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How Will the Real Estate Market Weather the Storm?

What will happen in a post-Sandy real estate market?

Hurricane Sandy has done her damage to some, and others fared very well through this storm.

Overall, Ocean City got very lucky compared to other parts of New Jersey and New York. Many sellers have been expressing a concern as to what Sandy's wrath will do to our previously recovering real estate market. Though it is hard to see right now, I am sure there will be some good with the bad.

In talking to some of my buyers within the past few days, they still express a love for our town and will always have a drive to want to be here. Surprisingly, many sellers whose homes stayed dry feel even more confident about their property and their sale.

The main issue that we are currently facing is mortgage companies wanting inspections on the properties that are under contract and pending a settlement. They want to be sure that there are no severe damages. The problem lies with certain buyers having to wait for repairs to be completed in order to get a re-inspection and approval for financing. Getting a quick resolution in order to hold a deal together seems impossible when insurance companies need time to get adjusters out to so many homes. Trying to get an available contracter out to make the repairs also may be a difficult task.

Some good news that I have heard from homeowners is that they are now rehabbing items in their homes that they normally would not have put the money into. Things such as flooring and furniture that are normally very important to buyers, so many people typically would have kept or even sold "as is." Therefore, the property that they and their family has owned for numerous years will now be worth even more and they are excited about it. This is one positive outcome for many of the older and lower-built homes that did get the brunt of the damage.

It is inevitable that the market will slow down for the next few months while people are filing claims and completing repairs. However, Thanksgiving to New Year's are typically our slowest real estate months regardless. Coincidentally, we have seen a few buyers come into town wanting to explore where the highest and dryest areas of town are. Good for some but very revealing for others.

I will surely expect the "Sandy" question to now be on the list of buyer's concerns for the next few years. Overall, I don't think the storm will have a permanent effect on our market. Ocean City was one of the shore towns that best survived this catastrophe, so renters and buyers may end up here.

I am eager to hear what any potential buyers and second homeowners think about buying right now and what sellers feel about their properties regarding pricing/value.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

OTI December 06, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Greenbyrd, Thank you for offering your home. My family and I are one of those families who have lost everything. We are very fortunate to have been given a beautiful home to stay in by a good friend, who is unwilling to accept any money. I just wanted to say thank you for being so kind to others, it really does make a difference.
Ann Sparks January 03, 2013 at 12:53 AM
I have been looking to purchase in OC a months before Sandy hit, now I am having questions that I am concerned about. Several advisors have told me to wait and see how this will unfold in the upcoming year or two, as that is the amount of time to assess situations after a disaster. Especially in an uncertain economic times. My specific questions are : how is this going to affect the housing market in OC? I think potential buyers are concerned about several things including where on the flood zone the property will fal on; how much the flood insurance is going to go up...to raise HOA fees if you have them; will the home be insurable (regular home insurance where I suspect wind was an issue) ; and if you are dealing with a home >20 years older, how structurally sound will it hold with upcoming storms, especially if you live near water and in an older community.
archie struthers January 05, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Ann, I've lived here thru a bunch of storms and Sandy was quite likely the worst since 1962. Lots of bad alignments in tide , wind and temperature. Don't know the kind of house you are looking at , whether its for summer or year round use, and whether you intend to rent at all. However a good realtor can tell you the history of flooding in the city, and the new flood zones are available online at the FEMA site. Still a little tricky trying to see the insurance implications, but the key is to research a particular neighborhoods propensity to flood. Sandy really reinforced where the best spots are relative to water and tides. Good luck. Archie/Struthers Keller Williams OCNJ
EXiT REALTY OCEAN CITY February 13, 2013 at 06:37 PM
... This topic is interesting. I am currently having many discussions with Buyers as to the uncertainty on purchasing homes that are below base flood elevation 10ft (older homes), as well as Buyers interested in purchasing homes that were built in most recent years. It appears to me that Buyers searching for newer homes and condos are slightly more decisive. There is not much of a difference between the two, and the low mortgage rates certainly can help. In my opinion the "toss-up" is between the offered pricing which is not much of a difference, and the base elevation of 10ft. above sea level vs. current new construction which will be built an additional 2ft. higher. This makes sense as the new homes are being built at that higher base flood elevation, these homes will also meet the new building codes moving forward, and finally your FLOOD Insurance premiums will be significantly less. I hope this helps…thank you! Joseph Landicini, Broker 1301 West Ave A-1 OCNJ 609.525.9901 Ext. 14
EXiT REALTY OCEAN CITY February 13, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Lets chat Home Sellers… here are my current findings; ...Home Sellers on the Island are concerned about their homes’ marketability should they consider selling in the future. Some of these Home Owners are seeking out answers to some great questions, and so through some good conversation and fact finding, as well as my knowledge in both construction and real estate sales, we are together formulating a plan that makes sense to them. There are options out there for us all in this adverse time. Ocean City will get through this no doubt and we'll be better for it. Joseph Landicini, Broker 1301 West Ave A-1 OCNJ 609.525.9901 Ext. 14

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