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Post-Sandy Real Estate A Different World In The Rockaways

Rockaway Real Estate

Superstorm Sandy has dramatically changed the real estate landscape in the Rockaways. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Parts of the Rockaways were lined with oceanfront dream homes just months ago, but following Superstorm Sandy, they have been left falling apart.

And as CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported, the devastated landscape has changed the face of real estate in the Rockaways.

“I looked at my husband and I remember saying, ‘I lost my business,’” said Lisa Jackson, a real estate agent with Rockaway Properties. “We lost so many homes.”

Jackson once showed shining houses on the sea. Now, she has no choice but to sell homes torn to pieces.

“It made our jobs a little more difficult, showing houses under these conditions,” Jackson said. “We climb through beams, and sometimes the front door wouldn’t open.”

The prices on the homes have dropped significantly post-Sandy. Just before the storm, one bungalow was listed at $665,000, while three months afterward, it was listed at $550,000.

But the buyer has to take the house as is.

“I’ve actually sold some vacant lots,” Jackson said. “I sold a house that burned down on 130th. I sold a vacant lot on 140th.”

Marc Shorr’s home has been on the market for two years.

“Going through this hurricane is the worst experience I’ve ever had,” he said.

After Sandy hit, Shorr was determined not to take a hit. He has been working on a full restoration of the home, and he won’t settle for less than full value.

“I refuse to show it to people who want to steal it,” he said. “I’m not going to give it away.”

Another oceanfront home was going for $3 million three months after Sandy, when it could easily have gotten almost $5 million before.

And while some properties are going to developers, there are opportunities for new buyers.

“I’ve seen a lot of young people coming back to the area, looking to by now that the prices are down within reach for them,” said real estate agent Barbara Ferguson, “and that’s kind of encouraging.”

Many houses now on the market in the Rockaways had buyers before Sandy, but they backed out after the disaster.

Would you buy a house in the Rockaways in this post-Sandy time? Leave your comments below…