Maine Real Estate Property Pre-Existing Conditions.


It happens a lot in listing, selling Maine real estate properties.

mainelittleleagueThe improvements, say the addition on a Maine home that has problems long after the real estate closing sale happens.

And the professionals that are brought in like too many cooks in the kitchen all have a different approach to the cure for the problem.

And anger builds, the Maine home owner is not a happy camper.

No one is giving, getting high fives.

Usually, something simple, basic can be tackled and fixed. Remedied quickly, easily. Without a lot of aggravation, cash outlay.

But then there are situations where the original Maine home owner put on an addition and tried to do lots of the work himself. Fancying himself as a jack of all trades, with a tad, a shade of Bob Vila. To whittle the total cash outlay for the project. And it looks good from the exterior, interior. Until some weather happens. And what was not installed properly becomes like a nagging headache that just won’t go away.

In Northern Maine, weather happens.

All kinds. So you can not just nail an addition on and hope it seals out the elements. That it keeps everything high and dry. And venting, so air exchanges, and condensation does not happen when outdoor temperature is much different than the thermometer reading inside the living space. Roofing types and proper pitch, angle for drainage another key concern. Or use of room and if moisture is heavy from within, say from a vent-less gas heater that creates water, moisture. Especially if used a lot, cranked high from a cold bloodied home owner that is always cold. LL Bean thermal wrapped fleece clothing or not.

  So for starters, flashing to seal in the space, joint where the existing Maine home is attached to the new addition project is key. And up the exterior wall, under several layers of roofing extension away from the Maine home is important. To protect against water, ice that “travels”. But the foundation under the addition that is joined to the Maine home needs to be properly installed so it won’t shift, move too. To avoid the pulling of the Maine home and addition apart. Every spring during winter thaw. Gutters to divert the water and making sure the last piece of down spout is not missing or disconnected. Turned toward the foundation rather than away. So it does its job.  

Drainage being improper around the foundation so water lies, builds up is not good in a colder climate like Maine. Expansion and contraction happening right on schedule to cause just enough to shift so a gap forms causing moisture leakage on the inside of the addition. The concrete slab should have been a more expensive stub wall or full foundation with beefed up drainage tiles to avoid the mystery of water leaking in to the living space. Maybe the soils around the foundation are clay like, don’t drain well. Or maybe a roof that could have stood a greater pitch. Perhaps something else for a protective surface material like standing seam metal. To keep snow from lodging, melting, seeping in to the living space. To help the Maine home owner’s headache to go away for good. Not return.

But a steeper roof that goes “whoosh” with snow would have meant reducing the size of second floor exterior windows to accommodate the hoisting higher to create the greater pitch. Another expense the former owner said “Naw… no thanks”. Just tack on that addition and don’t make a production out of it. Or add to the total expenditure from the cost of the Maine home addition straining his walllet.

Avoiding the “push me pull me”, up and down, all around hokey poky on the Maine home and the new addition means the two need to be one, solid, together and weather tight all four seasons.

All the time. For years of enjoyment on the Maine home addition improvement. Not creating a situation where the water seeps in this and this spot, then travels down a roof rafter and enters the living area in another spot in the ceiling. Gallons of water from within as the BTU’s from gas heating are expended are like the moisture from a shower. Shower bath rooms have exhaust fans and maybe the addition needs ones too. A combination, the wrong one of this, this and this is what makes the puzzle tougher to solve with pre-existing Maine home situations, conditions. 

I feel badly for contractors brought in to the job to correct another person’s mistakes. Some carpenters will not inherit a project that they did not start. Will not pick up the tools left behind by another in the building trade midstream. Because experience has shown a job abandoned maybe out of frustration and just not knowing what the first guy ormainemorningsteamfall gal swinging the hammer was doing means hot water for anyone else involved in the controversy down the road.

No one likes a hot potato tossed their way.

One by one each expert brought in to fix what ails the project and maybe helping, prolonging or adding to the ills of the carpentry just not done right years before.

But when one after another tradesmen are trotted in, escorted out after adding their two cents of logic and expertise to the foul up, the new Maine home owner is fed up.

Heads will roll. Whosoever is handy, or holding a hammer, saw, drill or bundle of shingles is fair game. In the cross hair sights.

Further investigation often shows the original owner of the Maine home knew well the problem exists.

Maybe is why they are selling or adding to the desire to high tail it. Covered up paint, stain sealer is one clue. Talking to neighbors who often know bits and pieces of the saga can help too. Maybe the room was not heated, not used winters so moisture build up condensation from within did not build up. Making it rain inside. But despite whatever the cause of frustration, be upset as the new owner with the former one. With the carpenter or tradesmen used on the job that was botched in the first place.

Go easy on the “just trying to help” and correct the problem follow up contractors.

They are trying to fix once and for all an on going, nagging situation you are some kind of jump up and down upset about. But that they personally did not create. It is not their fault you have thrown good money after bad with the total fix not achieved yet. And do all you can like issuing a life insurance or medical coverage policy to know the A to Z about “pre existing situations” with the Maine property listing. Study the disclosure form and ask questions if you have a hinky feeling in your gut about anything in the most important, largest purchase you ever make in a life time.

Maine real estate, buying, selling, ownership is an emotional experience. Maine, less people, more outdoors. Get here as soon as you can to see all your life has been missing.

I’m Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers, ME Broker

MOOERS REALTY | 69 North Street, Houlton Maine 04730 | 207.532.6573 | 




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