New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean, Monmouth & Atlantic County

Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog – 6-29-14 – The Emporer is Naked! Path C is Gone! Huge Changes to the Shore – The $200 Million Learning Curve

Dream Homes Ltd. Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog –

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

6 – 29 -14

The RREM World Champion Blog!!   

NEWS FLASH: Path C Didn’t Work – Emporer Revealed to be Naked!

Happy summer Sunday to you, Sandsters!

Today we have a ton of great news! This is the blog I’ve been waiting to write.

Many of you already know (since it is becoming more of an open secret by the hour) that the DCA is about to announce that as of 7/1/14, Path C shall be no more. Dead, muerte, finis, finito, over, history, omega, good bye, done. As of June 30, 2014, if you haven’t already signed up for Path C, you will not be able to. There will be only Path B.

(Author’s note: The DCA has not yet made the announcement but this news has been directly confirmed from a dozen sources as of this date.)

To which we say, “Good riddance Path C – we knew all along that the emperor was an overweight middle aged naked white guy”.

We will not gloat and speak of water under the bridge, however. We will be gracious celebrating the victory of the rational free market, or rather the rare successful government / market cooperative alliance, which has adapted correctly to the actual needs of the market. It took RREM a year to close Path C, but it might have dragged on for 5 more years before someone had the brains to stop it, so we’re doing ok, relatively. Compared to NY and Louisiana we’re positively world class.

As an important note, anyone who has signed up for Path C already is grandfathered in and your project will proceed normally. To any Sandster stuck in Path C, we will keep you in our prayers. 

Moving forward, other than the aggravating fact that we pissed almost $200 million or so figuring all this out, we’re in decent shape.

With the advent of Path B as the sole direction, a number of important goals will be accomplished, both immediate (tactical) and long term (strategic). Of immediate importance, and thank God someone in the Christie administration is paying attention (or reading my blog), is the fact that we will now be able to disburse enough of the initial $600 million grant to qualify to use the other $880 million which we’ve already been allocated from HUD. (Remember: our federal government has the quaint notion that there’s no sense giving a state more money if they can’t spend what they’ve already been given. It’s use it or lose it. There is a glimmer of truth to that).

In any case, now RREM is free to push people to make decisions since there is no more ability to rely on Path C. You’ll have to take a position – either scramble some eggs or get out of the kitchen to make way for the next guy.

That’s the stimulus that will get the money spent in time for the November deadline. I figure we’re about $150 – $200 million or so short of the goal of $450 million, which is achievable when you consider it’s going out in $75,000 chunks. 1500 or so new Sandsters in the mix and all of a sudden you’re getting it done, and now we have another $800 million to spend.

You know, a million here, a million there and pretty soon you’re talking about some real movement in the economy…J

Strategically, the effects of this change in policy are even broader. A mindset has been changed. We can dispense with the subterfuge and artificial crutch of Big Brother fixing our homes and do things for ourselves as we should have right from the beginning. When you want to build a house, you go to a builder, not an accountant, a data entry clerk, a middle manager, a DCA attorney, a HUD accountant, a senior manager, an auditor, an inspector and the guy who delivers the water. Much momentum will immediately be created without all that additional unnecessary friction of process.

On the negative side, in the short term we will experience both price increases in material and labor, as well as skilled labor and construction management shortages. Prices for both material and labor have increased quite a bit in the last 6 months and they will continue to do so. More importantly, all businesses have capacity issues – one can wait for the person or team you’ve chosen or try to find someone else. Soon, there won’t be many “someone elses” that are not also very busy. However, there’s no sense worrying about it other than as an added encouragement not to waste any time moving forward. It is what it is – one can complain about the market and wait until it changes or jump in and deal with existing conditions.

Back to the light – on another extremely bright note, it appears through the RREM grapevine that GAP funding will shortly be available to Path B recipients! That is outstanding news and long overdue. I mean, one would rationalize that without a Path C towards which to artificially direct valid Red Cross funding, GAP funding will now be available to Path B Sandsters, but that is unconfirmed though broadly acknowledged as of this date. Once again, great news. Remember, GAP funding is income based, so if you qualify you get it. $30,000 is $30,000 and I specifically know it will help bridge the gap for a lot of people.

Next Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar Date – Next month at the Holiday Inn in Manahawkin: Our next Nearly Famous Seminar will be held at the Holiday Inn in Manahawkin and will happen sometime in the 3rd week of July. I haven’t firmed up a date but as soon as I do, I’ll post it. Last year’s Manahawkin seminar was very popular and this year should be even better. Call me at 732 300 5619 to reserve your space.

