Mama’s got the scoopola on the Aikman estate and even unearthed some things I had no idea of! God, “she’s” good. Like didjaknow:

“Mister and Missus Aikman acquired the first parcel of their two-lot compound in April of 2004. A few minutes research did not turn up a sale price but public records Your Mama peeped show the purchase price was high enough they took a seven million dollar mortgage on the property.”

And boy oh boy the Aikmans could be poster children for SecondShelters — second home addicts like us!

“Over the years the Aikmans have owned a fair number of investment properties in places like Irving and Roanoke, TX. Hopefully they’ve done better with their investment properties than they have with some of their personal properties. In September 2002 they sold a .42 acre vacant residential parcel behind the gates of the Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, CA for $1,500,000, $195,000 less than they paid for the property just two years prior. In November 2007 Mister Aikman sold a 10,971 square foot mansion with 6 bedrooms and 7 full and 3 half bathrooms in Plano, TX for $1,330,000, a painful to the pocketbook $665,000 less than he paid for the property in May 1996.”

Meantime, at Cooper Aerobics Center, where I work myself out after sitting at this blog all day, I’ve gotten quite a few members hooked on real estate gossip and blogs. (Go figure!) One is taking Troy’s DCAD appraisal right down to the Appraisal District and fighting his taxes. The rather high profile gent did not want me to use his name but he said, and I quote,

“If Troy Aikman pays $100,000 on a $24 million home, I want my taxes lowered immediately!”

Actually, Troy is paying more than $227,000 in real estate property taxes on the Highland estate(s).

Oh… Troy also owns a home in Coppell (as Mama mentioned) where I hear he may be hiding out. $654,000 ish. Photos forthcoming.

I was with some local Dallas real estate experts yesterday who told me something shocking: in some parts of town, square footage over 6500 square feet IS BEING DISCOUNTED for appraisal purposes. Shocking, shocking news. Let’s say you have an 8500 square foot house: anything over 6500 square feet — 2000 square feet — is now being appraised at one-third the full value, equivalent to storage space. Why? Because increasingly, big houses are being seen as a burden for taxes, utilities, maintenance and repair. Now I’m sure this does not apply to Beverly Drive or Meadowbrook, where the Barretts are building that 26,000 square foot mansion. But it applies to homes in suburban areas and north of LBJ. Any wonder why it is so hard to unload some of those gorgeous but enormous mansions in Preston Trails? Or Flower Mound?

What’s even worse: those 12,000 square foot homes. Sources tell me those monsters are just going to have to take a price tumble before anyone wants to buy them. It’s a totally new world!

“Smaller looking better” sure makes the folks at places like One Arts, The Azure and The Residences at the Ritz Carlton happy. In fact, the Ritz has turned one of its model units into a laboratory for downsizing. Surprise, surprise: Ann Sutherland says you can still keep your big pieces of furniture, even big art! And wait ’till you see how they’ve made every inch of this unit “smart space”: