How Much is That Doggie in the Window? The Sad Saga of Mike Vick's Former Home

01/15/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I'm starting to think that potential buyers of the former site of the dog fighting house of horrors are just the kind of folks who buy star maps out here in Los Angeles to find and stalk celebrities. Why else would seven people show up for an auction of the property and not bring money?

Currently in prison for violating federal laws related to operating and funding a dog fighting ring in Virginia, Michael Vick sold the headquarters for that endeavor shortly after he was indicted in 2007. Thus it is unlikely that interested parties think they'll be contributing to Vick's rehabilitation and the war chest he's going to need to get back on his feet. But maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps like many news items we learn about, we just scratch the surface and are susceptible to speculation or facts that are just plain wrong. If that is true then I understand why they wouldn't show up at all for an auction of his former home and property.

But that doesn't get to the heart of the question I pose. Let's run down a few facts. The property includes a home with more than 4,600 square feet on more than 15 acres of property. There is a full-size basketball court and other buildings on the property that during Vick's ownership housed dogs used in the illegal activities.

The owner purchased the property for about $450,000 a bit more than a year ago and promptly spent $50,000 to rehab the place and remove the obvious traces of sickening scenes we all saw in photos. The Surry County Virginia tax assessors have valued the property at about $750,000 and the owner put it up for sale shortly after his rehab was done. It was listed at $1,000,000 and he turned down an offer for the assessed value.

Finally, an auction was set up for last week at which the minimum bid was announced at $590,000. Buyers were told to bring a cashier's check in the amount of $20,000. As auctioneer Tim Dudley said:

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

What is my question? Did they think if no one bid on the property the current owner would pull names out of a hat and give it away as if it were Extreme Makeover Home Edition?

Even if the buildings that served as kennels are more than someone can stand to look at, they can be torn down with the money saved from getting a home and land valued at three quarters of a million dollars for less than $600,000. I know I must be missing something.