Opportunity of a lifetime – or not worth it at any cost?

From the Star Ledger:

Damage from Hurricane Sandy spurs some Jersey Shore homeowners to sell

The piles of debris that towered in the front yards of flood-damaged homes are gone and the rumble of generators powering cold, damp homes has quieted.
But there’s a new symbol of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath popping up along the Jersey Shore: For Sale signs.

More than three months after the storm drove a surge of water into homes and uprooted the lives of thousands of residents, some homeowners grappling with the cost of repairing their homes — and rebuilding to new federal height regulations — are hoping someone else wants to buy their slice of the shore.

While some residents are making the “very personal decision” to put their homes on the market now, Peter Reinhart, director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University said last week he didn’t expect many homeowners to sell.

“Jersey Shore people are a pretty hardy bunch,” he said. “If they can, economically, most of them tend to come back whether it’s this year or another year.”

But residents deciding to leave now expect to sell their homes for a fraction of what they were worth before the storm.

“I’m disgusted. They gave us money to fix it, but now we can’t raise it. We’re losing a lot of money,” said Irene Murphy, who lives on Valencia Drive in Brick with her husband, Tom. “I’m heartbroken.”

Murphy said the property, which they purchased in 1998, had an assessed value of $337,000 before the storm, but she now expects to sell it for $150,000 less than that price.

The home would have to be raised at least five feet, which would cost about $50,000, Tom Murphy said. “We’d love to be able to restore the house and say, ‘restore the shore,’ but we can’t afford to restore the shore,” he said.

That’s the reality Adrian Parish started to face last month, when she affixed a “For Sale” sign to the front of the bayfront property in Toms River that’s been in her family for 47 years.

Parish said the house and land was assessed at $892,000 before the storm. “Now, I would be thrilled, I would be ecstatic to get $400,000 to go live somewhere else,” she said.

Mike Ehrenkranz lives just a few doors from Parish. About two weeks ago, he stuck a “For Sale by Owner” sign onto the front of his home. The bay broke through the back of his house, dumping more than four feet of water through the main living area. “We’re not so sure we want to stay on the water anymore,” he said.

Though the house and property was worth about $800,000, he said now he’d be “lucky to get $500,000.”

Ehrenkranz said he’s received about 20 inquiries since he put up his sign, but nothing firm yet. He’s also fielded a few offers from builders, but he said they were way too low — in the $300,000 range.

But the threat of another storm like Sandy hasn’t deterred potential buyers, O’Brien said. “It’s a mix of people that are looking to build higher and drier, more efficiently and to the proper elevation,” she said.

This entry was posted in Economics, Housing Recovery, Shore Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Opportunity of a lifetime – or not worth it at any cost?

  1. Essex says:

    Kneel before ZOD!

  2. grim says:

    Really icy out there (at least where I am), drive safe if you are going out, could be a really ugly commute.

  3. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [3] Same here in Boston. That’s why I left early to get to work before the sheeple on their “all weather” thires. Loving my Michelin X-Ice2’s today, btw.

  4. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    And besides their thires, their tires won’t be working too well either.

  5. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    from tail of yesterday’s thread:

    chifi – Is this a joke or do you really not know what Taylor Ham (aka Trenton Pork Roll) is? If you’re a New Yorker, than you’re excused. Not even available in Manhattan last I checked.

    It is kind of a funny comment to me though. My grandfather had his own trucking business. He owned two large dump trucks and used to truck coal in the 30’s and 40’s from PA and sell retail to people to Short Hills and other affluent NJ neighborhoods. Along his route there was a Jewish Deli which might as well have been just another Hoagie shop to him. He used to go in every trip and and order a ham sandwich and he told others it was the best ham sandwich he’d ever tasted. It was corned beef.

    Huh? There’s plenty of kosher places up there….

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    February 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm
    My wife made me a Taylor Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. I’m probably the only one in Boston who can say that today.

  6. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    then. I hate when I do that.

