Neighbors Dig Deep in Bidding War Over Narrow Strip of Real Estate

There's no better sign of a return to a seller's market in real estate than a bidding war, and here's one that really stands out. A pair of homeowners recently did epic battle over a narrow strip of beach property that lies near their respective properties in East Hampton, N.Y. -- and we do mean strip, at 1 foot wide and 1,885 feet long. The county had offered the land for sale to six property owners in the area with the expectation, at first, that it might sell for as much as $10, reports Newsday. But when the dust settled, the winning bid was 12,000 times that -- at $120,000.

Ridiculous? The neighbors bidding on the property reportedly are financiers who maintain their pricey properties in the Long Island's Hamptons as getaways -- so they must know what they're doing, right? So too, it appears, must someone who works for Suffolk County. When only two of the six property owners contacted by the county -- Marc Helie and Kyle N. Cruz -- expressed interest in the narrow parcel leading to the Atlantic Ocean, the county decided to put the two neighbors in a room and have them bid on it, asking for a starting offer of not $10, but $1,500.

Still, the outcome seems to have been something of a surprise. "We've had one or two pieces start off at $400 and maybe go to $10,000, but never like this," the county's property manager, Wayne R. Thompson, was quoted as saying by Newsday. "But you know what water's worth. ... You can say, 'Oh, yes, I have a right of way to the water.' " As the above video tells it, though, there might be more to it than bragging rights.

How did the county end up with such an odd but ultimately valuable parcel of land in the first place? It was seized a decade ago for unpaid property tax.

View the video above for the full story.

More on real estate bidding wars:
In a Bidding War? 5 Ways to Win the Home You Want
The Home Bidding Wars Are Back!
Winning in a Seller's Housing Market

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