New roof add value to your house?

I just don’t buy it.
I read an article put out by the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.  It said putting on a new roof is the biggest single item a seller can do to get the highest return. They said it increased the value of a house by 105%. Get this, remodeling or updating your kitchen only brings back about 67% in added value.
I laughed so hard I snorted a little.
About 50% of my work is with buyers. I sell a lot of houses. I have been doing for over 10 years. My experience in and around Lexington Ky is that very few buyers even notice the age or condition of the roof. The HVAC too for that matter. Most buyers care more about the appearance of the house than anything…..assuming they were okay with the location to have even considered viewing the house.  Most don’t think about the roof (or windows or HVAC or water heater) until the home inspection. That is why I always try to think about these things for them. I am always telling people the age and condition of the roof and the rest of the house. In fact, I’m working with a buyer right now who fired their old realtor because they kept making offers on houses that were in terrible shape and the deals fell apart after the home inspection. The last thing I want is a client of mine to emotionally move in, tell their friends and family all about the house, and then it fall apart after the home inspection.
Several years ago I listed a house for some clients/friends have used me several times. Their house had new windows and literally a brand new roof. The house was a bit outdated. They found their dream home before doing much inside to this one. The seller knew a lot about houses and wanted to take care of those big items first. LOL, I guess I am the same way because I am sitting in my own home, that has a new water heater, sump pumps and I am about to put in new windows…..yet I have a master bathroom that dates back to when Dallas and Knots Landing were new shows.
I put their house on the market. I showed it several times. It took a while to sell because it was outdated. I would remind buyers that there was $15-20k in windows and the roof that they would not have to spend. I would tell them it is more fun to spend that much on flooring and granite than to buy another house that was updated inside but would need new windows and a roof. It finally sold, but my point is that most buyers make decisions on how updated a house LOOKS. That is just how it works. 99% of the time, I would rather have my sellers drop money on updates that can be seen verses maintenance items than cannot. Unless a roof is just ancient or really ugly, most buyers don’t care as long as it doesn’t leak.
So, I totally disagree with this report. It just isn’t happening in my area.
And ALWAYS consult with a knowledgeable real estate agent in your area before making big decisions. I spend a lot of time advising friends and clients about how to spend money on their houses. You need somebody who knows the market and even your neighborhood to help make decisions.
There are a lot of variables depending on your neighborhood and price range.
We had a hail storm several years ago in South Lexington. Almost everybody got a new roof. The norm in those neighborhoods was to have a new roof. Buyers expected a new roof. It was a negative in that situation to not have a new roof.
There are several neighborhoods that are about 15 years old right now. The norm is to have original HVAC and roof. Since buyers will be viewing houses that all have an older roof or HVAC, a seller would do better to spend money updating the interior if they are considering selling any time soon. If they plan to stay forever, it is okay to spend their money any way they want.

2 thoughts on “New roof add value to your house?

  1. Well I’m probably the rare buyer in that a new roof new heat/Ac and windows would score points BUT, I can look at a house that isn’t updated and know I can update it myself for a lot less money than the above? Plus the updates would be to my taste. I do know from realty experience that most buyers can’t do this so in that respect, I agree with you

    1. Like you, I also looks at the whole house whether it is for my clients or when I am the buyer. I think where buying/selling is something most people do so infrequently, it is easy to overlook a lot of things you can’t see. The buyers who tend to care more about the age/condition of the roof and house systems have usually owned a couple houses.

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