Sandy damaged shore towns prep for rental season

March 1, 2013 1:35:13 PM PST
Crews are working overtime to prepare shore towns for the summer rental season post Superstorm Sandy.

Tom Partyka and his crew are working seven days a week to repair his three rental properties in Seaside Heights which were heavily damaged by almost four feet of water.

"I'm really pushing extra hard now because I got my customers counting on me," said Partyka.

He says his repeat tenants have been calling for updates about whether the boardwalk and businesses will be back for summer and whether his properties will be ready to rent.

"Inventory is going to be low so I'm trying to be a little ahead of the competition and get these places done so I'll be fully booked again," said Partyka.

Concerns about whether heavily-damaged shore towns will be ready are driving some renters to less affected areas.

"We are renting for a week with our family, we're in Wildwood because I know they weren't hit so I didn't even try to come here because how do I know what it's going to be? You have to plan your life," said April Cappetta.

At this real estate office in Normandy Beach, 50 percent of their rental inventory has been damaged or destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. What rentals are available are moving much more slowly than other years.

"In a typical year we are at 75 to 80 percent, but this year probably at about 20 to 25 percent. A lot of tenants are in a wait and see mode," said Jeffrey Childers.

Real estate agents say rental prices are pretty much the same as they were before Sandy but if you're looking to buy you can get some real deals.

"We 've always been interested in buying a place so we're coming down here to look and maybe purchase a place down the shore, the prices might be more affordable," said Mary Beth Driscoll.

As much as 50 percent less than what prices were five or six years ago. For some, it's worth coming back for.

"Well it's the best place on the East Coast isn't it? So we all want to come back and support it and get it going again," said Jean Keenan.

Agents are hoping that as more homes are repaired the rental market will pick up and that loyal shore-goers will return.