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September 2010 Multiple Property Auction in Wisconsin

August 12, 2010

September 29, 2010 Wisconsin Multiple Property Auction

Vacant land in Cedarburg, Kiel and Slinger.  All properties Bank-Owned and most to be SOLD ABSOLUTE, regardless of price!

Sign up for our email list if you want to receive a heads-up on this auction.  Or, come back often to check this growing list of property locations … photos, bidding information and
property details coming soon.

View a video with updates on the Wisconsin auction

[Vimeo 14089650]

Call us at 773-252-4500, or check back often – details being added daily!


Top 10 Real Estate Auction Myths

July 1, 2010

Think all homes sold at auction are dilapidated foreclosures you have to pay cash for on the spot? Think again. Real estate auctions are becoming more and more popular because they offer good deals on a variety of properties in a consumer-friendly environment.

Nevertheless, plenty of myths surrounding the process abound. Here are some of the most popular misconceptions about real estate auctions and the facts behind them:

1. Myth: All homes at real estate auctions are foreclosures and/or distressed properties.

Fact: Some are and some aren’t. Either way, potential buyers have ample opportunity to determine a property’s history and condition before the auction. More and more homes at auction today are brand new homes that builders are unloading. Some are even luxury homes. “People think there is something wrong with the home if it is in an auction, but I’ve sold many homes that are in move-in condition,” says Tim Gray of The Chicagoland Real Estate Auction.

2. Myth: If I buy a home at auction, I must buy it sight-unseen, without an inspection.

Fact: Most auction houses hold open houses before the auction date. Buyers are invited to bring a contractor or inspector with them. However, judicial auctions or Sheriff’s sales (properties auctioned off by your county) typically do not offer a chance to inspect the inside of the home before bidding. If no access is granted to a home, or it is obviously in poor condition, that is reflected in the price.

3. Myth: Buying a home “as-is” is full of risk.

Fact: It is true that auctioned homes are almost always sold as-is, with no contingencies and no attorney review period. However, a good auction house will have inspection reports available beforehand for each property it is selling. Some even offer home warrantees. “We put together a complete due diligence package including a home inspection, a survey of the property, so bidders have all the facts,” says Michael Fine of Fine & Co., a Chicago auction house. “We encourage them to take the contract to the attorney before the auction.”

4. Myth: Buyers must pay in full with cash at real estate auctions.

Fact: Buyers must bring a deposit, usually about 5-10 percent, which is treated like earnest money. Buyers typically have 30-45 days to secure financing and close. If not, they forfeit their deposit. One exception is a judicial auction or “Sheriff’s sale.” These auctions typically require the entire purchase price payable at the auction or shortly thereafter.

5. Myth: Buying a home at auction is “taking advantage of another’s misfortune.”

Fact: Occupied homes, as opposed to empty ones, improve the economy and the community. “Our auctions help fuel the economy, because when there is a house sitting vacant, there is no one paying the mortgage or the property tax, or utility bills. There is nobody hiring tradespeople or shopping at the local stores for household items. When we sell that property, someone purchases it and someone starts doing all those things,” says Rick Weinberg of REDC, a national auction firm.

6. Myth: Only experienced investors can really compete at real estate auctions.

Fact: Auctions are open to the public. Because of the popularity of auctions today, and the proliferation of residential estate auctions in areas like Chicago, many attendees are everyday homeowners. “Our typical customer has never been at a live real estate auction before,” says Fine. “The buyer at these events is not some large investor, it’s John Q. Public. So you’re competing against someone just like yourself.”
7. Myth: If I sell my home at auction, it will cost me a lot more in commission than if I hire a Realtor.

Fact: Auctioneers say the cost is comparable, usually slightly more. However, auctioneers say the seller saves money in the long run. “The inherent efficiency in the auction process enables the seller to eliminate long-term carrying costs including maintenance and taxes,” says Rick Levin of Rick Levin & Associates in Chicago.

