Greetings NJ –
Actually for the purists in the crowd, Sir Winston Churchill said, “If your going to go through hell, keep going.” My paraphrase is simpler.
It can definitely seem like you’re going through hell if you are trying to move forward with rebuilding or building and being battered by the changing regulations.
Lately I’ve felt that if FEMA could change and update regulations on an hourly basis, they would. It would be great if building inpectors could at the Jersey shore seemed like they wanted to actually help the process, as opposed to impeding it as much as possible. It is my opinion that if the current state of miasmic anarchy continues it will take us about 10 years to finish rebuilding NJ, which is definitely not a happy thought. We have to change that, one house at a time.
Enough for today’s rant – I am just speaking the words many of you are thinking, in an attempt to encourage you not to let all the negative noise discourage you from moving forward.
Another quote comes from Winston Churchill, who in the dark days of WWII in 1941, gave the shortest commencement speech in history to the graduating class of the Harrow School, his alma mater. (feeling British today, Vince?)
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
Good words to live by at any time, and important to remember now.
Something else to remember – Everyone’s situation is different. Unless you are prepared to immerse yourself in minutiae and delve deeply into all aspects of the new regulations and code changes, avoid assuming that every new factoid out there applies to your home. It doesn’t. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. The world is not ending, although it has definitely changed for many people.
So don’t give up on that dream of getting your home and the Jersey shore back the way they were – it is a worthwhile one.
So everyone is different. When you’re eating an elephant, you have to take it one bite at a time. Focus on your situation and don’t worry about the big picture. There are plenty of Big Brains out there screwing things up without you worrying about it. That’s the only way to remain sane through this process.
Flood zone A is different of Flood zone V. Slab homes are different from homes on crawls and basements. Single story homes are different from 2 story homes. Some people have room on their lots to move their homes and some don’t. Old homes are not the same as newer homes. Some people want to stay and some people want to go.
Some new positive developments: We’re having success with house moves on tight lots where we can actually cantilever the house over the bulkead 5′-10′. That opens up many newer homes that are worth moving to that possibility, where before that wasn’t an option.
Another simple but happy thought – if you are on a slab foundation now, the floor of your new home, whether you move your house or rebuild new, will be warmer. If the house is moved, a new floor system is built, where before you were walking on a cold concrete slab.
Another thought to help you define your direction, which I have mentioned before and will undoubtedly repeat. By my calculations, i believe that less than 5% of the homeowners displaced or damaged by Sandy will wind up using helical pilings to rebuild their foundations. You are probably in the other 95%. Helical pilings are simply too expensive of a foundation system for most applications. If your house was worth less than $250,000 prior to the storm, there is no way to make the numbers work. So for the majority of us, we will wind up either moving our homes and installing new pilings, or demolishing the home, installing new pilings and rebuilding a new home.
Another positive item – insurance money is starting to (slowly) flow. That is a good thing.
Giving myself the hook…I’ve run too long again.
Keep the comments and thoughts coming. You can post directly to the blog if you wish.
Stay well. Enjoy life every day. Give someone you love a hug and kiss.