While selling their home is most likely the furthest thing from many Five Towns homeowners’ minds as they continue repairs following Hurricane Sandy, potentially declining property values, as a result of the storm, may be a reality.
Mary Haves-Cooper, owner of Morton Haves Real Estate in Hewlett, said water damage is especially devastating to homes. “Home values will definitely be a little shaky for a while because water is very scary and people are afraid of toxic mold,” she said. “Unless it’s taken care of properly then down the road you could have mold form.”
Inwood resident Patty Vacchio is worried about the property value of her Bayswater Boulevard home as well as for her neighbors who live right next to Jamaica Bay. “I have heard concerns from people in the neighborhood,” she said. “The general concern is that homeowners are left with no choice but to repair their homes to make them livable. While some may not have had flood insurance or enough coverage for the damage sustained, they may do necessary repairs and plan to sell so a serious concern for home values is evident.”
Teri Schure, a North Woodmere resident, was vexed about property values decreasing long before Hurricane Sandy hit. “In years past North Woodmere has had a lot of flooding issues but the situation was always kept pretty quiet,” she said. “After Irene, it was like a war zone around here but there was absolutely no coverage of it in the local news. Many of the streets during Irene were flooded and water was raging down some of the streets like during Sandy but everyone kept pretty quiet about it for fear of diminishing the value of their homes.”
Flooding in North Woodmere before the hurricanes, according to Schure, was mainly in homes, not streets. “Our problems have always been that water seeps into our homes from the ground up, which by the way, is not considered a flood and not covered by flood insurance,” she said. “Irene was the first time any of us had ever seen water flowing down the streets and we were shocked; we never saw any water above the ground before.”