8. Myth: If I sell my home at auction, I will get a lower price than market value.

Fact: Auctioneers believe an auction is the best way to determine the true market value of a property, particularly when comparables are scarce. “When you group 20 people in a room, and they’re all bidding on the same property at the same time, you get true market value,” says Brian Kuzdas of Real Estate

9. Myth: There is no place for Realtors or brokers in real estate auctions.

Fact: Many auction houses pay commission to a Realtor who brings a client to an auction after that client wins the property.

10. Myth: If I can’t make it to the auction, I’ll lose the opportunity to bid.

Fact: Many auction houses conduct online bidding simultaneously, so bidders can bid from home. Bidders can sometimes place a bid online before the auction date — or simply buy the property outright.

Contributing sources: Fine & Co., Rick Levin & Associates, and the National Auctioneers Association.

Court Ordered Auction: Rare Opportunity to Purchase A Vacant Parcel On Chicago’s Renowned Michigan Avenue

June 8, 2010

(Crain’s, Chicago) — A South Michigan Avenue development site that would have been a hot commodity during the condominium boom is being sold in a court-ordered auction more than two years after a lender filed to foreclose on the property.

Rick Levin & Associates Inc. has scheduled a July 27 auction of the parcel at 1000 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s South Loop, where local developer Warren Barr wanted to build a 40-story tower with 346 condos. But the condo crash foiled that plan and Elk Grove Village-based First American Bank sued in May 2008 to collect a past-due $18.7-million loan secured by the site.

In another era, a property along Grant Park offering unobstructed views of Lake Michigan would command a premium, fueled largely by demand from condo developers. But the South Loop remains swamped with unsold condos, and most lenders aren’t financing development of any kind, limiting the pool of potential buyers.

The site could attract interest from a company or non-profit group hunting for a headquarters site or a nearby college that needs more space, says Rick Levin, president of the Chicago-based auction firm. Bidders may also include deep-pocketed investors looking to buy and hold property until the residential market rebounds.

1000 South Michigan Ave. in red

“When it does come back, land along Grant Park should be the first to benefit,” he says. “There aren’t a lot of vacant parcels on this stretch that could offer this large of a development opportunity.”

It’s difficult to estimate what the property is worth given the lack of comparable sales over the past two years, one reason an auction makes sense, Mr. Levin says. The most recent comp is another development site at 830 S. Michigan that Mr. Barr sold in November 2008, after a mezzanine lender filed to foreclose on the property.

In that transaction, a venture linked to Matthew Pritzker paid $17.6 million for the estimated 36,000-square-foot property, where Mr. Barr had planned 376 condos. Mr. Pritzker, who received a roughly $500-million settlement in 2005 in a dispute over the family fortune, was unavailable for comment. An executive at his investment firm, Matthew Pritzker Co., did not return phone calls.

That sale equates to a price of about $488 a square foot, or $47,000 a unit. At that level, 1000 S. Michigan would be worth about $16.4 million, though the economy and financial markets have improved over the past 18 months.

“There is interest for land,” says John Jaeger, first vice-president in the Chicago office of CB Richard Ellis Inc. “There wasn’t last year, but there is now.”

It’s unlikely, however, that an auction would generate enough money to pay off the $25.3 million in principal and accrued interest owed to First American. The suggested opening bid is $9 million.

First American won a judgment of foreclosure in January 2009 and held a sheriff’s sale two months later. But Mr. Barr’s partners challenged the sale, preventing the bank from taking control of the property. On May 17, Cook County Judge Robert Quinn ordered a new auction conducted by Rick Levin.

A bank executive did not return a phone call late Tuesday.

Though Mr. Barr, president and CEO of Oak Brook-based Renaissant Development Group LLC, and his partners have lost control of the site, they have a big stake in the auction: They guaranteed the First American loan, meaning they could be on the hook for any shortfall.

Like a lot of condo developers, Mr. Barr is lying low these days.

“I’m just trying to wade my way through a very difficult market,” he says. “The condo market will come back eventually. There’s just a lot of uncertainty.”

