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Post-Sandy Buyouts Lead to Complicated Question: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Yes. But have you considered...

What if you don’t feel the price the state is offering you for your home is fair? You can try to appeal and ask for a higher price, but what if you’re still not satisfied?

Part of your home’s value is not just the structure of your house itself, but all the amenities in the neighborhood. For example, you live near the river, so there’s a marina where people launch their boats. The neighborhood has its own park and ball field just down the block. It’s walking distance from several stores, and there are several major highways close by.

There are also more intangible benefits, on which it’s hard to put a dollar amount: it’s a great place to raise children, you have wonderful neighbors, and it’s a safe place to live. Plus, the neighborhood is close to a hundred years old, so there’s a strong sense of history that would be a shame to simply demolish.

Despite all these selling points, this is a very affordable neighborhood, and you were able to get great value for your money living here. Based on what the state is offering you, there’s no way you’d be able to afford living anywhere else that comes even remotely close to your experience in this community.

No. But have you considered...

Leaving may be your best option. You don’t really have the money to make all the needed repairs, and if you stay, you’ll have to raise your home to comply with the new FEMA flood map elevation requirements. That could cost tens of thousands of dollars. Alternately, if you don’t raise your home, your new flood insurance premiums could skyrocket, making it dramatically more expensive to live in this neighborhood. And all these expenses are on top of your mortgage, which you’re already struggling to pay. If you decide to stay, you could risk foreclosure. You’ve applied for various types of FEMA assistance but have been placed on waiting lists. So as much as you may want to stay, you might not really have a choice.

If your home was severely flooded during Sandy and you were offered a buyout, should you take it?

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