Experts disagree on roof life

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DEAR BARRY: I am presently buying my first home and am bothered by a difference of opinion between my home inspector and the seller's roofing contractor. My home inspector has 20 years of experience. He found the shingles to be worn and brittle, with two years of remaining life. But the seller's roofing contractor says the roof has five years of life. My agent says we should get a third opinion, but I'm thinking of canceling the deal. Why can't the experts agree on the condition of the roof? --Mikel DEAR MIKEL: No one can assign an exact amount of remaining life for roof shingles. It is a subjective assessment, not an exact prediction. Whether two years or five years, the point is this: The shingles show significant signs of aging and wear and have limited remaining life. They will soon need replacement. Home inspectors with 20 years of experience typically know their stuff, so you can probably rely on your inspector's findings. If you really want the house, try to negotiat...