Can't Shelter In Place WIthout A Roof
April 24, 2020 1:19 PM   Subscribe

How do we finance roof repairs for our house?

We lost some shingles in a recent windstorm, and the fellow we called for the repair is recommending about $10000 of work to our roof -- a complete re-shingling and replacement of the fixtures (vents, etc)

This jibes with what we heard from the house inspector who inspected this place when we first bought it 5 years ago -- he told us the roof had about 5 years left before it would need major work. That makes me less suspicious that this guy is trying to soak us for something we don't need. We're going to get some other opinions and quotes, but I'm proceeding as if we need to do this work.

We need to finance this. The guy quoted us rates of 7-10% if we financed through the firm his company partners with. This seems like an absurd interest rate in this day and age of free money, so we want to check our options with financing, and that's the part I'm not super up on.

What are the options for financing this? What are their pitfalls and virtues? And is that interest rate as nuts as its seems? I know that auto dealers will often offer suboptimal rates in exchange for "convenience" -- is this a case of that?

We are in Seattle, if that matters.
posted by Sauce Trough to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Get a home equity line of credit. That will be a lower rate, most likely, probably closer to 4-5%.

But 7% isn't awful for an unsecured(ish) loan; it's basically what a fixed interest education loan rate is.
posted by MonsieurBon at 1:23 PM on April 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

Any chance your homeowners' insurance has a financing arm? Ours does. The rate is better than 7%.
posted by juniperesque at 1:51 PM on April 24, 2020

A HELOC is one way of doing it. A BoA HELOC is about 4.25% right now.

You had a windstorm and had damage to your roof. Is that $10K WITH having your homeowners insurance company look at it? My parents' investment rental home just had almost the same thing, and USAA replaced the roof after their deductible. I think they came out of pocket about $2k for a $10K job.

You can also check with local credit unions on their personal loan rates. IDK your home value or credit situation, but coming out of pocket for $10K for roof work seems a a bit high.

FWIW, I'm in Texas.
posted by Master Gunner at 1:51 PM on April 24, 2020 [3 favorites]

Yes, look into getting a HELOC, or if your interest rates are higher than today's rates, a cash out refi. Also, if your credit limits are high enough, I would honestly not rule out putting it a credit card or two with a "no interest on purchases for X months" deal and then eventually transferring it to another card with a balance transfer deal. Back when I did this shuffle for a couple years, the going rate was about 3 percent to transfer, and that got you 12-18 months at zero interest.
posted by slidell at 1:54 PM on April 24, 2020 [2 favorites]

Get more quotes. It’s fascinating how the same job can get quotes that are 2-3x higher than others.
posted by Slinga at 2:05 PM on April 24, 2020 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Is it worth it to follow up with insurance? My impression is that the windstorm was not the cause of the damage, but that instead that the lost shingle is more a symptom of our old-ass roof.

The guy we brought in today did patch up the missing shingle with a repair he described as a band-aid, so the damage directly resulting from the windstorm has been repaired and for less than our deductable.
posted by Sauce Trough at 2:12 PM on April 24, 2020

Yes it's absolutely worth it to follow up with your insurace (though I don't know who your company is).

Coming out to take a look and see if your damage is covered shouldn't cost you a penny. Think about it like this: is it worth it to the insurance company to pay out for you to get a 20 year roof while they keep getting your premiums, and you likely never have to file another claim on the roof?

That's basically what the appraiser told my parents: there was some wind storm damage to the west-facing side of the roof, but nothing catastrophic, basically some broke/bent/missing shingles and some trim damage. It made more sense just to replace the whole roof with a brand new one instead of just one side.

Again, FWIW, they have USAA.
posted by Master Gunner at 2:29 PM on April 24, 2020 [2 favorites]

s it worth it to follow up with insurance? My impression is that the windstorm was not the cause of the damage, but that instead that the lost shingle is more a symptom of our old-ass roof.

That should be one of the first things you do. This is what you pay insurance for. You have storm damage (leave the age of the roof out of it) I’m shocked the roofing guy didn’t ask about insurance.

It’s at least worth getting an agent out to take a look. They might refuse your claim, or they might accept it. It’s actually in their best interest to make sure you have a solid roof.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:37 PM on April 24, 2020 [3 favorites]

I got a new roof a few years ago. The first quote was $15,000. The second was $7,000, I went with them, and they did a good job. (This was for a 900 sq ft home in a fairly not-cheap city.) Definitely get several quotes.
posted by cnidaria at 3:13 PM on April 24, 2020

Your insurance is going to depreciate compensation based on the age of the roof. If it had five years of life left in it 15 years ago, you aren’t going to get much at all from them at this point. Filing a claim can put you in jeopardy (getting dropped and then blacklisted) if you need to file larger claims in the future, so be careful about filing a small claim right now.
posted by rockindata at 3:52 PM on April 24, 2020

This is exactly what insurance is for. And it's not fair to say that YOUR insurance will depreciate the value based in age .. sure if you have ACV coverage that stipulates that for the roof. But if you have RCV (we do) then you get a roof repaired or replaced as they help to determine based on their inspection.

As for skipping that and doing it yourself many roofers just directly offer financing. Usually a fixed simple interest loan for low interest. So call around. It's worth the effort to call.

As for loan recos. I highly recommend lightstream if they service your state. They are painless, easy, no fees , if you apply in the morning and approved by 2pm the money is in your account same day.

But seriously. If you used an insurance agent start with them. Otherwise call the claims hotline. This is why they exist and what you pay for. We got a whole new roof due to hurricane on a 40 year old tile roof and they paid for replacement and our premiums weren't affected.

Good luck. Internet hugs.
posted by chasles at 5:29 PM on April 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

I would strongly urge you to get more quotes. For whatever reason, roof work in particular has a very wide range of prices. We got our roof done for literally a third of the price of some of our neighbours, and the quality seems to be identical.
posted by sid at 8:23 PM on April 24, 2020

Definitely call your insurance company! We had hail damage on our 30 year old roof that we didn’t even know about, and our insurance company paid for more than half the replacement last summer.
posted by sarajane at 5:10 AM on April 25, 2020

nth-ing making sure to get multiple quotes. Our existing roof was skip-sheeted with cedar shingles, and the job required re-sheeting the entire roof, new flashing all around, new skylights (originals were old and cracking). Local company quoted us $16k for 15lb felt and 20-year composition shingles. Second company quoted $8500 for 30lb felt and 30-year composition shingles.

FWIW, you said Seattle area; we're in Anacortes and went with Mt. Baker Roofing in Bellingham. I don't know if they go that far south, but I have nothing but praise for the work they did. Took the crew almost 3 days, and at the end of each day, they cleaned up the site so well, you'd never know they'd even been there. Had plenty of people caution us, "Oh, your driveway is gravel, you're going to find SO MANY NAILS," but we never found a single one; the crew was super meticulous in cleaning up.
posted by xedrik at 8:06 AM on April 25, 2020

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