Post Sandy - Homeowners in Little Egg Harbor at the Jersey Shore Are Frustrated

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore

It's been two months since Super Storm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore, and Little Egg Harbor homeowners are frustrated

That was clear at a meeting last night attended by more than 900 Little Egg Harbor and Tuckerton residents and representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Administration and local officials.
Home on Pilings at the Jersey Shore in Little Egg Harbor

Little Egg officials have projected that more than 5,000 homes were substantially damaged in the storm, and many of those residents remain displaced. 

The standing room only crowd in the Pinelands High School Auditorium questioned the new FEMA Advisory Flood Plan Elevation maps for Little Egg Harbor, which suggest raising the base home elevation to 12 feet and where the money would come from to raise homes below that 12 foot mark.  Currently the base flood elevation for the Mystic Island section of Little Egg Harbor is 8 feet.

According to local officials and FEMA reps, any home that sustained damage of more than 50% of the home's assessed value (not the total assessed value but the building value) would have to be rebuilt to the new elevation guidelines.

There are loans available for raising flood damaged homes in Little Egg Harbor to meet the 12 foot requirement.  To qualify for these funds, Little Egg Harbor home owners must register with FEMA before January 28, 2013.  You can apply for FEMA assistance online or at one of the FEMA Recovery Centers.

It's obvious that the Little Egg Harbor and Jersey Shore Super Storm Sandy recovery is just beginning...and it will have a lasting impact on the Little Egg Harbor housing market.

If you'd like information about the Jersey Shore housing market post Super Storm Sandy, contact Little Egg Harbor REALTOR® Laura Giannotta at 609-384-6121.


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  1. Betina Foreman 01/05/2013 01:12 AM
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Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Ouch....that sounds like a lot of upheaval for Little Egg residents !  Hope the loans have exceptionally reasonable terms !

Jan 04, 2013 08:35 PM #1
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

Dear Laura,

Thanks for posting this information on FEMA and rebuilding. I did not realize that Little Egg Harbor was affected by Sandy. I hope you and yours are all OK and most importantly above that 12 foot mark!



Jan 05, 2013 01:09 AM #2
Bill and MaryAnn Wagner
Wagner Real Estate Group - Ocean City, NJ
Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate
Laura, Thanks for keeping us all updated. I think it's criminal that after everything the people affected have been through, FEMA has a meeting two months after the storm and then gives the thousands of owners 3 weeks to register. There shouldn't be any time limit, nor should owners need to register. FEMA should be reaching out to every homeowner who will be affected by the elevation change and providing the needed assistance.
Jan 05, 2013 01:21 AM #3
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

Sally & David - Those are low interest loan from the feds, but they don't apply to Little Egg Harbor home owners without flood insurance!

Hey- Betina we're safe, thank and miss you!

Bill - Amen, but the deadline to register to FEMA assistance for the Sandy storm was extended already.  It was December 31st, but an extension was granted til the 28th (who makes up these numbers??!!)

Jan 05, 2013 02:34 AM #4
Barb & Sal Dragotta
Macomb, MI
Macomb County Michigan

    when the situation effects strangers--it is very hard to read;  When the same situation appears for those one has learned to respect and "know" via AR --it is more than 'hard'.  Now that some $$$ are coming the staet's way, am praying and hoping that all delays have been removed.  Whomever is the FEMA decision maker--this person[s] need to get real and soon.
Thanks for the posting.

Jan 05, 2013 03:27 AM #5
Ira Bodenstein
PNC Mortgage - Montclair, NJ
NMLS#: 445143

The response by Congress to assist homeowners who have sustained damage by Sandy is disgraceful.  Too little too late. 

Jan 05, 2013 06:08 AM #6
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Laura, my heart goes out to all of you in Little Egg Harbor, and all of the areas so savagely hit by Sandy.

I am so totally ticked at John Boehner for just doodling along... seemingly oblivious to all you're going through.  We see shots of him on TV being brought to tears AGAIN by being voted in as Speaker of the House.  He has no clue whatsoever about the pain and the tears you folks in Jersey and New York are going through.

As far as extending until January 28th, the only thing I can think of is that December 31st is the last Monday in December, and January 28th... four weeks later... is the last Monday in January.  Maybe Mondays are a big deal to them?  Who knows.

Anyway, let's hope your needs are met, and that all are safe, and they stay safe.  Take care...

Jan 05, 2013 07:18 AM #7
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Laura...

Forgive me for not following up with you sooner yo see how things were going on Long Beach Island. Sound like the second wave of calamity will be the ill winds of bureaucratic hot air.

