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View from Amityville - Great South Bay, October 29, 2014 Photo Courtesy of Loretta Del Vecchio WeberPhoto courtesy of Loretta Del Vecchio Weber, 10/29/2014

As a realtor in an area devastated by Superstorm Sandy everyone asks the same questions, “So how’s the market? Are houses selling?” and the truth is that it is a tricky and ever changing market to be involved in. Emotions are raw and for every one household that is home and put back together we hear 10 other horror stories of people unable to get the funds to fix their homes. The media coverage is showing empathy for the Sandy Survivors but little is actually being done to speed up the process of the rebuilding of the South Shore.

Home values here in the 100 year flood plain remain depressed. Statistics from the National Association of Realtors show slight increases in sale prices but this really is not so for our local real estate. Zillow “Zestimates” are so far off for our area, the system simply averages sale prices of homes that have sold over a period of time while not taking into account the homes that have sold “as is” meaning storm damaged.

Many people filed a form with their towns stating that they were 50% damaged. The form was filed with the intent to get some tax relief for the time a home spent vacant and inhabitable or to secure a $30,000 ICC grant to get additional money to lift a house for the short period of time it was offered. Unfortunately, if people have filed this piece of paper they are now red flagged and must bring their home to current codes in order to get a Certificate of Occupancy. This means they must lift or demolish and/or build new. There is such a lack of continuity in the NY Rising Program and the SBA program. Homeowners are buried under paperwork and are signing papers that may have serious repercussions later in time, everyone should read what is written in the small print.

Facebook groups have formed to support people that just can’t get answers and are still struggling. Without these groups a majority of the information would still remain unclear. Sandy Support,Massapequa Style and Adopt A House have had and continue to have a tremendous impact on sharing and getting the correct information out to the public. Beth Ann Huff Henry and Michelle Insignia volunteer to moderate and help so many people.  Without their services, and those that support their sites along with their own support staff, many people would have questions still unanswered.

So, to answer the question of how today’s market is doing two years after Sandy I give you the following example.   I took a listing 2 weeks ago. The home is located in Copiague Harbor. The home is “as is”. The funds offered for repair of the home are not enough to repair it. The family, a mom, dad and a young girl and their dog have been living in a one bedroom apartment for over two years while they fought to get the money to return home. 2 weeks ago the decision was made to move on and give up the fight. The home is now listed “as is” and will be a short sale as well.  Let’s turn to the opposite end, to people that have knocked down and built new.  Many quite possibly were at the top end of their budget when purchasing the home that was previously destroyed.  Now, forced with being homeless or securing any funding possibly they have managed to rebuild their homes.  We will now have higher accessed taxes on these homes.  Will the family now be able to financially support the old mortgage, new loans, and higher taxes?  Will these homes eventually have to be sold or be lost to foreclosure because people made emotional financial decisions under duress? There is no simple, accurate answer.  Each case is individual but the after effects of Sandy and what it is doing to our real estate market will be consistently changing.

Realtors are struggling to pay bills as homes are not moving quickly. The extended education and increased knowledge of flood plain levels, flood premiums, and the increased complexity of obtaining CO’s have made an already tuff market even more difficult to work in. The storm was two years ago and the after effects are sure to go on for quite some time. As I walk my boys to their bus stop in the morning I see tyvek wrap flapping in the breeze and houses that are vacant and dilapidated in my 2 block trek. There is an awesome video done by a young girl that shows her journey and is representative of what is going on now, 2 years later. Her name is Caity Donnely and this is her video  Be careful, tissues will be required!

If you are thinking about moving or buying or just have general questions please make sure you speak with a Realtor that knows about what is going on. All of the rules stay with the house and a new homeowner may be required to bring the house into compliance even if you did not own it at the time of the storm! My advice is to be knowledgable in what and where you plan to purchase or sell.  My advice for those that were not affected by the storm, please be compassionate. It is not over for so many.

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Banks to Meet One on One With Homeowners

Five of the largest banks and mortgage servicers will have representatives available at the Copiauge Memorial Library and Cedar Creek Park as well as two other locations Monday March 4th, through Saturday March 9th.  See the attached link for more information and details.

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2/28/2013 11:53:08 AM EST – This is County Executive Steve Bellone with an important Sandy Recovery Update. This Saturday, March 2nd, Suffolk County and New York State will be holding a meeting at the Lindenhurst Public Library where residents can learn about newly created recovery programs and fill out applications on the spot, with the assistance of members of the Sandy Help Team.
Again, the Sandy workshop will be this Saturday, March 2nd from 10am-2pm at the Lindenhurst Library, located at 1 Lee Avenue. If you have any questions please contact my office at 853-2970 . I hope you can take the opportunity to learn about programs which are available to help our community rebuild stronger together. Thank you.

 

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The New York State Department of Financial Services Mobile Command Unit will be stationed in the parking lot at the corner of Bennett Place and Merrick Rd. in Amityville on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, from 9AM to 5PM.

The Mobile Command Center (MCC) visits communities that have been disproportionately impacted by Storm Sandy.

Department representatives will help citizens contact their insurers if they have been unable to do so and answer questions about homeowners’, renters’ and business owners’ insurance coverage.

Citizens unable to go to the Mobile Command Center are encouraged to call the Department’s storm hotline (800) 339-1759 which is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily including weekends. Insurance information is also available on the Department’s website, http://www.dfs.ny.gov.

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FEMA and SBA Extend Filing Deadline

According to FEMA, the deadline for residents and small businesses to apply for federal assistance for damages related to super storm Sandy has been extended to Jan. 28, 2013. The original deadline was December 31, 2012.  The extension applies to Long Island, New York City and the lower Hudson Valley.

Any homeowner, renter, or business owners who suffered loss and damages as a result of Super Storm Sandy, is encouraged to register with FEMA and seek assistance by the January deadline.  http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/sandy-update-4-send-us-your-completed-loan.

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https://cne.coderedweb.com/Default.aspx?groupid=%2BaCHAGsI63WWVa6aL1efKg%3D%3D

Click on the link to sign up for Suffolk County Code Red alerts.  They will only send you the information that pertains to your area.  There is a QR code that you can scan and set up an app on your I Phone or Android as well.  The best way to stay safe is to be informed!

~Jenn

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It is never too early to start preparation for a possible storm. With that please send out a message to members asking them to please start some preparation for the possibility of some bad weather heading our way. Attached is a NOAA hurricane map that shows the possible track over our area. This is not to panic our residents but to give them adequate time to prepare their homes, boats and make a go bag. Please stay tuned to the weather and check the Village web site over the weakened for any Village updates we may give. The Village is starting our preparation for this bad weather event. We urge all residents to sign up for Suffolk County Code Red. This can be done directly from the Village Web page. Amityville.Com then put cursor over Emergency Management and select Suffolk County Code Red. By registering to code red you will be linked to the latest news form Suffolk County Emergency Management. Again we are looking for our residents to stay informed and make some preparations for what looks like some bad weather and possible flooding.

Thank You

Chief Donald J. Dobby Jr.

Amityville Village Police Department

21 Ireland Place

Amityville, NY 11701-2902

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