damage done | first tuesday journal online
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March 23 2012
Profile picture for hpvanc
If the roof is only 12 years old, has it been damaged by a recent storm?  In other words does it need immediate replacement because it is at end of life, or has it been damaged.
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March 23 2012
Unfortunately if a roof is improperly installed, it can fail after just 10 years. And this wouldn't be covered under warranty. This happened to a family members house.

If they disclosed the roof was 12 years old and it was 12 years old AND they had no issues regarding leaks, it would be difficult to prove they knew the roof was bad - unless they had been told it was defective or they had been unable to get insurance due to the roof being bad.
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March 23 2012
personally I am a little confused.You say "did not close yet"

but it sounds like you are moved into the house when you say   "I had a roofer come out to give me an estimate"

so what to do next really depends on a variety of issues.  If you are not in the house yet and have not accepted the condittion, although your inspection period may have passed  you have a valid condition for termintating the contract (that does not necessarily mean with full refund of EM).   You also have other possible options.   If the roof is damaged due to an event that is claimable on THEIR insurance....then work with your agent to pursue that

If the roof is only 12 years old, what kind of warranty was on it?  pursue that as well.

It's hard to know without knowing all the details but it doesn't sound like there is enough information to suggest that the seller has actively hidden a defect, failed to disclose or otherwise been deceitful.  It sounds like an unfortunate situation that is a problem for them as well.   If that is the case, pursue a solution together, if there are two agents involved they both have brokers and that should be a great pool of expertise to help you find some options.

hopefully it's a correctable thing- look into all options before deciding it isn't.  if you decide to back out or if you have already closed an attorney is a next option for you. 
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March 23 2012
The lender has to do anappraisal, the appraiser will annotate required repairs. If tne house needs a roof immediately, it would not qualify for , fha, nor va andin so e cases won't qualifyfor conventio al either. Your lender wouldnot approve the loan. I don't believe a lawyer. The loan officer would issue a denial of loan letter and you are out.
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March 25 2012
Profile picture for Appraisal guy

Roofs are always difficult. I once called for a home inspector to check the roof because the shingles were curling up. The home inspector told me it is a complete shot in the dark to "certify" a roof for a remaining economic life of two years of five years. Why? because it depends on the roof, rainfall,sunlight, everything. Doesn't sound good, but you may have two to five years left on the roof, if you are lucky. Sorry. Get more bids on the roof. You may be able to find a better price and still get good quality, lots of people need work.

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March 28 2012
I would imagine your lender and Insurance Co would also want this issue addressed asap.  I would call your Lawyer today!
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July 15 2012
I would call your Lawyer today!

Four months after the original posting of the question?

On a Sunday?
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July 15 2012
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr
LOL...Reading posts to see if your post is relevant and/or timely is a skill not uniformly shared by all REAs. One of my personal faves is the post where questions/statements are asked/made that would not have if the person had bothered to read the 3-8 posts made by others (more understandable of a thread had multiple pages of posts, but that is uncommon).

Personally, I would be concerned about the demonstrated lack of attention to detail if I were a pro on this site. But, as others have pointed out, I may be more persnickity than most others, and my pointing out what I believe is unprofessional behavior is unlikely to change it.
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July 15 2012
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C. Ed Wright

Well, the question was posted in march, year undisclosed, and now it's almost November, so I'm guessing the matter has been resolved one way or another by now.

I had the thought that a selling price of 69K plus a re-roof price of 12K for a total of 81K would be a gift from God in some markets and a ridiculous ripoff in others.  No mention of any appraisal or comp, so how can anyone else possibly know if it's a problem or a bargain?  It's like asking if it's worth fixing a car that needs work with no mention of year, make, model, or mileage, before recourse even enters into it

Licensed realtors should be able to provide general info on applicable contractual provisions as a first source of answers -- after all, "it days right here..." in plain black & white (unless, for some reason, it doesn't say, which is probably a defective contract).  Failing that, or after unsatisfactory answers, obviously a licensed real estate attorney will have definite legal answers as to recourse, if necessary.
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October 29 2012
 
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Sellers did not disclose bad roof, am I stuck with the house? Did not close yet.
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October 29 2012 | 16 answers
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