New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean, Monmouth & Atlantic County

Are You Crazy to Want to Rebuild Your Home?? Maybe…

Good morning New Jersey!

Just another wonderful snowy weather day at the shore! For the record I hate snow, as do most people over 12 years old. The good thing is that this Sunday morning starts Daylight Savings Time!! Woohoo! If you have nothing better to do read this article about it…

Anyway, back to the 5-10 year rebuilding effort we are embarking upon at the Jersey Shore…which seems to get more difficult by the hour.

Yesterday we outlined 5 main lines of thought about rebuilding and received a few comments and questions, which mostly dealt with the need for greater detail. Before we begin, here’s a decent article from which offers a good outline for your review.


So, are you a bit crazy rebuilding your home, instead of going for a new home? Quite possibly.

Removing the emotion from the decision (which can be quite difficult, since it is your home), brings us to some dollars and sense considerations.

We will use the example of a 1250 square foot ranch, which is an average size home located on the barrier islands, or mainland side of the Barnegat or Great Egg Bay. This house was built between 40 & 60 years ago, and is sitting there stripped to the studs, at least 4 feet up the walls. After the furious frenzy to remove soaked debris, sheetrock and insulation to avoid mold, the poor homeowner has been buffetted about by all the rhetoric and nonsense from FEMA, state and local government, and numerous contractors who are completely out of their depth when giving said confused homeowner advice on how to move forward.

Confusion is reining supreme – should I rebuild? Demolish and go new? Do I need helical pilings (extremely expensive) or can I go with regular wood pilings? How much more will a new house cost? Why did this happen to me? (Oops – sorry – subject of another blog post!)

Let’s start with some general costs. Assuming you need to raise your house 6′-10′, install a regular piling foundation, and renovate the interior, rebuilding can cost you anywhere from $85 – $110 per square foot. A lot depends on the complexity of the move, how far the home is being moved, how extensive the damage was to the interior, and so on.

To demolish and build new in the same scenario, whether stick frame or modular, will generally run between $115 – $135 per square foot. The difference between the average costs for the 1250 square foot home are about $34,000.

A few key considerations are whether you have room on your lot to move your home while pilings are being installed. If you do not have room and you have to install helical pilings underneath your home, it is almost never worth the expense.

That being said, if you can move your home 40′-50′, the savings you are looking at may not be worth it. $34,000 over 30 years at 5% is $183 a month, or $2196 a year. You will save that in lower maintenance costs and much higher energy efficiency alone.

Whoops – the Editor just reminded me that I’m not writing a book here, and I’m supposed to keep it quick and to the point and consistently write every day, so that’s all for today.

As always, any questions, call me and I’ll try and help.

Another link to a seminar held by Little Egg Harbor attorney, Rich Kitrick, at which I spoke. Rich is a great contact for any of your legal needs, and extremely knowledgeable about Storm Sandy, FEMA, insurance regulations and requirements. Call him at 609 294 2227 for anything you need in those areas.

Tune in tomorrow for more rebuilding fun, New Jersey…

732 300 5619

New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean, Monmouth & Atlantic County

Confused about Rebuilding after Storm Sandy? Read the Top 5 Things You Must Know

Greetings to the Jersey Shore…:)

Many people have been affected by Storm Sandy, and are unclear about how to move forward and get back into their homes. In the last several months, I have consulted with dozens of people with a number of different situations and hopefully I can share some of that knowledge with you here.

In this multiple part series, I will write about this often confusing issue and offer some helpful pointers about moving ahead with your reconstruction project. There are a number of considerations to take into account.

We’ll start today with the Top 5 for those affected by Sandy, and go into detail on each subject in later blog posts. In the meantime, you are always welcome to contact me with any questions or concerns about your particular situation. My direct line is 732 300 5619.

Top 5 Thoughts:

1. Decide if you want to stay where you were living (your old home) as opposed to moving elsewhere.
If you were thinking of moving for any reason before the Storm, or don’t wish to live in a flood zone which may be affected in the future, your decisions are much different than if you know you want to stay.
This is an important first step in your decision making process.

2. How old is your home?
If your home is older than 15 years or so (built before 1999), it is not built according to the latest hurricane, energy efficiency or general construction standards. In this case, if your home is a ranch smaller than 1500 square feet, often it is a wise decision to demolish and build new, as opposed to going through the stress of raising your old home. After you are done, you will still have an home built to outdated standards even though it will be raised to the correct elevation.

3. Should you raise and rebuild your home, or demolish and build a new home?
See my notes in #2 above. If your home was built after 1999, or is 2 stories, it is often wise to raise the home and rebuild, as opposed to demolish and reconstruct.

4. What is your new Flood zone and ABFE (advisory base flood elevation) ? How high will your home need to be raised?
If you don’t already know it, go to and enter your address. This will give you your current elevation, as well as the elevation where you will need to be when complete. If you were in an A or an AE zone and you are in a V zone now, often you will be raising your home 8-10 feet from where it is currently located.

5. What are your financial resources to rebuild?
All sources must be considered. There is ICC (increased cost of compliance) money from FEMA), insurance proceeds from your flood insurance policy, SBA loans, and home equity loans. Often the sum of these will enable you to build a new home, as opposed to rebuilding your old home.

In future posts, we will delve into each one of these categories in detail, but in the meantime, think about how each of these subjects affects your individual situation.

Tomorrow we will elaborate on #3 above and discuss different methods of raising and moving your home.

Thanks and be well.

Vince Simonelli
Dream Homes Ltd.