Michael Vick's Estate; the most stigmatized property in America?

Real Estate Agent with The Benya Group 618516

Now here's a surprise....  Michael Vick's Virginia Home, where his now infamous dog fighting compound was located, failed to sell at auction this week.  Turns out that people weren't interested in running up the price because of it's notoriety.

 Here's the back story:  Vick sold the home for $450,000 to a real estate investor shortly after pleading guilty
to dog fighting charges.  The investor, Wilbur Ray Todd Jr., spent roughly $50,000 according to his estimates on repairs related to vandals and looters, and then placed the home up for sale at auction, hoping that the property's notoriety would fuel bidding.

So..... $500,000 invested, plus taxes, title, recording fees, commission, etc. and when the home comes up to auction, the bidding stops at $747,000, which just happened to be the tax assessed value of the home.  Turns out that the price wasn't enough to buy it, and the house was not sold.

This means that a profit of close to $250,000 minus the prior fees was not enough.  Mr. Todd said that 1915 Moonlight Rd. is the most famous address in America right now (Funny, I thought that distinction was held by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue...), but really the sale (or lack thereof) of this property brings up an interesting property concern.  Stigmatization.

Obviously, there are individuals who were willing to pay up to $747,000 for the home.  The estimated value of the property is somewhere in the million dollar range, but would you pay a premium for this property because of it's history?  It's an easy answer for me, but what about for you?  Would you be willing to live in a home that has had so much media attention, where a major dog fighting enterprise existed (and evidence of it still remains), and where dogs were willfully executed, and pay more than the market would otherwise bear because Michael Vick once live here?


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Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
Actually, if I really liked the property I would buy it and somehow find a way to use it for something positive - especially involving dogs !  So, yes, i would consider it but not based solely on the negative stig.
Dec 16, 2007 05:06 AM #1
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

I heard the tax assessment on the property was $750,000 so with the way the market is the offer he had was right on target.  We aren't seeing that many homes sell for way above assessed values these days.  Just goes to show another seller who isn't in touch with the market. 

The good news is that most of the dogs are being cared for and surprisingly enough seem to be relatively friendly despite their training. Vick will have to pay for their care while he is in prison.  A lesson learned.....maybe>

Dec 16, 2007 05:06 AM #2
Renée Donohue
Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - www.urLVhome.com
Interesting response Cindy!
Dec 16, 2007 05:22 AM #3
Jonathan Benya
The Benya Group - Waldorf, MD
The Benya Group
Cindy- It seemed to be a sensible offer on the property given the market and it's history.  Maybe the investor knows something I don't.  I had heard that all but one of the dogs would be suitable for rehabilitation and adoption, which is great news.  I think that this is indeed a very expensive lesson learned!
Dec 16, 2007 05:28 AM #4
Michael J. JJ
Tucson, AZ

I would Absolutely buy this house. I am a dog lover and have an agility champion. I think this property would be a great place to train dogs to be agility champions. Here is our dogs:


Dec 16, 2007 05:35 AM #5
Chris Pollinger
Berman & Pollinger, LLC. - San Diego, CA
Consulting for Luxury Teams and Brokerages
They ended up razing OJ Simpson's home because of the stigmatization...
Dec 16, 2007 05:38 AM #6
Susan Trombley
Trombley Real Estate - Wake Forest, NC
Broker/Realtor, Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Youngs
If I was in the market, I would not let what used to happen there stop me from purchasing the property. Because I know I can make a positive out of it down the road and profit from it.
Dec 16, 2007 05:40 AM #7
Jonathan Benya
The Benya Group - Waldorf, MD
The Benya Group

Michael- Great looking dog!

Chris-  Interesting information.  I hadn't heard that about his property, I had no idea it was leveled. 

Dec 16, 2007 05:41 AM #8
Nancy Pav
Long & Foster - Ashburn, VA
Nancy Pav, Your "GottaHave" Realtor

I think it's a lesson about greed.  The investor thought people would pay more because it was the "most famous address in America'.  This was the 1st I had heard what the address actually was.  What he learned was that people weren't that interested in Michael Vick's notoriety enough to pay more than what it was worth.  If it were stigmatized they would have bid a whole lot less.  The investor should take his roughly $250,000 and be happy.

Dec 16, 2007 05:42 AM #9
Jonathan Benya
The Benya Group - Waldorf, MD
The Benya Group
Susan-  but would you pay a premium over what the market would bear because it is the "Bad Newz Kennelz" Property?
Dec 16, 2007 05:43 AM #10
Julie Chapman
DR Horton - Lakeland, FL
New Homes Sales Lakeland Florida
$250,000 return ........not enough???? maybe I missed something here......
Dec 16, 2007 05:45 AM #11
Monika McGillicuddy
Prudential Verani Realty - Atkinson, NH
NH Real Estate Broker
Yikes I wouldn't buy it.  I'd feel sick walking around the place never mind living there.
Dec 16, 2007 06:31 AM #12
Donna Yates
BHGRE - Metro Brokers - Blue Ridge, GA
Blue Ridge Mountains
My answer is very simple:  No.   Interesting post.  Thank you.
Dec 17, 2007 11:58 AM #13
Rick Tourgee
Robert Paul Properties, Inc. - Provincetown, MA
Provincetown and Cape Cod

I would only buy the house if I really loved the house and the location.  I could careless who owned it in the past.  I would only pay whatever the realistic market value of the house under current market conditions on the day I make an offer.

Because of the sad past of the house, I would find a way to give the home positive energy and find a way for the house to give off positive energy!

Dec 17, 2007 01:40 PM #14

I hope MV gets raped in prison.

Dec 19, 2007 01:01 PM #15
BLRGUY(Beach & Luxury Realty Inc) - Saint Pete Beach, FL
Nope,I could never live in that house Jonathon...too much negative Karma is surrounding it.Plus I would always think of the mistreatment the dogs endured.....nope..not for me
Dec 19, 2007 11:27 PM #16
Brandon Jordan
ERA American Real Estate - Crestview, FL

The NFL should buy it and open a dog rescue.

Apr 19, 2009 07:15 AM #17
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