It looks like Lance Armstrong's public disgrace and looming legal problems may have left him homeless. Well, less one home, anyways. The former cycling champion-cum-living cautionary tale has sold his treasured Austin home, according to the Austin American-Statesman .
Al Koehler, 49, filed a deed of trust with Travis county to reflect the $3.1 million loan he took out to purchase Armstrong's stronghold, wrote Suzanne Halliburton and Shonda Novak for the Statesman. Koehler, an Austinite, founded Royalty Clearinghouse, an oil and gas royalty and mineral rights purchaser.
What seems like a lot of money to most may have been a steal for the new owner. Business Insider points out that local real estate agents had the home valued at $10 million. Koehler told the Statesman that he "didn’t pay anything close to" the listed price. The new owner seems pleased that the house didn't get purchased by Sheryl Crow or Oprah or some other famous non-Texan. “I’m glad this house stayed with a loyal Austinite,” said Koehler.
Armstrong bought the 7,850-square foot Spanish-style home in 2004 and spent two years renovating it, wrote Halliburton and Novak. Armstrong said his children convinced him to buy the 40-year-old house, and he took great pains to remold it into his dream home. In 2008, he spoke in detail with Architectural Digest about his fondness for the luxurious villa, and the influences behind remodeling it, like the Gothic-style iron entry gates that were inspired by Armstrong's time spent in France and Spain. Armstrong famously snapped a picture of himself last November lounging in his private media room, which displayed the seven framed, yellow jerseys from his Tour de France victories.
Since the U.S. Anti Doping Agency banned Armstrong from competitive cycling last August, he has divided his time between his Austin estate and his home in Hawaii. Thanks to his Tour de France victories and the ensuing endorsement dollars, Armstrong has also owned homes in Aspen, Spain and the south of France, wrote Nathaniel Vinton for the New York Daily News . Now that he's been stripped of his titles, Armstrong is facing legal battles that could empty his pockets as well.
SCA Promotions filed suit to regain the $12 million that Armstrong took in a settlement that hinged upon his doping denial, a claim he swore under oath, wrote the New York Daily News . Armstrong recently asked a Texas court to dismiss the suit. The list of litigations piling up against Armstrong also includes a suit by the Department of Justice, which spent millions of taxpayer dollars to sponsor the U.S. Postal Service cycling team, of which Armstrong was a part. There is no confirmation at press time whether the sale of Armstrong's home was necessary to pay off legal fees.
Even though he sold off his luxurious house, it appears Armstrong still plans to call the capitol home. Mark Higgins, a spokesman for Armstrong, confirmed the sale of the 1.7-acre estate and its troubled ex-owner's intent to stay in Austin, wrote Vinton.
For a look inside the house, you can peruse Architectural Diges t's picture slideshow.