Buy-Out Dilemma: To Rebuild or Pull Up Stakes

For many homeowners and businesses recovering from Sandy, the mantra has been to rebuild stronger. But some New Jersey residents have concluded that their best option is not to rebuild at all.

After the storm, $300 million of federal aid money has been set aside to acquire groups of damaged homes in flood-prone parts of the state, through the Department of Environmental Protection’s Blue Acres program.  That includes nearly 140 homes in Sayreville, which the state is making offers to buy for their pre-storm values and demolish, likely turning the area into a park.

But those who receive such offers have to make tough decisions about whether to stay or walk away, and for everyone who receives a buyout, there are dozens more still looking for a way out.