Remember former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick  — he’s the one who pleaded guilty in 2008 to obstruction of justice charges, something to do with lying about the fact he was having an affair with a staffer, something about sexting — and then got five years in the slammer for violating terms of his probation? He has been gracing North Texas with his presence. Now comes word out of MoTown that he has moved, again, this time into a $372,000 home that is “larger and more expensive than his last rental, while claiming poverty to qualify for taxpayer-funded lawyers and low restitution payments.”

The current rental is a 5,000-square-footer in Grand Prairie, and the sheer size is making Detroit folks uneasy that Kilpatrick is living way too well while making measly restitution payments to the city of Detroit. Meantime, hard-working, house-poor (Detroit housing market one of the worst) taxpayers are funding his legal defense against federal racketeering charges.

Hey Detroit, maybe it’s time for Occupy Kwame!

Forgot to tell you: he’s also an author. His new digs came to light before a hearing Wednesday to determine why proceeds from the sale of the former mayor’s book have not been forwarded to an escrow account. You got it: that money was to be used toward the more than $860,000 in restitution Kilpatrick owes the city of Detroit.

Kilpatrick, who is 41 and has three sons, once worked as a medical software salesman for Covisint Healthcare.

His attorney, Daniel Hajji, says his living arrangements and apparent $2900 a month rent do not warrant the prosecutor’s attention.

As we know, though, Kilpatrick has been moving on up, then down, then up, in Texas like a roller coaster. Last May, 2010, he and his fam lived in a swanky, gated Colleyville home of 5,866 square feet in Lakes of La Paloma, minutes from the great shopping at Southlake Town Center. The home had a market value of $1,125,000 and was built in 1998. It had five bedrooms, five and a half baths, a game room, a study, a formal dining room and an in-ground pool, clearly a trade-up from their 2,839-square-foot former rental home 3 miles away. At the time, his attorney said someone else was footing the bill. That La Paloma home was also way larger than his crib as Mayor of Detroit, the Mayor’s pad — only 4004 square feet at the Manoogian Mansion.

This rental is a bit smaller,  a 5,016-square-footer in Mira Lagos in slightly less toney Grand Prairie. Still, it has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and an attached two-car garage. The home was built in 2006 and has the usual Texas goodies: kitchen with granite countertops, vaulted ceilings in the hall and family room, French doors leading to a landscaped yard, a large master suite and study. It also features a game room and media room. Originally purchased for $371,900, this one is appraised at $338,400 and was recently listed at $309,950.

See, Detroit, our values are down, too. And almost everyone has granite counters down here — you get them while you wait in line at the D.P.S. (Ha!)

According to the Detroit News, Kilpatrick must receive permission from Texas parole officials before changing addresses.

KIlpatrick has been priming our real estate rental market  since relocating to Texas almost three years ago. First was the Southlake mansion with pool, which the family pre-paid $74,000 to lease for 13 months. Last year, maybe they thought that La Paloma was too showy so they relocated to a $235,000, four-bedroom, three-bath home in Grand Prairie that leases for $2,100 a month. Then they moved to the current pad, seen by folks in Detroit as a step up. Of course, they are also wondering how he can afford a bigger home on $60,000 a year, all he claims he is earning. His team of attorneys are being covered by Michigan taxpayers,  and Kilpatrick is paying $160 per month for the more than $860,000 he owes toward $1 million in restitution. At that rate, the bill will be paid off in, oh, 448 years.

Kilpatrick was released from a Michigan prison in August, claimed indigence and has a publicly funded team of private defense lawyers for his upcoming racketeering trial. In 2008, he resigned as Mayor, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, and promised restitution in a plea deal that avoided a trial. Last May, he headed to the slammer for failing to make those payments among suspicions he was hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars — imagine that!

The "smaller" GP rental

La Paloma la la la!

When I first spied this home, it did not look like it was in Plano one bit. (Sorry, Plano peeps. Your homes just have a certain “look”. But we love us some Plano and like how smart your kids all are!) In fact this home brings to mind an entirely new blog topic: what the hec can you do with an “80’s home”?

UPDATE it! Start with the kitchen and baths. Big plus: this home has only had one owner and lots of tender loving care. Secondly, it sports one of those “U-shaped” floor plans around a pretty brick courtyard that lets the sun shine in. The kitchen has brand-new granite counters, a tile floor and breakfast room that opens to the center private patio. The formal dining room — yes, for less than $200,000 you get a formal dining room for all the holidays! —  has added double molding. There is also a living room with a vaulted ceiling and a den. Yes, I am still talking less than $200,000. No, not drinking. Now the real treat is the master bedroom: large master bath with double vanity and a huge walk-in. I’ll be honest: not a fan of the cultured vanities and pull/push faucets, which just scream 1980’s, but these are so pristine it would be a sin to rip them out. Still, we sin every day — pop in some granite and two undercounter sinks and you have the look of a million bucks. This home is located in central Plano with mature trees, a board on board fence for no-peeky privacy, and new drive way. Four bedrooms, three full baths, formals and even a built-in trash compactor on almost one-fourth an acre. Asking $197,000, listed with my friend Christine Clark, and this means you could get in a home for about $1500 a month. And you wonder why everyone wants to move to Texas? Well, Plano!

Written by Candy Evans on September 24, 2011
OPEN TODAY! 1:00 to 3:00 PM!
Do you REALLY want to be anywhere near Arlington today? We are going to the Cowboys game so I am packing my computer to blog in traffic. If you don’t have tickets to the Cowboys or the World Series, just go north to Fairview and check out a 9,600 Bavarian estate adjoining a 600 acre nature preserve. Trust me, get up there and you won’t believe you are in Kansas anymore!

