Dallas (Texas), Dec 5: Outgoing US President George W Bush and his wife Laura Bush will move into a sprawling 8,501-square-foot house in an ultra-chic North Dallas enclave of Preston Hollow next year.
Despite the national nosedive in real estate prices, the Bushes appear to have paid top dollar for the house. According to the New York Daily News, they have paid three million dollars for the house.
Their new neighbors in leafy Preston Hollow include oilman T. Boone Pickens, billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and Thomas Hicks, the guy said to have made Bush rich when he bought out his share of baseball's Texas Rangers.
The White House on Thursday revealed that the October 3 deal, which closed four days after the Dow Jones plunged 777 points, was kept under wraps for two months because Bush's accountant was the listed buyer.
The previous owners were Daniel Boeckman, a Dallas developer, and his wife, Laura.
Built in 1959 and recently renovated, the home boasts 1.13 acres, four bedrooms, 4-1/2 baths, a wet bar and a separate servants' quarters.
One feature Bush is said to especially like is a covered back patio with a large fireplace, where the couple plan to entertain guests and hang out.
The Bushes won't be moving in until February or early March. They're planning a top-to-bottom paint job and will convert one of the four bedrooms into a workout room.
The property is on a quiet cul-de-sac that seems to offer everything a former President could want - an easy-to-guard layout, quick freeway access, and a smaller house for sale next door that the Secret Service might like for a command post.
That house is now in contract. It was listed at 1.7 million dollars, but The News learned last night that the still-secret buyers are hoping to knock down the price to 1.1 million dollars.
The Bushes had lived in Preston Hollow before but sold their home there in the 1990s when Bush became governor and moved into the executive mansion in Austin. They plan to keep their ranch in nearby Crawford, Texas, as a weekend getaway.