Is it possible to make a profit at all in this game? I've yet to find any configuration that offsets the fees.
What year was it? Also, did you try to connect all the houses (even across long distances)? Sometimes, it's a good idea to leave far-away houses alone for awhile.
EDIT: I've given it a lot of thought, and have done some more testing. I do think the load maintenance fees in 1.0.3 were too punishing. I decreased the load maintenance fees in a new version (1.0.4). My advice above still stands, though.
I'm a new player, and I'm experiencing the same thing in 1.04. I start the game, connect up two or three houses, and then steadily sink into debt. I've tried sticking to only the closest houses, and going for all the houses in a medium range, nothing works.