Sandy Damaged Homes Sold 'As Is' for Millions

Homes in the Rockaways are being marketed and sold in the battered conditions that Hurricane Sandy left them, reports Elizabeth A. Harris. Existing residents view them as investment opportunities, but long-term market conditions are uncertain.
January 30, 2013, 6am PST | Jessica Hsu
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"People ask me, ‘Should I fix my house and then put it up?’ But I don’t know if the value will be there. So I say let's put it up as is, and let's see what happens," said Lisa Jackson, a real estate broker in the Rockaways section of New York City who is listing badly damaged homes "more or less as the hurricane left them." She has already closed three deals, with another half-dozen properties in contract. Most of the buyers are people who already live in the area and are hopeful about the rebuilding process. One resident bought the lot next to his own house so he could expand onto it. However, the battered look of the Rockaways, and fresh reminders of the dangers of coastal living, will most likely be unappealing to non-residents looking for homes.

“Remember, you’re marketing to people, and this damage is really in your face,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel. “Even if you don’t believe there’s going to be a storm like this again, the visual presentation is unsettling.” He also said "it was too soon to tell where home values in the Rockaways would head in the long term, in part because if yet another hundred-year storm hit soon, the market would be deeply rattled" and that "[i]n the short term, higher costs of living from increased insurance premiums and stricter building standards seem a certainty."

Time will tell if these homes were worth the investment.

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Published on Monday, January 28, 2013 in The New York Times
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