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The Real Deal / Sandy's wide impact on real estate

Published 5:13 pm, Thursday, November 8, 2012
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Hurricane Sandy has had widespread effects on the local real estate market.

Here are a few:

Sandy and her aftermath have has stopped showing activity dead in its tracks, except those for short-term rentals needed by people displaced by her devastation.

Short-term rentals are the hottest properties in town, with high demand and few available.

Because of this, the sales offices at 597 Westport Avenue and the Avalon apartment complexes have never been busier.

Closings on deals already made have been postponed -- some indefinitely. Buyers are re-inspecting their soon-to-be new homes to make sure all is well.

Lenders are requiring repeat appraisals before giving the "clear to close."

Sellers who thought their deal was done are finding they have to make minor or major repairs before closing the deal.

And, in the worst cases, some buyers have had to wait days to find out whether the house they are about to close on is still standing.

Insurance companies are buried with new claims -- including those for properties currently or about to be listed, and those waiting to close.

This has brought to light the existence of the private insurance adjuster -- the newest class of superhero, hired by the homeowner as an advocate who can cut through the red tape of settling your claim, getting you a check and helping you to move on.

Generator orders are through the roof. Enough is enough already, say irritated homeowners, especially in Weston.

Don't be surprised when buyers looking at your home next spring ask "Does it have a generator?" as frequently as "Is there room for a pool?"

Sandy has spurred the local economy beyond just generator dealers, boosting small businesses such as appraisers, tree services, restoration and cleaning companies, contractors, painters and everything Home Depot.

Lastly, many beach-area property owners have already decided, sadly, to sell.

Expect a rush of beach-area properties on the market next year, once their houses are restored and made FEMA compliant.

The bottom line is that the lull created by Superstorm Sandy which those in my business are feeling right now is certain to be replaced by a rush of activity in 2013, also caused by this very powerful weather event.

Evi Coghlan's "The Real Deal" appears every other Friday. She is a licensed real estate agent with the Riverside Avenue office of Coldwell Banker and a former marketing consultant to Fortune 100 companies. She may be reached at 203-247-6691, by emailing her at evi@evicoghlan.com or visiting www.evicoghlan.com.