USMagazine, Thursday, April 11, 2013, 1:30pm (PDT)
Lance Armstrong once promised his kids that they'd "graduate from high school" in his spacious 1.7-acre estate in Austin, Tex. But it seems he's had a change of heart. The disgraced cyclist -- who admitted in January that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win seven Tours de France -- has reportedly sold his dream home to fellow Texan Al Koehler for much less than the original asking price.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that Koehler took out a $3.1 million loan to purchase the Central Austin property. Local real estate agents claim the house was listed at $10 million; however, in 2012, the estate was listed on the Travis County tax roll for just $3.9 million.
A spokesman for Armstrong confirmed to the paper that the 7,850-square-foot home (where he taped his now infamous doping confession with Oprah Winfrey) had been sold. No other details were provided, but an email from the buyer -- founder of Royalty Clearinghouse, which purchases oil and gas royalties -- suggested that the sale price was significantly lower than the listing price.
"I'm glad this house stayed with a loyal Austinite," Koehler said in a message to the American-Statesman. "We can do a lot of good for the city of Austin with this home...I didn't pay anything close to that [listing], but the Austin rumor mill is what it is."
Armstrong, 41, purchased the estate back in 2004 and took great pride in remodeling and redecorating it. He frequently opened it up to parties and fundraisers for the Livestrong Foundation, and in 2008, both he and his mansion were featured in Architectural Digest.
"When I walk into that house, I heave a sigh of relief: I am home," he told the magazine. "I take off my shoes, walk around barefoot, just feeling the rugs, floors. Home is very private; here, nobody’s going to mess with me. It's a very comforting feeling."
He added that he planned to really put down some roots there. "When their mom and I split, the kids and I moved around a bunch. But that's over," he said of his three children with ex-wife Kristin Richard. (The couple share kids Luke, 13, and twins Isabelle and Grace, 11; Armstrong is also dad to two kids with Anna Hansen, Maxwell, 3, and Olivia, 2.)
He added: "This time I said, 'You will graduate from high school in this house. I promise. Dad's not moving again.'"