Repeat from 6/23/14 Blog – Sandsters – Call to Action! If you want to enjoy your house this summer but still want to be back in your elevated home before Thanksgiving, you must start your design scope very soon. You will want to have your final plans, survey, plot plan, flood elevation certificate and permit packages ready to go immediately after Labor Day, which means you should have started already or be getting started in the next few weeks. If you still need a soil boring and geotechnical analysis, make sure you order it soon. In mid August, you will need to call for electric, gas, phone and cable utility disconnects yourself, and your builder will generally handle water and sewer cut and cap services. When you do call for disconnects, make sure you request a date certain for the shutoffs.

The point is to not procrastinate too much longer if you want start in September and be back in your house before Thanksgiving. So carpe the old Diem, tempus fugit, get the lead out and get going!…JJ

This week’s RREM Abbreviation, about the demise of Path C:

RREM: Resoundingly Respectable Excellent Mutation

New Sunset Beach Model arriving soon in Toms River! For those of you thinking of designing a new home, we’ve recently introduced a new model called the Sunset Beach. It’s a very different house with a distinct island look and feel. This model is being done in about 1800 square feet but can be as small as 1400 and as large as 2500 square feet. Send me an email if you want to check out the new plan. We’ll be starting the house soon on Rt 37 West in Pelican Island so stop by and see us.

Repeat from 6/23/14 – Important for House Sizing – RREM “Footprint” Comments: Prior to this point, I understood that if your rebuilding new (reconstruction) the maximum increase in size to your new house was a total of 300 square feet. Now I’ve confirmed that the 300 square foot maximum increase applies to the footprint only and not to the total square footage. That makes sense from the standpoint of impervious coverage – anything under 300 square foot increase does not normally trigger the need for a CAFRA or DEP permit and also requires just a minor soils conservation letter of eligibility.

That’s an important distinction and it means you can increase the size of the downstairs up to 300 square feet and still have an equal or slightly smaller upstairs in addition. So you can effectively almost double your square footage, assuming your budget allows.

Money Saving Tip – Repeat from 6/23/14: I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. Though the single most important step to take at the beginning of your project is commissioning a soil boring and geotechnical analysis, you probably don’t need one if you are demolishing your home and installing pilings. In that case, you can drive a test piling to determine the point at which the soils offer the correct compaction (8, 10 or 12 tons normally) and size the pilings accordingly. You save about $2000 avoiding a soil boring. Frankly, as long as your foundation is certified to be solid and able to support your house, does you really care about the soil composition under your home every 6” down to 30 feet? I don’t think so.

Elevation – Repeat – Definition: Remember that elevation refers to “height above sea level” and not the height above grade at the house or distance the house is being elevated. It’s easy to make a mistake with these descriptions and it causes much confusion. Example: If you are raising to elevation 11, your finished floor is 6 and your grade is 4.5, you are raising your house 5’ to elevation 11, or 6.5’ above grade. When you use the expression “elevating my home 5 feet” that means you are lifting it 5’ from where it is now. The expression “building or raising the home to elevation 11” refers to the height above sea level, not the distance you are lifting.

Repeat – RREM / HMGP tip of the day: Secret – What not to say to your housing advisor when asked about RREM or HMGP:  See 6/9/14 blog for more detail.

You Tube Link to the last Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar: If you’ve missed our seminars and can’t easily attend, here is a link

It is not edited and is about 2 hours so feel free to fast forward and skip around to watch what you like and need to know.

Searching the Rebuilding after Sandy Blog for Your Topic: One of the (few) nice things about WordPress is the Search function. Just enter a key word and it will take you to blogs where the subject you’re interested in was discussed.

Special Feature for clients from Dream Homes: We take photos of all of our jobs on a regular basis and upload them to Dropbox. We then send a link to each client with their houses folder, so they can see what’s happening each day. Everyone seems to like this – you can feel very connected to the process even if you can’t be there.

Remember – if you have a specific question, send me an email or a text. You don’t need to wait for a seminar or a site visit to clarify a point or two. The same goes for those of you under construction. Whether or not you are Dream Homes/Atlantic Northeast Construction client or not, I will always try and help you or guide you in the right direction.

Reminder: if you’ve sent me email or left a voice mail and have not received a response within a day or so, please try and contact me again. I do miss messages here and there.

Note to Sandsters: Though I began and continue to write this blog to help as many Sandsters as possible, Dream Homes Ltd. and Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We actually do all of the work that I talk about in the blog. We work with private clients and Path B and C in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for an estimate on your rebuilding project.  

That’s all for today Sandsters – generally good news and I hope it helps you. As always, call or write with any questions.

Stay well.



Dream Homes Ltd.

Atlantic Northeast Construction LLC

Licensed NJ New Home Builder License# 045894

Licensed NJ Home Improvement Contractor License# 13VH07489000

PO Box 627 Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802

Cell: 732 300 5619




Twitter: foxbuilder




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