Alby Gallun, Crain’s


Auction Date: July 27, 2010

Location: 1000 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL

Parcel: 33,700 sq. ft.   (251′ x 134.28′)

Property Highlights:

  • Located on the West side of South Michigan Avenue
  • Near Chicago’s Loop, public transportation, Lakeshore Drive and the expressway
  • Property is currently operated as a surface parking lot
  • Near hotels and newly developed condominium buildings
  • Access to Grant Park, steps from Chicago’s Lakefront
  • Positioned in a fast developing Downtown University Campus area
  • Entitlements for up to 40 stories and 350 condominiums, and potential for numerous development alternatives

Previously Priced up to: $33,000,000
Suggested Opening Bid:

Street View - Looking North from 1000 South Michigan Avenue

View a Video Message from Rick Levin Regarding the July 27 Auction of 1000 South Michigan Avenue

For more information, please contact Rick Levin & Associates, Inc. directly:

Phone: (773) 252-4500


U.S. Department of the Treasury Seized & Forfeited General Property Program

May 25, 2010

VSE Corporation and Rick Levin & Associates, Inc. will conduct an auction of seized and forfeited property on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Other agencies that are participating include: U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service, and Secret Service.

Proceeds from the auction are returned to these agencies through the Treasury Asset Forfeiture Fund for the continuation of their enforcement efforts.

The auction will take place at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, at the VSE Warehouse, in Riverside, CA.

A wide variety of merchandise will be auctioned, including:

• 1979 Cessna C414A Aircraft
• USA Platinum Eagle Coins
• Large Selection of Rolex Watches
• Assorted Gold, Platinum, & Silver Jewelry
• Portable DVD Players & iPods
• HP & Sony Vaio Laptops, Dell Computers, & Other Assorted Electronics

Download a PDF Catalog of Items Included In This Auction Here

Proceeds from the auction are returned to the U.S. Treasury’s Asset Forfeiture Fund for the continuation of law enforcement efforts by the participating agencies: U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service and Secret Service.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. day of sale at the VSE Warehouse, Riverside, CA. There are no property previews on sale day.

For detailed information on specific merchandise to be auctioned, please visit the Treasury website at:

More information can also be found at or by calling VSE Corporation, Inc. at 888-534-2828

Thank you!

Rick Levin
Rick Levin & Associates, Inc.
1467 N. Elston, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60622
Office: 773-252-4500
Fax: 773-252-4520

1000 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago: Court-Ordered Vacant Parcel Auction

May 25, 2010

This vacant parcel of land, located on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, is ideal for an investor or developer who has the insight and resources to capitalize on a “jewel” of an opportunity.

A tremendous place to park cash and be uniquely positioned for the next up cycle!

Location: 1000 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL

Parcel: 33,700 sq. ft.   (251′ x 134.28′)

Property Highlights:

  • Located on the West side of South Michigan Avenue
  • Near Chicago’s Loop, public transportation, Lakeshore Drive and the expressway
  • Property is currently operated as a surface parking lot
  • Near hotels and newly developed condominium buildings
  • Access to Grant Park, steps from Chicago’s Lakefront
  • Positioned in a fast developing Downtown University Campus area
  • Entitlements for up to 40 stories and 350 condominiums, and potential for numerous development alternatives

Previously Priced up to: $33,000,000
Purchased in 2005:
Approximate Outstanding Bank Debt (5-19-2010):
2008 Appraisal:
Suggested Opening Bid:

AUCTION DATE: July 27, 2010

More information about this auction will be posted as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to inquire further, please contact Rick Levin at Rick Levin & Associates, Inc.

Phone: (773) 252-4500


Wisconsin Sell-Off Continues – 2nd State-Wide Real Estate Auction Now In Progress

May 20, 2010

Seventeen more properties will go on the auction block over the next few weeks in small towns and cities throughout Wisconsin as lenders sell-off vacant parcels, a condominium in Sister Bay and a single-family home in Milwaukee.

Last month, six properties sold at door-step auctions conducted by Chicago-based auction company, Rick Levin & Associates, Inc. All of the properties were sold absolute regardless of the price, so many winning bidders who are now property owners were very pleased with the results.

Rick Levin

“It’s been a very rough market but the buyers are coming back,” said Rick Levin who personally conducted many of the door step auctions in the first wave of state-wide sales last month.  “We can see the tide turning … qualified bidders are showing up, ready to buy when the price is right.”

