The 'Costs' of Not Maintaining Properties

Real Estate Appraiser with Gilliam Appraisal Services


If you lived in Maine for more than one year, you already know about that 'stuff' that comes by every winter.  Actually, if you've been here for long enough, you know that it often shows up in fall and lasts sometimes into the summer.  Yeah, it's no mystery, it's called SNOW.  It's cold, wet and extremely heavy.

All areas on the planet have their perils.  Hurricanes, tornados, termites, desert heat, tsunamis and floods.  They all have a sever impact on people and their structures.  Maine properties and owners are lucky in most respects.  Hurricanes and tornados are few and far between, termites can't survive in most of the State, desert heat is a joke, and tsunamis and floods are also few. 

The only natural problem for homes and structures that we have to deal with is snow.  Like I said, it's heavy, and it lasts quite a long time.  If not taken care of, it will destroy property. 

I've included a few examples of what has happened in my area of Central Maine.  All of these collapses occured this winter.

Collapsed Garage 

  This fine home was listed for sale when the garage collapsed.  The garage is much larger than it appears, and was a 2-bay with a carport.  Do you think this will affect the sale????


Collapsed Restaurant

This was a bar/restaurant close by that was also for sale.  The structure was constructed from large logs and appeared to be very well constructed.  It should be proof positive that because the property looks to be ok doesn't mean it will survive.  The roof even had a good pitch to it, but it was not maintained.  Again, if you were to make an offer on this property, would you expect a discount???

More properties will collapse in the coming weeks.  These properties will incur thousands of dollars in damage to the property, create an eye soar for the neighborhood, and make an already difficult market worse for the owners. 

Comments (6)

J Manno
Summit Realty Group, Inc. - Newport Beach, CA


Wow...those are some interesting pictures...I better get to HD to get some windex.

Mar 29, 2008 04:39 AM
Ryan Vivo
Gateway Realty - Fairfield, CA
NRBA Realtor Solano County, Gateway Realty 707-384-5894
Wow, that is very interesting.  I never knew that snow could cause a property to collapse like that.  Thanks for the information.
Mar 29, 2008 04:41 AM
Theodore Gilliam
Gilliam Appraisal Services - Norridgewock, ME
Ryan, it happens more than you would think.  Since we care for properties that others cannot, we make it our business to photograph other properties that haven't survived.  Look for new posts soon, as I'll be posting them here.
Mar 29, 2008 04:47 AM
David & Lisa Webber
RE/MAX Executive - Crofton, MD
Ouch, we haven't had really heavy snow here in awhile but that's always good to remember for when we do!
Mar 29, 2008 05:11 AM

This is good foder for discussion.  Here in Vermont, we get 168" or so per year, and much of it that is left on low pitched roofs converts to ice, which gets to weigh almost a ton per cubic yard.

Even on the ground, we have over 42" left to melt.  At this time of year, the novelty of snow has worn off and people's minds are on to thinking about Spring and they forget that there is a glacier over their heads.  This is especially true with the absentee owners of vacation homes.  I'll see if I have some local pictures which will add to this site next time I visit.  By the way, just like Maine, we here in Vermont lack most of the exciting activity that Theodore mentioned; plus we don't have mudslides, earthquakes, or drive-by shootings either. 

Mar 29, 2008 05:58 AM
Dale Hittle
Dale C. Hittle of GOLDEN RULE PROPERTIES in Glover, Vermont - Glover, VT

Here's one that we were afraid to go into to take measurements: 1) because the roof might collapse on us; and 2) because these buildings shift under the weight load, and we probably would not be able to get the doors secured again.  This was last week here in Vermont and what you see represents an accumulated 42" or so of compressed snow (compressed from 168") and ice on the roofs of this Absentee Owner's Lakeside Cottage.  That is really testing the structural integrity of this old building.  We sent him this picture as he's never seen the property except in the balmy Vermont Summer !  Better get crackin' !

 Vermont Lakeside Cottage

I see that my comment of yesterday 3/29/08 at 12:58 went up anonymously.  I did not know that you had to enter your identity each time. 

Mar 30, 2008 04:58 AM