Buyers Build Future After Paying Tribute
Once buyers could envision the homes rebuilt, there were still hurdles in 2013. “These are people who could not have come in before. They came in thinking there was tremendous opportunity, yet there was a lot of uncertainty. My tagline is, ‘there are risks and rewards; I’ll help you weigh the risks,” Romano said.
The question marks included “elevation, flood insurance, the price to rebuild.”
“Their number one concern was, will the area rebuild or will it look like this for many years; will it be a second Katrina,” Romano related. “We were taking them down streets that had piles of garbage, doors open, construction scene tape. It took a real leap of faith, in the beginning, for the common person.” If a mortgage couldn’t be obtained for a house that was not habitable, then buyers had to pay cash. Just because they had means didn’t mean they did not feel for the family whose place they were assuming, according to the Realtor. “ I don’t think anybody wanted to take advantage of somebody’s misery. There were little pieces of somebody’s life on the street I was happy to be with some buyers who were respectful; they would walk around these things, a spoon lying there, with reverence … some would cry.
“There were cases where the seller didn’t even want to come back and clean it out. But the buyer put all the personal mementoes into a box, packaged it up and brought it to me and said, please give them their stuff.”
New buyers said they were there because they had fond memories from their childhood -- Romano’s own grandchildren call Long Beach Island “Ice Cream Island.”
As 2014 starts, new construction is underway on and of LBI, and non-waterfront communities are thriving. “There is more to go, but we are in so much better shape than we were.”
Adult communities have been a “good, reasonably-priced alternative,” and mobile home communities “were a fallback for seniors who lost their home and wanted to stay in the area,” Romano said. Every transaction still requires the Post-Sandy attention to new details. “My advice to everybody is, live your life, get all the information you can … talk to professionals – insurance brokers, attorneys, Realtors, who know what’s going on in your market. The old adage, ‘information is power’ – doesn’t it prove true now?”.
The sales figures also qualified Romano as one of only a handful of agents in the county last year to earn the Circle of Excellence Platinum Award, Wyrsch noted – and she was the only one of these who does not work primarily on Long Beach Island. “We get numerous testimonials from Marion’s clients, thanking her for all the hard
work she does. Our mission at The Van Dyk Group is to provide superior customer service, and Marion exemplifies that mission. She is an intregral part of The Van Dyk Group family, and we congratulate her on her well earned, and deserved, success,” said Wyrsch.