House hunters search for Sandy bargains
LONG BEACH, N.Y. — It sounds like the premise for a new reality TV series: “Hurricane House” — people scouring waterside communities looking to buy homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy at a deep discount.
While there are bargains out there, ranging from 10 percent off pre-storm prices for upscale homes on New York's Long Island and the Jersey Shore to as much as 60 percent off modest bungalows in Staten Island and Queens, it's still very much a game of buyer beware.
Not only are buyers are on the hook for repairs and in some cases total rebuilds, they're also wading into a host of potentially expensive uncertainties about flood maps and insurance rates, zoning changes and updated building codes.
“It's totally changed the way I sell real estate,” said Lawrence Greenberg, a sales associate with Van Skiver Realtors, whose own Mantoloking, N.J., office was wrecked in the storm.
Prior to Sandy, prospective buyers rarely mentioned issues such as flood maps and building elevations until the matter of flood insurance came up — often at closing. “Now, everybody asks the question of elevation,” Greenberg said.
There is no sign of an exodus from shoreline communities. The number of for-sale listings in January in the 380 ZIP codes hit by the storm was about 2 percent below the same time last year, according to online real estate company Zillow. That indicates that most homeowners are rebuilding.
But real estate agents said the majority of homes for sale have some damage from the storm, and it appears that a rising number are being put on the market as the spring home-buying season approaches.
New listings range from destroyed oceanfront properties being sold for the land, to flooded bayside homes untouched since the storm that must be gutted. Even the few undamaged homes in affected neighborhoods are listing at prices about 10 percent lower than they would have been pre-storm.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Report: DEA prostitutes paid by cartel
- Tractor-trailer hits construction beams over Interstate 35 in Texas
- Jackson Jr. leaves prison for halfway house
- Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
- Damaged Jersey shore pier to be rebuilt
- Bergdahl, speaking for 1st time, claims 12 attempts to flee Taliban
- Feds arrest guardsman, cousin for terror plot on military facility
- House OKs overhaul of Medicare, keeps kids insurer
- $140M Picasso likely to set auction record
- Indiana governor defends religious objections bill signed into law
- Watchdog: Policy over visas broke, but not law