Need New Roof on Our House...

Updated on June 02, 2011
L.D. asks from Greenwood, SC
14 answers

My parents inherited my late granparents home last year and we moved into their home, taking over their house payments. After we moved in we discovered there was no homeowners insurance on the house. My dad had let it lapse and he does not want to discuss why or how long this has been going on. The problem is the house needs a new roof bad. It is leaking in a few places and I know if this continues it's going to make things worse. We have tried patching it but it didn't hold. We had an estimate done and because of all the water damage, it's going to be around 4500.00 to replace it. Since this is technically our house, we are responsible for this. My parents are financially unable to help and my dad is in a nursing home now. We have a credit card we can put this on but we frankly cannot afford another payment right now. Does anyone know of anything we can do? This is really stressing us out and we need some asap. Thanks in advance.

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answers from Kansas City on

$4500?? Wow, that's cheap! We've had estimates in the mid to high twenties for a new roof. Does that make you feel a little bit better?? :-)

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answers from St. Louis on

I am not sure if I understand the question. Unless there was an act of God or something struck your roof it wouldn't be covered under homeowners insurance anyway. Even the water damage may not have been covered since you were not maintaining the roof.

I would be careful in how you proceed. Most banks don't like the agreement you and your parents made because of exactly what has happened. If they find out, depending on the wording of the mortgage they could call the loan forcing you to refinance. I can only assume you didn't refinance because you could not purchase the home outright for some reason.

Sometimes there no handouts to be had, sometimes you have to accept you are responsible.

You could google the problems with the roof and repair it yourself. If I had to save money that is what I would do.

I was thinking about this on my way home from work. If your parents picked this structure to manipulate assets to avoid a medicade spend down, STOP! what you are doing if you have contacted agencies looking for a payout. They are a nasty lot to deal with and they will take the assets. Regardless there are tax evasion issues here too. Please for the sake of your family don't do anything without considering what may happen.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you can find out who the Home was insured with, you may still be able to file. If there was coverage at the time of the storm that did the damage you can still file. Most insurance companies give you 2 years to file. Of course it would have to be the policyholder that files. But if you quiz him again and tell him it's ok if it was in the last 2 years that you can still file, he may help. He's probably just embrassed that he let it lapse.
Other than that I would suggest Home Equity Line of Credit or Home Improvement Loan as well. You will be hard pressed to find a roofer that will take pymts.
You could go old school - the way my parents did things back in the old neighborhood - If you know any roofers or certified handymen personally, you could get him to buy the shingles for you wholesale and then try to find some cheap labor to put them on.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

If they enherited the house...then the house is worth something...couldnt they borrow against the value of the home and take out home equity loan...if they cant afford $4500 then perhaps they shouldnt have 2 houses....sell the house and use the money to help your parents

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Luis Obispo on

When we bought our house it needed a roof and they alotted for it in the price of the sale but to save money, our neighbors all pitched in and in a day and a half we had the new roof on minus the cost of materials and pizza and beer and lots of bottles of water!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

If you took over your parents' payments and they bought the house years ago, is there a substantial amount of equity in the house? I just assuming older parents, bought it a long time ago etc. If so, even in today's mortage market, you may be able to get a home equity line of credit. I know that's another payment but it at least should be at a much lower interest rate than a credit card would be.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

How weird - if you have taken over payments - I can't think of ANY mortgage company that holds a mortgage to allow it to lapse - ours withholds money from our payments - puts it in escrow and pays the insurance each year.

Our warranty/extended insurance - if that's what you are referring to - would not cover this damage any way - since there is no specific event that happened to "apply" it to....

Our normal home insurance is great insurance but would not cover the normal wear and tear replacement of the roof.

It sounds like you are going to have to bite the bullet on this one and take several options:

1. refinance the home in your name.
2. take out equity from the home and get all the stuff fixed that needs to be fixed.
3. talk to the roofing companies that you are getting estimates from (MAKE SURE YOU GO TO ANGIESLIST.COM and get information on the companies - WELL worth any time and money you might spend). and see if you can make payments to them (I realize you said you can't afford another payment - but you might have to!!)
4. Try to do another "fix" and since summer is coming - maybe do it yourself - it's not easy - but it's possible!!!

Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Are your payments going to your parents or a mortgage company? If the home still has a mortgage on it, the bank will most likely require insurance to be kept on the home or they will put their own (very expensive) policy on the home and add it to the mortgage balance. If that happened, it may work in your favor and actually allow you to have coverage that will get the roof repaired. If not, if you are somewhat handy or have willing friends/ family who are- I would try to do most of the tear off yourself, then let the roofing company come in, replace any wood that needs to be replaced and put down the new roof. You might also want to check on metal roofing (it you like it and it would look good)- sometimes it is less expensive. Other than that, I don't think there is much you can do- if you are making the payments to your parents with or without a lease or purchase agreement, I would renter's insurance ASAP. A policy is typically not that expensive (I paid less than $20/ month) to cover your contents if something happens.

