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REAP What You Sow
Owners of homes with wood roofs invest in The Cedar Roof Company’s Real Estate Assistance Program to ensure a smooth transaction during a home sale

by Sharon A. Shaw

After several years of declining home sales, it seems the real estate market may finally be improving. However, even in the best of times, home sellers with wood roofs are rewarded for being prudent about the roof's condition before putting their home on the
market. A cedar shake or shingle roof can be a home’s greatest attribute … or its biggest obstacle during a real estate transaction.

Home inspectors have a difficult job, requiring them to evaluate multiple aspects of each home. Often unwilling to accept liability for a roof’s condition and its future performance, they provide documentation that is unfavorable to a home with a cedar roof. Once documented, this information will affect the negotiation process of a real estate transaction.

As the area’s leading wood roof professional The Cedar Roof Company offers a Real Estate Assistance Program (REAP) designed to help people selling their homes by providing truthful and accurate documentation about the wood shake or shingle roof being evaluated. This program also includes a transferable leak and repair warranty.

Since 1993 The Cedar Roof Company has been trusted to provide the Delaware Valley
the most reliable service and effective cedar roof solutions, including the installation, repair, preservation and certification of cedar shake and shingle wood roofs. In fact, it is the only wood roof company in southeastern Pennsylvania with a service department dedicated to maintaining and repairing cedar roofs. Its goal is to educate homeowners about the options available for their roof by providing a thorough and honest assessment. The Cedar Roof Company has earned an A-Plus rating from the Pennsylvania Better Business Bureau since becoming a member 2003 and is also member of the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau, an organization that is recognized
as the industry’s foremost authority.

For years, the owners of wood roof homes have sought the advice of The Cedar
Roof Company when looking to enter the real estate market. Co-owner Brian Pott says his company offers these homeowners a free roof evaluation and consultation in order to provide an accurate assessment and present their available options. With more than 20 years of experience and industry education, The Cedar Roof Company is qualified to provide an informative and detailed evaluation that home inspectors and real estate agents recognize as factual and credible. Pott and The Cedar Roof Company’s head of installation, Mike Malone, even provide continuing education for Pennsylvania and Delaware home inspectors.

Shake and shingle roofs are multilayer systems constructed of overlapping shakes or
shingles that have various degrees of visible exposure, thickness and/or a felt paper interlay. Noting the aesthetic appearance of the exposed wood alone is not an adequate indication of the roof’s current condition and future functional longevity. Every cedar roof, like every home, is unique and should be evaluated as such. The Cedar Roof Company conducts an assessment of the roof, examining all sections to determine its materials, installation method, condition and life expectancy. Any problems discovered at this time can be scheduled for correction before they are documented in a home inspection report where they may negatively affect a real estate transaction.

A roof certification issued by The Cedar Roof Company is a specific, fact-based representation of the roof. This information, when furnished, can be used to educate the homeowner, home inspectors, real estate agents and potential buyers about the state of the roof and other pertinent information including past maintenance and repair history, if any. Allowing all parties involved access to this information is paramount in brokering an agreement.

The transferable leak and repair warranty offered by The Cedar Roof Company is  designed to take the limited liability of the roof and its future performance away from the home inspector and offer future repair assurance to any buyer who purchases the home by locking them into a low fixed-deductible rate for any future additional repairs
should they become necessary. The roof certification should be dated at the time the home is listed on the market and the transferable leak and repair warranty should be activated at that time, as well. It is essential that both be in place before a home inspector visits the property.

“As a home inspector, our goal is to provide our customers with an accurate estimate of remaining useful life of the roof, so that they can plan and budget accordingly or negotiate terms prior to purchase,” says Frank Falcone, who, along with his father, Wayne, owns Accurate Home Inspection. “Evaluation of wood roofs approaching their end of life is a challenge because the layered portion of the roof may be in far better condition than the exposed portion of the roof shingles. … The wood roof certification and warranty provide specialized expertise and peace of mind to a home.”

By providing this security, the sellers can feel good about the condition of the home’s
roof and know that they have provided adequately for its new owners. In cases involving non-maintained cedar roofs with limited life expectancy, the buyers will also have the advantage of making their own choices about the style and quality of their roof should they need or choose to replace it. Cedar is available in shake and shingle styles of varying lengths and reveals that offer a variety of effects preferred by different people. This is a decision best left to the new owners rather than having had a hasty, low-quality replacement installed just to complete the sale.

