Homes Require Constant Work

Reblogger Judith Abbott
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential


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.


Original content by Valerie Zinger

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.

Valerie Zinger 

email:  (613-723-5300)

Royal LePage Gale Real Estate,  Ottawa, Ontario, Canada  


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Bruce Parker
RE/MAX Best - Highland Park, NJ

I sold a 250 year old home in NJ. Still looks and functions well. The main issue for me was that the ceilings and dorrways were a little lower and I aam 6'4 so I felt like a giant!

Jul 09, 2011 04:50 AM #1
Judith Abbott
Coldwell Banker Residential - Dallas, TX

I have been in some of those hand-made, pre-American Revolution structures and, yes, the scale is different.  My theory is that if you dont have any power tools and are doing all the work by hand, you make the room exactly as big as it has to be and not an inch larger! 

And, the reason that house is still standing is because 1.  It was built well to begin with and 2.  It has had 250 years of people working to keep it in good condition.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jul 09, 2011 04:59 AM #2
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

There is theory and there is reality. He's right though about maintenance, though.

Jul 09, 2011 04:41 PM #3
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Judith:  I have heard appraisers use the phrase that the home had "a remaining economic life" of 40 years in the past.  What they were implying, and what the investor wanted to know... was that the home would have value longer than the term of the mortgage loan that the borrowers were applying for.

For example, my parents bought their home in a near-in suburb of Cleveland, Ohio in 1957.  I am sure part of the appraisal said that the appraiser felt the home had an "expected economic life" of longer than 30 years... which was the length of the mortgage term.  After Mom and Dad died in 87 and 88... the home was sold... and DID return more than the original mortgage amount.

If it were sold today... unfortunately between 1988 and 2011... it has not held its value.  Perhaps that was what the appraiser in your post was implying.  Just a thought.

Jul 10, 2011 04:25 AM #5
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome
Judith, Good post to reblog.

I am so glad that I read  Valerie's entire post, or it would be past time for me to move. My home is almost 50 years. I don't have to move..roof, windows and systems are updated.


Jul 10, 2011 03:12 PM #6
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