A bank loan may require an appraisal- which will cost you a few hundred dollars and the roof issues may reduce the value, but it might be an option worth exploring.

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answers from Columbus on

For now, get tarps up on the roof. That will stop or at least improve the problem with the leaks. Yes, it's ugly, but it's better than more water damage.

Then, call up 4 or 5 roofing companies (check the Better Business Bureau, use Angies List, and ask friends for recommendations). Call them up and ask them if they will accept payments on a roof.

Or, ask around among your friends. Roofing it is not generally hard, if you have a straightforward roof. Do you have any friends that are good handymen? We roofed our house, with my brothers & dad, and DH, and the house was down in 2 days. Patching (replacing the rotten wood of the roof) takes the longest part. The actual putting the roof on doesn't. It only cost us a couple thousand, instead of $5k from the roofing companies.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

Have you looked into refinancing the home, or getting a home improvement loan?
The first is better in many ways, because it makes it still one payment (the house payment), plus interest rates are generally quite low right now. But a home improvement loan will be paid off sooner, and depending on the institution may end up costing less.

Either way, don't delay any longer if you can at all help it. And make sure that you have homeowners insurance now (which may be easier if the loan is in your name, ie refinance).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charleston on

I own a roofing company here in SC and can give you my advise on how to save a couple thousand dollars on your roof.
First, you will need to take a lot of initiative even if you know nothing about roofing. I will help by telling you a list of what you will need. around. Call all of the supply houses and tell each what the last ones price was and tell them you are a contractor looking for the best price on a 30yr architectural shingle. Also make sure they will deliver roof top...and ask what the delivery charge is.
The rest of the materials, pick em up at Lowes. They are actually cheaper there.
You will need to measure the roof to find the square ft. of the roof surface. Length x Width...etc.
100sq ft = 1sq of roofing
the avg house is around 22sq to give you an idea
felt, button caps, starters, gun nails, pipe boots, caps, ridge vent.
that about does it.
if unsure about the quantity you will need of each, ask the man at Lowes.
Now all you need is labor from someone who knows how to put on a roof.
Put an ad on Craigs List and you're phone will ring off the hook.
Roofers in my area are working for around $30/sq so you will spend around $600-$700 in labor
If there are materials you forgot the workers will let you know.
So now, instead of spending $4500, you're new roof is only going to cost you $2800 or about that.
Hope I could help. If you want me to come give you an estimate and live in SC, call Kelsey Roofing @ ###-###-####. I have the best rates in town and have plenty of refferences.
J. Kelsey



answers from Athens on

I know you say you don't have enough money for another payment, however, if you don't fix this problem you will have even bigger problems in the not too distant future.
If you live in the area and are with an electric cooperative, you may qualify for an ERC Loan which is a low interest loan that the payments are added to your electric bill each month. You may check with your cooperative and see if reroofing would quailify under this loan program?
I know you can replace HVAC systems, water heaters, and insulation with this program.



answers from Atlanta on

Hi L.,

The insurance wouldn't cover a roof unless there had been damage to it. And if you don't report it when it happens they rarely will do anything anyway. Get insurance on it now and pray for hail :)

All that said, I agree with AC. Tarp it for now and do some research. There are plenty of people out there that are out of work and I bet some are roofers. Talk to your neighbors and your friends. You can put an ad on Craigslist expressing your desire to make payments. Be careful and check references. We need a new roof as well but got a price of 10,000...I'm praying for hail!

God bless,




answers from Boston on

Home owner's insurance does not cover maintenance like roofs and such. Depending on the policy it might cover water damage, fire, theft, etc. but never a new roof that I am aware of. The price actually sounds very cheap. We have a 2600 square foot colonial and a new roof will likely cost us $15K and that is for stripping the old shingles down to the plywood, adding new icedamming and then adding new shingles.
If you did not put the house in your name with a new mortgage I would be careful about legal issues. In the long run we always feel safer spending a bit extra but being legally sound and clear, then doing something that might come back to bite you. We know folks who installed a woodstove without a permit for instance, but if the house ever has a fire the homeowner's insurance will not cover you unless all the permits are on file since that is one of the first things they would check. I would make sure the mortgage is on your name and then take out an equity loan. Also make sure the contractor is legit since $4500 for a new roof sounds cheap, unless South Carolina is just a lot cheaper than Massachusetts. Good luck

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