Vick's former Virginia estate fails to sell again

12/12/2008 - NFL Michael Vick Atlanta Falcons + more

SURRY, Va. -- The house that was the headquarters for Michael Vick's dogfighting operation has once again failed to sell at auction.

Auctioneer Tim Dudley said no qualified bidders showed up for Friday's auction of the five-bedroom house in Surry County. The owner required bidders to bring a $20,000 cashier's check, but none of the seven people who showed up did so.

Developer Wilbur Ray Todd Jr. bought the house for $450,000 shortly after Vick was indicted on federal dogfighting conspiracy charges. At an auction last December, Todd rejected a bid of $747,000, which is the assessed value of the property for tax purposes but less than the $1 million Todd wanted. The house was put on the market but remained unsold.

Vick, the suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback, is serving a 23-month sentence in the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan.

Dudley said Todd will work with potential buyers but if the house doesn't sell, another auction may be scheduled in about three months. Todd, who wasn't present for the auction, had set a minimum bid of $590,000 Friday.

"The buyers who came were interested," Dudley said. "They just didn't show us they were qualified."

The 4,600-square-foot white brick house sits on 15 acres in rural southeastern Virginia. Behind the house are a full-size basketball court, several outbuildings and kennels where Vick and others raised pit bulls and trained them for fighting.

After the first unsuccessful auction, Todd cleared about 10 wooded acres to make the property suitable for horses. Real estate agent Kyle Hause said Todd also got rid of several dog houses and items that were used in the dogfighting operations.

The house has two master suites and a media room with a wet bar. A double-sided gas fireplace separates the bathroom from the bedroom in the upstairs master suite. A large kitchen features a center island, granite countertops and built-in stainless steel appliances.

Facing financial ruin after his indictment, Vick sold the property to Todd, who spent about $50,000 sprucing it up and repairing damage caused by vandals and looters. Vick had paid about $34,000 for the land in 2002 and had the house built in 2003.

Vick still owns three houses in Virginia and one in Georgia, and he is building a $2 million home in Suffolk, according to a financial disclosure statement filed in federal bankruptcy court last month. Once the highest paid player in the NFL, Vick -- now earning 12 cents an hour in his prison job -- listed $16 million in assets and $20.4 million in liabilities in his Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition.

In the disclosure statement, Vick said he expects to resume his NFL career after his release, scheduled for July 20. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would have to lift Vick's suspension for that to happen, and even then it is unclear whether a team would offer him a contract.

Vick earlier this month pleaded guilty to a state dogfighting charge and was given a three-year suspended sentence. Surry County's prosecutor dropped an animal cruelty charge as part of the plea agreement.