News10NBC Investigates: Man buys unlivable Webster home in hopes to bring it back to life

An update on the Webster home on Klem Road set for demolition

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A home on Klemm Road in Webster sparked conversation amongst neighbors back in April.

While the town and neighborhood saw a dangerously unlivable home, one man saw an opportunity. So he bought it and is trying to save it. He met Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean on the property Wednesday.

Richard Struck walked Berkeley on the property of 966 Klem Road. His business is restoration. He bought it in November for $80,000.

Richard Struck, Struck and Sons: “We’re kind of a green company. I know a lot of these properties get bulldozed and start over. We decided to put a purchase offer on it and try to save it, which we’re doing.”

Berkeley Brean, News10NBC: “What do you think this means to the neighborhood and the people who live here?” 

Struck: “Well, I think it adds to the value of their homes. Before it was knocking them down quite a bit.”

The house was owned by the parents of Terry Stephany. They died years ago without putting his name on the deed. But, this was his childhood home and he lived here. 

Brean: “So, lots of memories back here?”

Terry Stephany, Webster: “My whole life.”

Berkeley got involved because Webster started the process of demolishing the home, even though Stephany paid all the taxes. It was one of a series of cases at the time where municipalities foreclosed or tried to demolish a home even though the taxes were paid, and they never officially made contact with the person paying the taxes. 

Brean: “So you never got a phone call?”

Stephany: “No.”

Brean: “Never got a letter?”

Stephany: “Nothing.”

News10NBC’s story stopped the town’s takeover of this property. Stephany is now due the $80,000 from the sale. And Richard Struck is saving the house and providing good training for his young employees.

Brean: “How did you know that you could salvage something like this?”

Struck: “Well, being in the restoration business I’ve done houses worse than this. We’re used to doing this stuff and it’s nothing for us to take on these projects and make them whole again.”

The restoration should be done by Memorial Day.

Berkeley spoke to Terry on the phone. Social services removed him from the house two years ago. That’s one reason he never got the town’s letters. He’s still upset about losing the home and he says he still hasn’t seen the $80,000 yet. 

He asked Berkeley if News10NBC could retrieve an old desk from inside. 

Struck told Berkeley everything was so damaged by water, they had to throw everything out.