  7. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  8. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Main article – I’m sure the majority of these properties will end way better than they were condition wise, but the impact on the local economies might not be so positive. First you have a zero-sum wealth transfer from those who can’t afford to rebuild to those who can. Next you end up with blocks and blocks of higher rent properties giving rise to perhaps more upscale businesses but maybe at the expense of driving the people who’ve been going there for generations out, perhaps a net loss of tourist dollars.

  9. grim says:

    5 – There are plenty of online shops that will ship the real Taylor brand roll all over the world.

    I remember reading a brief about the first of these, opened up shop during the dot com boom, I think the owner, who ran it out of his garage, or basement, or something, made upwards of a million dollars his first year.

    I had started ePierogi.com a little after reading the story. I did not make $1m dollars.

  10. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [9] Yep, that’s what my family did, they ordered it from one of those places. We actually left it out in the foyer of our building for a whole day, not realizing it was our package until the following day. It was still cold and came with some nice reusable ice packs.

  11. chicagofinance says:

    What is a Jewish dilemma? Ham 50% off…..

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    February 11, 2013 at 7:25 am
    from tail of yesterday’s thread:
    chifi – Is this a joke or do you really not know what Taylor Ham (aka Trenton Pork Roll) is? If you’re a New Yorker, than you’re excused. Not even available in Manhattan last I checked.

  12. Juice Box says:

    Anyone catch 60 minutes last night? Good stuff
    On the credit rating agencies. Seem Tyler Durden
    Is partially right.

  13. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I think ePierogi.com would only be viable if it shipped one of our Polish grandmothers to actually make them fresh and fry them up in your own kitchen. Now I’m hungry.

  14. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I was just thinking the opposite thing yesterday. My in-laws only pay retail.

    What is a Jewish dilemma? Ham 50% off…..

  15. grim says:

    Is there an online gambling site covering the next pope? They doing prop bets? My money is on Carrera (Mexico), but Tim Dolan would be an amazing upset.

  16. grim says:

    15/8 Africa? Oh cmon.

  17. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    The Pope is quitting? Who does he think he is, David Souter?

  18. JJ says:

    Taylor Ham is available at the egg cart on corner of wall and william by George Washingtons statue. Guys who run it are from NJ and have it every morning

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    February 11, 2013 at 7:25 am

    from tail of yesterday’s thread:

    chifi – Is this a joke or do you really not know what Taylor Ham (aka Trenton Pork Roll) is? If you’re a New Yorker, than you’re excused. Not even available in Manhattan last I checked.

  19. JJ says:

    I love that article, they wont pay me to raise house. First of all he is eligible for SBA loans if he wants to raise house. Obvious he wants a grant. Second. If you have Flood Insurance only, and have repetitive flooding issues FEMA will provide a grant up to a certain amount to raise house. A one time flood with insurance, no grant, non insurance and fema grant, no raising house.

    Plus I think raising house is a bit of a red flag anyhow and dubious if it adds value. My house is back as it was finally, no evidence of flooding to naked eye. I think in a few years if I sell and no more floods this will have zero impact on pricing. But who knows raising house, putting sumpumps in and back up generators etc. Might just scare off that newlywed couple. Better just now mentioned.

    They should sell these old folks, when I was bungalow hunting most were owned by old folk who bought them dirt cheap from around 1952-1996. Younger folks meaning middle aged with kids between 5-15 who could actually enjoy use homes have been priced out for around 15 years. The guy I tired to buy bungalow off pre-flood is like 82!!!! He said he bought it 50 years ago for 6k and was furious when I offered him 300K as it was worth 500K briefly in spring of 2005. House sits run down now with a winter tennant, no one is using it as a beach house, he said last time used as a beach house was about 2001 when his grandkids used to go a lot, about time the old folks sold.

