Union Beach, New Jersey is old school.
"With their neat rows of one-story bungalows on narrow sand roads tucked between developments of palatial homes, these towns are the last to embody the old-time Jersey Shore," reports the Star-Ledger ("Changing times for residents of Ocean Beach after Hurricane Sandy," by MaryAnn Spoto).
"Union Beach is one of a handful of year-round Bayshore communities whose housing includes miniature bungalows, sometimes called 'cottages,' that date to the beginning of the 20th century or earlier," observes the NJ Spotlight ("Union Beach Residents Face Limited Options After Sandy," by Tara Nurin). "Some are occupied by descendants of the original owners or by seniors who bought and paid off the houses decades ago. On fixed incomes and with no mortgage to require insurance, some of these residents have opted to forego homeowner and flood policies."
For the fortunate ones who do carry insurance, and whose cottages aren't their only home, rebuilding could bring a better lifestyle. Cottage owner Angela Serio cheered as an excavator demolished her cottage, the Star-Ledger reports (see video, "Ocean Beach, NJ, Cottage Coming Down March 2012," by Angela Serio). She's planning a new cabin with another bedroom and bath, she says, and she hopes her flood insurance will cover the $165,000 estimated cost.
Retired widow Eileen Guberman, who moved in with her children when Sandy destroyed the small home where she had raised them, is looking at a different picture, reports the NJ Spotlight. "She's not sure what to do with her property, given that she has no money to rebuild," reports the Spotlight. Asked Guberman: "Who's going to give a 68-year-old woman a mortgage with no income except social security?"