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What It's Like to Sell Sandy-Ravaged Homes In the Rockaways

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Curbed has featured some beautiful multi-million waterfront properties in the Rockaways over the years, including the most expensive house that ever sold in Queens. The property fetched $5.1 million at the beginning of August, not three months before Hurricane Sandy ripped through New York. Now realtors in the borough are dealing with a radically different set of properties. The Times talked to Lisa Jackson, the broker who sold the $5.1 million house (which suffered considerable damage but is still standing), who is now tasked with selling houses that are missing walls, crumbling to the ground, or in some cases, completely washed away.

No one is quite sure if they should fix their houses before selling, so Jackson has been listing properties just to see what happens. One home at 135 Beach 142nd Street sits right on the beach, and it had parts of its walls ripped away, leaving gaping holes. It's asking $3 million. She's already had two offers, both in the low $2 million range, but had the home been listed before the storm, it could have sold for between $4M and $4.5 million.

Most of the people buying property in the Rockaways post-Sandy are people who already live there. One house, 415 Beach 130th Street, burned to the ground during the storm, leaving just a front stoop, but the property is already in contract with someone who lives down the street. Another family bought the plot next to their house, where a building was washed away, and they plan to not only rebuild their heavily damaged home, but expand it onto the new property. "It seems that the memory of the perfect beach day before the storm makes them more willing to risk owning a property that took a beating," writes the Times, "or even one that was destroyed."
· In Rockaways, Marketing Hurricane-Wrecked Properties 'As Is' [NYT]
· Here Now, The Most Expensive House Ever Sold in Queens [Curbed]
Photo by Nathan Kensinger