    BTW another more interesting article about Jersey Shore/Long Beach/Lido Beach Long Island. Condos/Coops on beach that got badly damaged. Coops have a big issue as they share one massive furnance which is owned by coorporation itself and not covered by flood very often, only units are. Also in a condo many of common areas not covered. Finally, contents are not covered and most do not buy content covereage, ground flood units lost kitchen, appliances, washer dryer furniture and that is considered contents. Fema only pays to resheetrock, electrical, plumbing, the kitchen appliances is all you.

    Condos and Coops in NJ and LI beach front in my opinion might end up being best value in next few months. The maint increase will be temp – 3-7 years, you get it cheap and down the road units will be much more storm safe and new. However, sucks for anyone who bought in spring 2004-2008 as they are already underwater on units and I cant see how they can withstand a surcharge on maint for a few years. They will walk away

  20. xolepa says:

    There’s a diner in Pa. right north of New Hope on Rte 202 that serves pork roll so thick it’s like eating a hamburger. Yummee.

  21. Brian says:

    Now I know how you guys stay so young. Sitting at the computer blogging away eating scrapple and taylor ham sandwiches is the new fountain of youth.

  22. Comrade Nom Deplume, the original maker of Scungilli Roll says:

    Found a phenomenal Italian place in West Chester last night. Kind of place that would do well in hoboken or PBC.

    While at dinner, the wife told me that no one in her office was looking. Everyone is renting. And she further agreed that we weren’t seeing anything worth buying among the overpriced development houses we were seeing, and that perhaps getting a vacation property (or nompound) made more sense given our jobs and mobility.

    If we find the right place here, we might buy but our criteria got a lot stiffer. We found one place that is a short sale and needs a lot of work, but would be great at the right price. But the bank isn’t letting go so it sits and rots away.

  23. njescapee says:

    Tumulty’s in New Brunswick had a great pork roll and cheese sandwich that came with a baked potato and wedge salad.

  24. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I just had to Google Tumulty’s and go to street view to remind myself what it was and where it was. The only thing I remembered was that I downed a lot of pitchers. there.

  25. Comrade Nom Deplume, the original maker of Scungilli Roll says:

    [25] sl,

    Not news in that Philly is impossible. I had a permit issued there and they go out of their way to delay and make it difficult. I have a new one, issued in Chester County with little hassle.

  26. Juice Box says:

    I mentioned 60 Minutes before and the credit bureau Equifax, Experian etc.

    Just checked my credit monitoring alerts, seems one of my banks reported “affected by natural disaster”.

    Actually no I wasn’t, I made no claims.

    Here is 60 minutes segment.

    40 Million Mistakes: Is your credit report accurate?

    February 10, 2013 4:00 PM

    A new study indicates as many as 40 million consumers have a mistake on their credit report and Steve Kroft finds it’s hard to get them fixed.


  27. JJ says:

    I thought you said you made a fema claim for a generator

    Juice Box says:

  28. Essex says:

    22. Youth is wasted on the young.

  29. Pope signs for post-retirement gig as Taylor Ham spokesperson.

  30. Pope applies for medical spliff in the PRM.

    The pope smokes dope!

  31. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I can see it now, him with the big pope hat on (do they have to airbrush out the team logo?) :

    “Holy Christ! That’s great pork roll!”

    Pope signs for post-retirement gig as Taylor Ham spokesperson.

  32. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Pig in a Pope?

  33. Deadpool price of pope just went up.

  34. Could be Vigoda’s toughest test yet.

  35. freedy says:

    I saw Abe the other day having his oatmeal at the diner

  36. xolepa says:

    Actually, the best pork roll I can get is from the Amish market in Flemington. They will cut the slices to order. I bring my cholesterol meter with me.
    And what we actually need is an Amish pope. Hmmm. Pope Jepediah I should fit the bill.

  37. Painhrtz - Don't just stare at it. Eat it! says:

    I have wondered if old Abe was ever given a heads up on his death pool meme.

  38. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Sid Caesar in your pool of pools.

  39. If the Amish have a mafia, an Amish pope can’t be too far behind.

    Life imitates Godfather 3.

  40. grim says:

    Wait, the Taylor logo already has a cross in the “O”?

