Current standards call for continuous ridge ventilation and fully vented soffits. The benefit is that the roof structure stays dry, and well ventilated, and the shingles stay cooler and last longer. The issues in adding a ridge vent to an existing home can be numerous. Fully vented soffit means that the soffit is a style that has vent slots, holes, or screening under the entire lower edge of the slope. An older house may have nothing but solid painted board soffits and no venting at all. In this case, the common retrofit is to drill 2-3" holes, in a pattern, and install screened plugs. The result looks like shit, and the job is unpleasant at best. Next you need to visualize the air being able to flow under the sheathing from the soffit vent, between the rafters, and out the ridge vent. Is there anything preventing this possibility, such as insulation, funky framing details, plastered attic ceiling, etc? No reason to add a ridge vent if the air isn't going to flow to it. Last, I have run into an odd, yet spectacularly damaging event, when ridge vent is retrofitted in snow country. IF the existing home has gable end vents, and you add a ridge vent, and you get light blowing snow AND high wind conditions, the attic can fill to the very top with snow. The issues is that the ridge vent performs so well in high winds that it will suck large volumes of air into gable end vents. If the air is full of fluffy snow, it gets ugly. So the gable vents need to be blocked. Hope this helps?