Homeowners Must Choose To Rebuild Or Sell Out

The Porteaux Bay neighborhood looks like a war zone, providing plenty of work opportunities for construction crews.  One is installing a new heating and air conditioning unit in Mary Anne Martin's damaged house.  "We've done a few houses in this neighborhood. We're basically workin' six days, 12 hours a day," says Dan Osterman.

Martin says day by day her house is slowly looking like new again. "With ten feet of water in the house and they had to gut the whole house out and we had the roof put on yesterday and the garage door so little by little you hire construction people and they come in," she says.

While Mary Ann Martin guesses about 70-percent of the people here are rebuilding to move back in, other homeowners say no way. They're selling and getting out. "You put so much money into a home and so much love into it and then to have something like this happen and you know the only thing you can possibly do is to go ahead and sell," says Brenda Lance. It's a heartbreaking decision for Lance and her husband, Jim.  They built their house four years ago and never intended to sell. But economically they say it's their only choice now. "With the money that we have in this house it would not be economical for us to continue putting more money into it when someone can buy it for a reasonable price and restore it and they'll have a really gorgeous home and a fantastic view for less than what we paid for the house."

If the "for sale" signs in Porteaux Bay are any indication, there are plenty of homes people can buy if they're willing to put them back together.

Mary Ann Martin's temporary home is a FEMA trailer in her backyard. Brenda and Jim Lance are staying in Ocean Springs while they look for land to build a new house.