    You might be on to something.

  41. raging bull jj says:

    Actually money is wasted on the old. 99% of stuff I did not do when I was young was due to money. Imagine if we gave the average 21 year old one million dollars and told he had to blow it all by 30 on fun before marriage and not save a cent. It would be fun times.

    Essex says:
    February 11, 2013 at 10:31 am
    22. Youth is wasted on the young.

  42. raging bull jj says:

    Taylor Swift has pulled a lot of pork.

  43. Painhrtz - Don't just stare at it. Eat it! says:

    The wrote songs about it when it left her empty and alone.

  44. Juice Box says:

    re # 29 – JJ I did not so much as take a free bottle of water from FEMA, no claims filed no losses suffered I am no victim of Hurricane Sandy.

    I am nobody’s victim the Bank better remove it off the my credit report. I will be pulling all of my business from them otherwise.

    Nobody messes with Juice’s credit.

  45. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Stocks Better Investment Than Homes: Prof. Shiller

    Housing will not be an “exciting market” over the next five years and investors would do better to put money into stocks, Yale Economics Professor Robert Shiller told CNBC on Monday.

    The co-founder of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index said in a “Squawk Box” interview, “There are positive signs [in housing] definitely. But I’m not confident at all that [prices] will keep going up.”

    He advised, “You’d do better to invest in farmland or stocks. There are lots of alternatives.” But he did warn that farmland might be nearing a bubble.

    “The CME futures market has [home prices] increasing 1 to 2 percent, in real terms, for the next 5 years,” Shiller said, adding that prices could just as easily drop by that amount.

  46. Comrade Nom Deplume, The Scungilli Cannon says:

    [49] grim,

    “He advised, “You’d do better to invest in farmland or stocks. There are lots of alternatives.” But he did warn that farmland might be nearing a bubble.”

    Damn Nompounders, getting in ahead of me.

  47. Comrade Nom Deplume, The Scungilli Cannon says:

    [47] pain

    My 9YO insists on Radio Disney whenever driving to/from practice. I have heard enough Taylor Swift for 5 lifetimes.

  48. cobbler says:

    nom [51]
    Just find your internal child and make him enjoy the music (or get the kid a set of headphones).

  49. Comrade Nom Deplume, The Scungilli Cannon says:

    OT alert

    The internet lets you get info easily on virtually anything that pops into your head. A question was raised about storing flammables, including smokeless and black powder (though I could not tell you the difference) and that lead to a reloading discussion. I know nothing about it so I looked up a supply site to see what is used in that process.

    Virtually every item listed that appeared to be in more general use (excluding specialty items, I suppose) said “temporarily out of stock.”

    If Obama did nothing else, he insured a very good economy for everyone involved in the firearms and ammunition business.

  50. Comrade Nom Deplume, The Scungilli Cannon says:

    [52] cobbler,

    Not a good idea to channel inner child while driving a TSX. That inner child might be 17.

  51. Painhrtz - Don't just stare at it. Eat it! says:

    Nom my apologies, whenever we have my 12 year old niece in the car it is the same for us. Her voice is the most annoying thing on the planet.

  52. Libtard in Union says:


    Be careful with the credit mark. I know it’s not exactly the same situation, but after the flooding that Irene caused in 2011, my property insurance on my multi went up 30%. When I saw the increase, I called the insurer and said that I never submitted a claim from Irene. Actually, I never submitted a claim ever to them. They said that the increase was due to so many other people in the area having submitted claims. I called three other insurers for new numbers and MetLife was willing to insure me for less than what my former was charging me before the 30% increase.

    Of course, now I have learned my lesson. I now put in a claim when my garbage cans blow over. You’re an idiot if you don’t.

  53. Libtard in Union says:

    Grim…I had homemade pirogi for dinner last night. Had it side by side with some pirogi from the pirogi store in Clifton (on Main Avenue). That place does a fine job.

