The hard and fast reality of real estate is that ultimately, all value is in the land value. Improvements are constantly declining in value. If the property owner isn't continuously improving, updating, maintaining, replacing and repairing their home, the condition of the property will fall so far below market standards that it will cost serious money to bring it back up. I tell clients that they need to anticipate the annual maintenance costs at 3% to 5% of the total market value of the home.
The blog, reposted below, makes that point very well.
I was at a presentation made by a home appraiser to a group of real estate agents. It shocked me when he said a house would only last 40 years. He then paused. People, like me, were busy thinking of every home in the city that was over 40 years old and knew that he was wrong. Just plain wrong.
For round 2, he said it would be uninhabitable in 40 years IF (now here is the rub) the owners did not maintain the home.
So let's see - how many roofs do not sustain some type of damage from age, wind, snow, hail, sun exposure, rot, etc in 40 years? I live in an neighbourhood with homes built at least 40 years ago. Every spring, summer and fall roofing companies are busy with their business - taking off the old shingles, repairing any damage and then putting on the new shingles. Cedar shakes need work, In moist areas such as BC, mold is the enemy of roofs. Roofs can leak and when they do, water gets into the interior.
Windows are another issue - sure those single pane windows with winter storms were THE windows to have but times have changed and so have windows. They need to be sealed and water tight. Again, nature's elements can work away at the windows and window frames and before you know it - rot has set in, windows leak and the house suffers. You can take any element of a home and understand why care is needed to maintain it.
So..... unless your home was built like the Colosseum - made out of concrete and covered in marble - there is little chance that it will survive centuries and be a sight for tourists 1,900+ years later. Of course, your house may not be plundered for parts and used to build churches, later filled with garbage and left to rot, only to be cleaned up and presented as a historic marvel.
This and every year pick a project to maintain your home.