Calling all reality show producers: do I have a script for you! Take a 20,000 square foot Texas mansion built by an oil tycoon and his wife – I mean, ex-wife. OK, make that 19,337 square feet with 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, two half baths including one with a musical flushing toilet, two infinity pools, 6 living rooms, Moroccan media room, a guest house with three bedrooms, a caretakers home, Longhorn, cattle and horses and a barn (with full bar) to house them. There are even deer jumping (and getting stuck on) the fence plus rabbits, coyotes, snakes, critters, three mules, a horse, donkey, catfish and brim because the home is on the shores of Lake Grapevine. In fact, there are more than 450 feet of waterfront views of the lake from a 75 foot bluff, which is not only high for, but extremely rare in, Texas.
Now guess who’s living there: four forty-something, beautiful divorcees. Rent-free. While the house is on the market.
Call me a voyeur, but I always love to know the story behind every house I visit. Jacque Evans (no relation, unfortunately, she’s adorable) built this as her dream home with her husband of 20 some years. No expense was spared in the building or design, and Jacque picked out every stitch of fabric, every stick of furniture, and imprinted her touch on every inch. (My favorite – her bedroom, and the black toile guest house bedroom.) The home took three years to build. After her divorce, she was awarded the home. She found herself opening up to other women in her situation. When she found out some of them had no place to live, she said, why don’t you come over and live with me – I certainly have plenty of room.
(Note: Divorcee Diva Inn is full.)
“What is the point of having things – a big home, two swimming pools – if you can’t share it with people.
Good question: we should ask Lee Bailey!
While it’s on the market with dynamo agent Rogers Healy, Jacque shares her home: Living in the guest house is a divorcee with one daughter. Three other women – all gorgeous, Jacque looks about 35 – are in two of the six bedrooms. At 19,000 square feet, they are almost a football field away from Jacque’s bedroom and spa bath. Another lives in the caretakers’ home.
“We are a total support system for each other — we pray, share food, clothes, try on clothes, and have fun all the time,” says Jacque. “We try to laugh every day and are actually having a blast!”
But there is stress: a few weeks ago, the Divas were out (in boots and heels) in Jaque’s pasture trying to help a deer who had jumped over and gotten stuck on a fence. Deer, they learned, are pretty heavy. Jacque managed to get the poor dear unstuck and off the fence, and he ran off into the woods.
The estate is protected by an electronic gated fence, located within a gated community in Flower Mound, north-west of Dallas, close to D/FW airport. In fact, sitting on Jacque’s patio, you would never think you are anywhere near Dallas until you see a 747 taking off in the distance. Full water views right from the foyer.
“I grew up in Lakeland, Florida, “says Jacque. “When we found this property, it reminded me of that. So rare to have a home on the water just minutes from downtown Dallas.
The home sits on 10.4 acres, and because of the cattle and horse, the new owner will get a Texas agricultural exemption on 9.4 acres. The features and extras in this home run so way over, you have to see to believe: venetian plaster everywhere, stained glass windows, custom tile, the truly Moroccan media room where Jacque hangs with her new beau, a friend from college, a huge bricked-in wine cellar, geo-thermal heating, smart house wiring, two Aga stoves, a walk-in food vault (refrigerator and freezer), exercise rooms, and quality everywhere from the walnut floors to the groin vault ceilings to my favorite: a secret office off a hidden stairway located behind a bookshelf in the study. Also, a billiard room with shoe-shine chairs, and a game room.
The Bachelor my fanny: this home would be the perfect setting for Divorce Divas. Because the guys would have to be pretty darn special to drag me out of this castle, deer or no dear!
This does not look like Texas!
Hidden staircase behind the bookshelf!
The Mistress Bedroom — we don’t need a Master!