Pott and Malone are vested in facilitating a smooth real estate transaction for those involved in the Real Estate Assistance Program and do not charge a fee to meet or discuss the roof if a request is made by either the seller or the buyer of a property involved in its program. The Cedar Roof Company doesn't just represent home sellers, but often represents the buyers as well. “There's not a week that goes by that we’re not meeting potential buyers of homes with wood roofs and evaluating their condition,” says Pott. “The majority of these leads come from local home inspectors and real estate agents that know our company and trust our evaluation.” He says the company’s goal, whether it is representing the seller or the buyer, is the same: to honestly and accurately assess the roof ’s current condition, life expectancy and options for care.

The Cedar Roof Company is the only local wood roof company to specialize in assisting all parties involved in a real estate transaction for these often misunderstood roofs. The factual information generated by any evaluation can be manipulated to benefit the party being represented so it's always in the seller's best interest to know and understand their roof on their own terms and remain in control of how that information is presented, according to Pott.

Scott Furman, a Realtor with RE/MAX Classic in Saint Davids was recognized last year as the No. 1 agent in the region and the state. He is also the owner of a cedar roof home that he has relied on The Cedar Roof Company to maintain. This unique perspective provides him with an exceptional understanding of the challenges a cedar roof presents to a real estate transaction. “I represent many sellers, and cedar roofs can be a challenge for all parties involved because there is a lack of education as to how they function. … People can be scared by them.” He says a roof certification backed by a transferable leak and repair warranty is “a great tool when we get to home inspection.

“Most homes are sold with inspection contingencies,” he continues. “In cases that we are not [utilizing this documentation] we are dealing with it on back end and that is where problems arise. Both [the certification and warranty] will reduce the risk of that contract falling though. It gives the buyer peace of mind.”

A homeowner’s peace of mind can also come from knowing who to turn to with concerns about a cedar roof. Steven and Lisa Forgue became customers of The Cedar Roof Company when they bought their home. “The previous owners of our home had used their maintenance program, so we knew who to call when we noticed that a
heavy wind had broken a couple of the shingles,” Lisa says. “As we had never owned a
home with a cedar roof, we were glad to have The Cedar Roof Company as our local experts.”

“When called, they came out immediately, assessed the repairs needed, gave us a quote and scheduled the work,” she says. “We have always taken their suggestions regarding
maintenance and upkeep and have never been disappointed.” Last summer the Forgues had The Cedar Roof Company perform the recommended cleaning and preservation. “We were gone during the day while the preservation work was being completed,” she says. “When we turned into our driveway and saw the difference, we knew it was money well spent. The roof looked new, and our home was built in 1992.”

Even though they have had their wood roof preserved and maintained on a regular
basis, the Forgues—who recently decided to list their home on the market—see the value in obtaining a roof certification and transferable leak and repair warranty. “Any warranty that can be passed on to a prospective buyer is a great selling point,” Lisa says. “A home is a huge investment these days, and being proactive is the only way to protect that investment.”

21 RABBIT RUN ROAD,
MALVERN, PA 19355

More than 20 years ago the owners of this five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bathroom home decided to complete a renovation unlike any other—with nothing from a factory except the appliances. Set on a hilltop with sweeping views in The Radnor Hunt area of Willistown Township, this home is constructed with details from across Europe using Old World craftsmanship.

It features a guest house, pool, tennis court and beautiful landscaping on four acres of land. Among the many interior details in the 7,732-square-foot home are limestone floors, intricate millwork, leaded-glass windows and several handpainted murals.

Contact Missy Schwartz of Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors – Devon at 610-888-3349 for more information.

943 SILLS MILL ROAD,
KENNETT SQUARE, PA 19348

The Forgues’ newly available home has much more to offer than a well-maintained cedar roof. This stunning stone and stucco farmhouse embodies classic Chester County living at its best with 6.7 acres ideal for pursuing one’s passions. The property includes a detached three car garage of timber frame construction, a fully finished, 1,000-square foot workspace and a beautifully designed outdoor living area with a custom fieldstone patio, stone fireplace, pond, waterfalls, two pergolas and a pool.

Three floors of living include a finished third floor with a bonus fireplace and walkout lower level suitable for entertaining. It features a bar and media area, exercise room, bedroom/den, full and partial baths and private patio. Upstairs there are four bedrooms, two full baths plus a master suite with sitting area, walk-in closets, luxury bath with heated floors, soaking tub and shower.

Contact Victoria Dickinson of Patterson Schwartz Real Estate by calling 302-429-7304 or visit www.pattersonschwartz.com for more information.

Contact:
The Cedar Roof Company
185-1 Lancaster Ave., Malvern
610-647-3099
www.cedarroof.com

Accurate Home Inspection
175 Strafford Ave., Suite 1, Wayne
610-964-1477
www.accurateinspection.com

Scott Furman
RE/MAX Classic
528 E. Lancaster Ave., St. Davids
610-687-2900 ext. 113


Photograph by Paul Reitano

 

Suburban Life Magazine