Awash, but Finds a Buyer

Robert A. Flink, a court-appointed referee, and Valerie Deroch, representing the bank involved, auctioned off the financially distressed property at the end of Mulford Lane in Amagansett Tuesday. T.E. McMorrow

A house at risk of falling into the water at the end of Mulford Lane at Lazy Point was purchased by a New York City developer acting as an agent for an unnamed buyer on Tuesday. The purchase price, $757,351, was one dollar more than the bank was willing to pay for the house, which Gardiner’s Bay has been encroaching on for many years, to the point where the waves now lap up under the structure’s front deck. The auction was conducted by Robert A. Flink, a court-appointed referee, in the hallway between the East Hampton Town supervisor’s office and the Town Hall auditorium.

Hudson City Savings Bank owned the foreclosed mortgage which had been issued to the property’s owner, Kevin Klenke. The foreclosure amount was just over $977,000, plus fees and interest.

Mr. Flink read the terms of sale to the four people in attendance. He told the room that at the close of bidding the buyer would have to immediately pay 10 percent of the winning bid. He warned those in attendance that the house was being sold “as is.” The house, located on a property slightly more than a tenth of an acre in size, has been stripped of all appliances, lacks steps to its front door, and has a sagging roof. While waterfront views are usually thought of as looking out toward the horizon, the water view at 153 Mulford Lane can also be seen by looking straight down from the front deck.

Valerie De Roche, a representative of McCabe, Weisberg, & Conway, the bank’s law firm, opened the bidding with the bank’s top bid of $757,350. Mr. Flink had told the group beforehand, “When we do the bidding we can start at smaller increments, but at my discretion, I will let you know that we have to increase the increments to $5,000 to $10,000, depending on what we get up to.”

That, it turned out, was not necessary.

Casey Schear, the winning bidder, bid one dollar higher than the bank’s bid. “Are there any other bidders? Are there any other bids?” Mr. Flink asked the room, with silence the answer. “Going once, going twice, sold.”

Mr. Schear, Mr. Flink, and Ms. De Roche then retired to the seating area outside the town attorney’s office, signing contracts and exchanging money. Mr. Schear explained afterward that he brings bank checks in varying denominations, in order to be ready to pay the required 10 percent up front. He augmented one of his bank checks with cash to make the down payment of $75,735.

Mr. Flink described the process in generic terms. “The bank sets the minimum bid,” he said. He was asked about what happens to the difference between the bank’s minimum bid and the actual foreclosure amount of over $977,000. “I don’t want to speak for the bank, but, yes, they would be willing to write that amount off.”

Also on hand was a neighbor of the property, Joshua Young. He might have been prepared to bid some amount for the property, but not when he heard the bank’s minimum. “I assumed the bank was going to take it. I was very surprised. It is a challenging location,” he said.

The house at 153 Mulford Lane is at risk for falling into the water. T.E. McMorrow