Let’s face it: you just get so much more value when you buy north. Even the names of the streets are better: who would not want to live on a street called Circle In The Woods?

941 Circle in the Woods is a four-level, almost 9,600 square foot Bavarian estate on a terraced hillside adjoining a wooded 600-acre nature preserve north of Dallas. The gated grounds include 2 acres of English gardens, a beautiful pool and spa, fountains and almost complete privacy. Inspired by Germany’s Kronberg Castle, the home begins with a breath-taking two-story entry, a magnificent formal living room with a cathedral-like 30-foot beamed ceiling to the right, four large imported German chandeliers, an exquisite fireplace and French doors with views of the never-ending charming English gardens. To the left is the VERY formal dining room, more windows and seeded-glass panes. A butler’s pantry,  almost commercial kitchen, and family room with high-tech touches and more floor-to-ceiling windows. Over on the east wing is a master suite you have to see to believe,  a guest suite and two utility rooms. The home has 6 bedrooms, 6 baths and two half-baths. On the second level is a turret-shaped library, a central family upper family room, three secondary bedrooms, all suites, and full quarters with a private entrance. Venture up to the third floor for more space offering expansive views of the forested nature preserve. The stairs or elevator take you down to more flex space and a climate-controlled wine cellar. Don’t let the square footage scare you: Geothermal powered heating, cooling and hot water will keep bills so low you will think no one is washing. What’s funny is the home has a fortress-like security system, but in Frisco’s Fairview, crime is practically non-existent. People are moving up here for the home value, safety, and the schools — top-rated Lovejoy School System. Plus Watters Creek is one of the most luxurious shopping centers in the nation, on a par with Highland Park Village and NorthPark Center. Asking: $1,995,000.

After all, this was the neighborhood that In N Out Burger chose for their very first store in Texas. 941 Circle in the Woods, Frisco,  is open Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. After that, we are off to In N Out…

Ron Paul, the feisty Ob/Gyn (aren’t they all?) who represents the 14th Congressional District of Texas, and who may be making a run for a bigger house in D.C. called The White House, is selling his home in Lake Jackson, and doing it apparently without a realtor. Embracing social media, he’s listed his home on his Facebook page at $325,000 for the 5,500-square-foot number with pool that features 4-bedrooms, 5-baths that has housed his family for 42 years. (Bet that mortgage is long paid off.) The home has an office with built-in book shelves, a formal dining room, a family room, living room and a craft room. Of course it has a swimming pool and slide, which I’m rather shocked the see in a physician’s back yard: liability city. The home is pretty close to the Gulf and a 50-minute drive to Houston.

Stay tuned. I’m trying to get more deets. FSBOFB means for sale by owner, Facebook.

I have never understood the need for a sitting area in the Master bedroom. A chair or two, but if the closet is large enough — and walk-in — why do you need a sofa in the master? Can someone please explain? This $17,995,000 over the top home is in Los Angeles, of course: over 9,200 sq.ft. of living space, lower Bel Air, almost 35,000 sq.ft. of verdant grounds overlooking the Bel Air Country Club golf course.¬† Spacious public rooms include the lovely formal living room, grand formal dining room, library, & family room. The large kitchen is a chef’s dream with professional Viking & Traulsen appliances, center island, & separate breakfast area. The 2nd level of the estate houses all 6 bedrooms, all en suite, including the luxurious master suite with fireplace, sitting area, separate office, & dual baths & walk-in closets. The lower level of the home offers great space for entertaining with media & game room. The grounds are extraordinary with pool, spa, lawns, mature trees, Japanese meditation garden, & European garden with picturesque domed arbor. Wow.

Now here’s the perfect first, second or third home for your Valentine. Brooklyn Decker is a gorgeous super model married to Andy Roddick, and they live in Austin. She is also the star of a new film out just this weekend called “Just Go With It“, the story of a plastic surgeon who convinces his loyal medical assistant (Decker) to come to Hawaii and pose as his soon-to-be ex wife for various reasons. (Oh I could tell you some war stories about this. I know of a local plastic surgeon who did take his two office assistants to a medical conference once and asked them to be a lot more than a soon-to-be ex wife. Needless to say, they soon both became ex-employees.) ¬† But Brooklyn and Andy are trying to sell a delicious home in Austin so, we presume, she can get on with her film career.

Down in Austin, the market is fairly brisk for multi-million dollar homes, and this waterfront estate ought to fetch a premium.  Though they are both under 30,  tennis star Andrew “Stephen” Andy Roddick and his beautiful bride of just over one year, Brooklyn, will likely be moving on up. Their 5558 square foot starter home at 4104 Shimmering Cove in Austin is listed for $3,600,000 is on a cul de sac in an exclusive private gated Westlake community overlooking Lake Austin.  The lot is approximately .71 acres, with four bedrooms, three full baths and two half baths, soaring ceilings, cedar closets, master suite with sitting room and two huge closets — I cannot fathom what Brooklyn needs that space for since all she’s ever seen in are teeny tiny bikinis. Also jetted master tub, tons of marble and separate shower. The gourmet kitchen has all the usual upgrade perks, from Sub-zero appliances to granite center island and breakfast bar and gorgeous cherry custom cabinets. There’s also a pantry, formal dining room, game room, exercise room (that’s how these young “thangs” stay so fit!) library, media room, utility room, huge deck, boat dock all in the Austin school district. There is also a private tennis practice court, of course.

Get her this home and a little lingerie from Victoria’s Secret, and you ought to have the perfect Valentines’ Day.