According to a report on the Dane County website posted by the South Central Wisconsin MLS, there was 9.9 – 24 months of Wisconsin single-family home inventory available on April 30, 2010.

The current list of properties to be sold at auction shown below ranges in previously priced values from $10,900 to $89,000, with suggested opening bids ranging from $1000 to $8000.  A number of vacant parcels have come available that are attractive to investors and builders, but also an opportunity for individuals and first time buyers to become property owners.

Location Property Previously

Priced To

Adams Vacant Lot $45,000 110 Timber Shore
Arkdale Vacant Lot $14,900 3 Ash Ave
Arkdale Vacant Lot $40,000 109 Timber Shores
Arkdale Vacant Lot $28,000 56 Petenwell Landing
Comstock Vacant Lot $15,000 18 30th St
Friendship Vacant Lot $13,900 64 Lakes Edge
Galesville Vacant Lot $29,900 1 & 2 Sunset Valley
Green Bay Vacant Lot $49,000 1600 Royal Crown Ct
Milwaukee Vacant Lot $89,000 7305 N 95th St
Milwaukee Single- Family Home $74,900 6872 N 42nd St
Neillsville Vacant Lot $35,000 N 4770 Weston Falls Ave
Oxford Vacant Lot $12,900 15 S Fern Lane
Shawano Vacant Lot $25,000 Balsam Row
Sister Bay Condominium $68,000 10571 Hwy 57 Unit 102
Somerset Vacant Lot $21,000 932 218th Ave
Somerset Vacant Lot $20,000 2111 62nd
Somerset Vacant Lot $25,000 Lot 11 218th Ave

Galesville WI Lot 1 and 2 Sunset Valley

The properties will be sold at three, open outcry ballroom auctions open to the public and also open for real estate Broker participation.

Bidders may register in advance or on the day of the auction. Bidding information, auction terms and conditions and photos of the properties are available at ,where you can also find directions to the auction locations and instructional videos on how to bid at a real estate auction.

Single-Family Home, Milwaukee, 6872 N 42nd St

Interested parties may call 773-252-4500 for more information. Auction dates and times are shown below:

10 a.m., June 10th at the Ramada Inn, 205 S. Barstow St., Eau Claire, WI
7 p.m., June 10th at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1355 W. 20th Ave., Oshkosh, WI
1 p.m., June 24th at the Residence Inn, 648 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI

For additional information, or to have any of your questions answered, please contact Rick Levin & Associates, Inc. directly.

Office: (773) 252-4500


A Video Message from Rick Levin Regarding the Wisconsin Auction

Surplus Property Auction on Behalf of McDonald’s Corporation

May 17, 2010

Rick Levin & Associates, Inc. is conducting a real estate auction of surplus property on behalf of McDonald’s Corporation.

The property, located at 5025 W. Hampton in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will be auctioned at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 24, 2010, at the Residence Inn in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

5025 W. Hampton Ave., Milwaukee, WI

Auction Highlights

  • Vacant Parcel—Many Potential Uses
  • Previously Priced Up To $400,000
  • Suggested Opening Bid $75,000
  • Cashier’s Check Required to Bid $12,000
  • Registration opens at noon and continues until the auction begins. You are encouraged to arrive early so you may obtain limited preferential seating and have any questions answered.

Bidder Requirements

To bid, simply bring:

1) a cashier’s check, made payable to yourself, in the amount of $12,000

2) a photo ID issued by a government agency (driver’s license, passport, etc.)

3) your checkbook to pay for additional earnest money. If you are the successful bidder, you will endorse the check over to the designated escrow account as your initial earnest money payment and write a check for any additional earnest money. Please see the “specimen” Real Estate Sales Contract for more details.

Type of Auction

This property will be offered “with reserve.” That means the ownership has the right to accept or reject the high bid until 5:00 PM on Monday, June 28, 2010. The bidding will be open and public (not sealed or silent). You will know at all times what the bid amount is and see the person making the bid. Please see the Terms of Sale for complete details.

View a video message from Rick Levin regarding the auction

As always, should you have any questions about this, or any other auction being conducted by Rick Levin & Associates, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

Phone: (773) 252-4500