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Mar 10, 2013 6:40 PM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sandy-damaged homes hit market at bargain prices

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (AP) - In coastal New York and New Jersey, people are scouring communities, in hopes of buying homes that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy at a deep discount.

The bargains are out there -- ranging from 10 percent below pre-storm prices of upscale homes on Long Island and the Jersey Shore, to as much as 60 percent off modest bungalows in Staten Island and Queens.

But buyers will still be on the hook for repairing or rebuilding. And they're facing uncertainty about new flood maps, insurance rates, zoning changes and building codes.

There's no sign that homeowners are fleeing the shoreline communities. The number of for-sale listings in the areas hit by the storm was about 2 percent below last year's level in January, according to the online real estate information company Zillow. It suggests that most homeowners are rebuilding, or haven't yet decided what to do.

But real estate agents in New York and New Jersey say most of the homes for sale in those areas along the shore have some damage from the October storm, and that it appears that a rising number are being put on the market as the peak selling season approaches.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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