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.