  54. Libtard in Union says:

    Pork Roll egg and cheese rules. Have one every day and you’ll gain a pound a day. Remember, it’s not real unless it’s on a poppy roll with salt, pepper and ketchup. The real deal requires american cheese, but it’s really better with cheddar. The Taylor Ham should split. That’s how you know it’s ready.

  55. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [53];

    I read a piece recently that alleged that it was gun shop owners, not ordinary shooters, buying the shelves clean of ammo from WalMart, etc., and reselling in to the shortage at a handsome markup.

    Not sure I believe it, but got me thinking. To the extent a gun shop is also a range, its in their interest in having ample supply of ammo to sell to their customers. I expect range-supplied ammo to be a little pricier than a big box store as a general rule, so there might be enough margin to make it worthwhile in any event. However, they’d piss those same customers off mightily if the were seen to be taking advantage by contributing to a shortage they are profiting from.

    Not really sure that any smaller outfits would have the wherewithal to buy up all of WalMart’s supply for long.

    Don’t recall the source of the story, just crazy enough to have been source by HuffPost or some such trying to stoke internecine jealousy among the fairly well organized gun rights crowd.

  56. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I never insisted on anything when I was a 9YO passenger in my parents car. I knew better. Coincidentally, so do my kids.

    [47] pain

    My 9YO insists on Radio Disney whenever driving to/from practice. I have heard enough Taylor Swift for 5 lifetimes.

  57. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [60] In our car my kids have to listen to whatever G or PG rated podcast I put on. Financial Sense News Hour, 99% Invisible, select This American Life episodes, etc. If they’re lucky, maybe some Freakonomics.

  58. Libtard in Union says:

    We listen to jazz. Occasionally, I’ll treat them to some Z100, but usually it’s jazz88.

  59. Libtard in Union says:

    Tumulty’s was a family favorite too. Loved their iceberg wedge with the blue cheese as well as their French Onion Soup and tuna melt. They also had Guinness on tap, way before it became fashionable. As a kid, I thought the trains were really cool too. I haven’t eaten there in years. Will have to go back there soon.

  60. Juice Box says:

    re: 3 56 Tard – I don’t need some snot nosed mortgage middleman telling me I need to pay 50 bp more because I was a “affected by a natural disaster”. Pretty scary stuff in that CBS expose of the credit reporting agencies, glad I pay a few $ for monitoring. I won’t be declaring any kind of casualty loss on my taxes, I lost nothing. JJ probably already filed a $300k decrease in fair market value of his property and has gotten back money on his 2011 return already.

  61. Painhrtz - Don't just stare at it. Eat it! says:

    Lib, the boneyard Liquid metal and alternative nation.

    My wife hates the fact that I have XM in the car. i’m sure I’ll be on radio disney shortly, they turn one in a little over 2 weeks.

  62. Libtard in Union says:

    Get rid of XM…or else suffer radio Disney. It’s almost automatic. Plus the sound quality is so lousy anyhow. It’s really annoying listening to anything but talk radio on satellite.

  63. xolepa says:

    When I matriculated at Rutgers (decades ago), I was on the college’s track team and that place was where I’d be on Friday nights before the big Saturday track meets. I’d pump myself up with beer and a chicken parm. Get those carb levels up! Spent a whole 7 bucks back then. The owner made out. J&J paid him a whopping sum to buy his original place when they expanded downtown. He reopened one block down the road less than a year later.

  64. Libtard in Union says:

    Juice…you can get monitoring for free. Credit Sesame and Credit Karma both do it. Both are pretty good too.

  65. Libtard in Union says:

    They moved that giant oak door too, didn’t they. I remember it as a kid too. Very easy to get your fingers chopped off in it.

  66. xolepa says:

    Drinking age was 18 then. A totally different world now

  67. cobbler (52)-

    More like find your internal imbecile.

    “Just find your internal child and make him enjoy the music (or get the kid a set of headphones).”

  68. Waiting for jj story on when he tapped Taylor Swift.

  69. watch tv says:

    couldnt agree more

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