Why Must I Have a Roof Inspection?

Roof inspections are extremely common with a home purchase. The lender underwriting the loan wants to ensure that you have sufficient resources and that the home is in a habitable condition. As part of the inspection, the electrical, plumbing and existing life of the roof are evaluated. However, not all loans expect the same survey when it comes to roofing requirements. Knowing what to expect with property inspections is largely due to your education regarding loan products.

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FHA and VA Loans

Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Affairs loans are sticklers when it comes to roof inspections and comprehensive property inspections. The inspectors report directly to the loan underwriter regarding the overall condition of the property. If the property does not meet with the requirements for FHA or VA-backed loans, the investors will not approve the purchase and the buyer cannot purchase the house unless the defects are repaired. Both the FHA and VA hold steadfast that a roof must appear free from damage and have at least two years of usable life on it before requiring repair or replacement. The determinations are made from certified property inspectors hired to protect the interest of the lender.

Conventional Loans

Conventional loans might not always require a roof inspection. Because most conventional loans require a 10 to 20 percent down payment, the lender’s risk of losing his investment in the property is reduced when compared to no down payment or a low down payment for FHA and VA loans. In these cases, lenders do not have stringent property inspection standards. However, this is subject to change from one lender to another. Before applying for a mortgage, a buyer should investigate the property inspection standards specific to his lender’s requirements if he feels the roof may be a point of contention.

Roof Repair

Roof repair is an expensive proposition. Lenders understand this; thus, they adopt rigorous roof inspection standards regarding home loans. They do this largely because when a homeowner is paying exorbitant amounts of money in repairs, it can jeopardize her ability to make timely mortgage payments. The lenders do not want to risk a possible foreclosure as a result of a buyer’s lack of financial resources. Thus, roof inspections are required. This is also an added benefit to the buyer, saving her money in the long run with expensive roof repairs.


There are exceptions to the roof inspection requirement if purchasing a home in cash. A cash purchase negates the need for a loan underwriting company to review paperwork, as there is no loan, thus eliminating the roof inspection requirement altogether. However, inspecting a home before purchase is still relevant, and cash buyers should consider hiring a home inspector to do this.

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