Locals know Doug Brown likes old houses.

He scavenges for historical hardware, knobs, handrails, trim, beams, shiplap boards, plumbing fixtures and the like and sell to people looking for authentic pieces.

He has a unique real estate portfolio, as well. One of his "landmark" properties is the Victorian-style house at 386 E. Main St. in Searsport, across from Greg’s Auto Sales. Though the structure has deteriorated since he bought it some 12 years ago, many people are still drawn to what has long been a curiosity on Route 1. Many visitors over the years have ignored the "no trespassing" signs.

Searsport Code Enforcement Officer Randy Hall said the house has not been occupied in more than 20 years, long before Brown purchased it. Nearly two years ago, in April 2016, Hall sent out letters warning property owners, including Brown, about public safety issues created by derelict structures.

At that point, portions of the house had "fallen to such a disarray that they are beyond repair," Hall wrote in his letter to Brown.

Since then, Brown has been working on taking the structure down, according to Hall. No fines have been imposed and there is no timeline for work to be completed, he said.

Two large trailers are currently parked in the front yard of the East Main Street building with boards and other debris spilling out.

“It would have to get really extreme for fines to happen,” Hall said. “Most of the time if you treat the owner decently — they will work with you.”

Brown owns another highly visible building in Belfast, on the corner of Edgecomb Road and Route 3, just up the road from Perry’s Home Furnishings. Several weeks ago, a storm that dumped heavy wet snow caused a partial collapse of the roof.

According to Belfast Code Enforcement Officer Tod Rosenberg, Brown’s Edgecomb Road building is not condemned and is not in any imminent danger of falling down.

“If the building was occupied, it would be condemned,” Rosenberg said. “I worked with him two years from now to get the roof repaired — the city manager has worked with him.”

Brown was only able to complete repairs to half the roof; the side that did not collapse.

Belfast has had only three buildings condemned in the last seven years, according to Rosenberg. Two were on Poors Mill Road and one on Harvey Road. The structures were questionable, so they were demolished, Rosenberg said.

Belfast City Manager Joe Slocum said he was aware of Brown’s roof collapse and said “the building is still structurally sound and secured on the first floor.”

But is Brown following Belfast's property maintenance code?

"We have a lot of people that don't follow the code, a lot of properties,” Slocum said. "As long as it doesn't affect life or limb, we try and work with the property owner."

Slocum said city officials worked with Brown five years ago on his Waterville Road property as well. Rosenberg previously said the Waterville Road (Route 137) property owned by Brown “has a long history of violations.” Most of the violations are related to “junk” stored at that location.

At one point, the violations were so severe that Brown was arrested and jailed, Rosenberg said. Members of the Maine Militia came to Brown's aid and cleaned up the property enough to allow his release from jail a week later, he said.

"We will need to reassess his other property once the snow goes away," Slocum said.

“This is what he does, he buys old structures and salvages what he can.” he added. “He's the grand recycler."

Brown has not been fined by the city. Attempts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.