Jan 05, 2013 08:21 AM #8
Chuck Mixon
The Keyes Company - Cutler Bay, FL
Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR

Here in South Florida after Hurricane Andrew  we saw the same thing. Home were required to be raised in certain areas that FEMA deemed Flood Zone. These battles went on for years with FEMA, State, Local Governments and Insurance companies.  It seemed to suddenly go away after Katrina all attention was then directed to victims of Katrina. I also noticed that homes there were still being rebuilt 12 Feet Below Sea Level and there was no fight over elevation. Funny how that works.

I can also tell you that South Dade  the hardest hit area of Hurricane Andrew was set back many years. Small Real Estate Offices closed, because those that moved left. Those that stayed had not plans to move for a very long period, there was no Real Estate market as in the past.  No agents and no listing's the few sales were contractors buying shells and then selling them to list of investor they had in there pocket.  Very tough time if you were in the industry.

Jan 05, 2013 10:32 AM #9
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

I feel for you all.  This is a hard time and I just wish that all would get straighten out so that you can begin to put your lives back together again.

Jan 05, 2013 10:35 AM #10
Gregory Bain
Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
For Homes on the Jersey Shore

I was there but left because I could see it was just turning into a shouting match and not a instructive step by step break down for the people to get the assistance they think was coming to them. The main question was left unanswered by the township; "who is going to declare the home over fifty percent of market value?" And, how do they pay to raise a home with costs running much more than the $30,000 they are going to grant the home owner to raise it? So, do we, as real estate agents, encourage home owners to knock down the house and sink pilings to put up a new stick build or modular home, or, do we tell them to sell it as is where is?

Many of the home owners were "upside down" in equity since the housing bubble burst and cannot afford to borrow any more money to fix what mother nature destroyed. And, what guidance do we give home buyers that are ready to buy an investment home on the water? Will they be required to raise the home or will they be allowed to fix it and get flood insurance without raising it? Will the building department give a Certificate of Occupancy to a home that was flooded and repairs made by the new owner or will he need inspections and certifications from each different "professional" along the way for mold remediation, electric, plumbing, and heating?

Last night was the first time I heard the township had a form that the home owner must fill out and submti before the 10th of this month to have the tax assessor come out and place a new value on the property for tax purposes. The township council has been silent on every assept the homeowners have in wanting to re-build and last night was no different. It was a horse and pony show that helps make people enter into shouting matches. I am embarrassed on not being able to provide information to help the people and I hope the town council is too.

Congrats on your feature post.

Jan 05, 2013 10:51 AM #11
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Laura, what a miserable situation for Little Egg Harbor property owners with no end it sight.  

Jan 05, 2013 11:51 AM #12
Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

This tragedy is being largely ignored by the Media.  You people need real Help, not a bunch of Regulations from FEMA bureaucrats.

I sincerely hope you all can get your lives back to the way it was before this storm.


Jan 05, 2013 12:15 PM #13
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Just curious . . . how was the reaction to the residents with the new guidelines of 50% damage raising 4' of their home?  How did they react to those rules?

Jan 05, 2013 12:25 PM #14
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

Where are all the politicians who came to get their pictures taken just after the storm? Sadly, we all know that this will be going on for years for many residents.

Jan 05, 2013 07:14 PM #15
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

Barb, everyone's pretty sick of it.

Ira, first they delayed funding vote, then approved a stop-gap measure!

 Karen - that leader's not turning out to be much of one!

Richard, you'got that right about the beauracracy, and Surf City made out pretty well over all in the storm.

Chuck I believe this storm will have an impact on waterfront home sales, and so will increased flood insurance premiums.

Thank you Ginger.

Gregory, unfortunately I think the Little Egg Harbor dropped the ball on this.

Lloyd & Fred, we're from Jersey, we'll get through it! 

Jan 05, 2013 11:17 PM #16
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Laura, I hope things will improve in 2013 for all those who were affected by Sandy.

Jan 05, 2013 11:39 PM #17
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Laura - Hopefully they will find a way to help people though I can see the frustration.
Jan 06, 2013 04:33 AM #18
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

Carla the FEMA advisory flood base elevations were to be announced next summer.  The 4 foot increase in the flood elevation for Little Egg Harbor did not come about from Super Storm Sandy!

  Richard, unfortunately it will be many years until Little Egg Harbor homes and business are back to normal.

Gita the Governor says the Jersey Shore should be ready for 2013 by June, but it will be much different!

Christine as time goes on and the government gets its act together maybe that will happen.

Jan 07, 2013 10:30 PM #19
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