By Anessa V. Cohen
As most of you know, this past weekend, we lost our very own Mayor Ed Koch, a guy who has always embodied the ultimate New Yorker. His sense of humor and wisecracks even at the worst of times somehow always brought out the best in us, forcing us to smile even when smiling was the last thing anyone felt like doing. You will be sorely missed, Ed. You were really one of a kind!
Well, here we are, three months later after Superstorm Sandy, and all I keep thinking–as many of you out there must be as well–is “How am I doing?”
I have gotten into the habit of driving around at least once a week since the storm to see how things are progressing for those homeowners hit by the storm. Seeing how far people are progressing in getting their homes and their lives back to normal is the best measure of when we can hope to permanently put this storm and its projectiles behind us and move on.
Many homeowners are still haggling with their insurance companies and waiting for the adjusters to finish working out the various claims being filed for repairs and renovations. But we are finally starting to see some reconstruction and rebuilding emerging, if a little slowly. With numerous homeowners waiting endlessly for their insurance companies to finish settling with them, some have simply decided not to wait out the insurance companies any longer but to dip into whatever funds they have handy or can squeeze together and start moving ahead, letting the insurance settlements catch up to them later. This of course is only after at least making sure that their insurance companies inspected the properties and took pictures assessing the damage, even if they are taking forever to settle all these claims.
Taking this course of action is not an option for everyone. Those with extensive damage cannot simply move ahead with repair and renovation but must sit tight and continue trying to work out their complicated construction issues with their insurance companies. But some whose damage was not as severe are deciding enough is enough and they are taking care of certain repairs that will make the difference between their ability to return to their homes and manage until the insurance settlements come through, as opposed to continuing to live out of a suitcase in a rental unit outside the area.
This is still not the best solution to reconstructing and getting the damaged homes in our neighborhood back to normal. But the fact that many are trying to go above and beyond in finding creative ways to effect small repairs, which then allow them to be back in their homes in a relatively stable situation, shows the strength and determination of our neighbors and their resolve to get back to their homes and to the community.
I hope we will soon hear of the insurance companies finally coming through and settling with all our neighbors so we can get our community back to normal. v
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage broker with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential and commercial real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa.cohen@AVCrealty.com.