Because he wants to be closer to his mother, which is so wonderfully sweet. My Austin sources tell me that Dennis and Kimberly’s new home is on Matthews Drive in Tarrytown right on Lake Austin, on one of the most gorgeous streets in town and most convenient to UT. (Dallas readers, it’s the Dallas equivalent of living on Lakeside Drive in Highland Park, but more eclectic.) Before she met Dennis, Kimberly was head of
marketing for Texas American Title Company.  The Quaids owned a house in Austin which they sold in late 2009 on the Westlake side of Lake Austin, across the way from this treasure.  Word is Dennis spent very little time there.

But now, Dennis’s mother has just moved into a retirement home in Austin near the Arboretum on Great Hills Drive, and he wants to be closer to her and let her enjoy the twins. Did I tell you the $12,000,000 home they just bought also has an FAA-approved heli-pad? Now, how much would that have set you back in LA? Austin realtors tell me to get ready for more moving vans carting off Hollywood celebs: they really like what they can buy in Austin.

My favorite real estate blogger, Mama dear over at The RealStalker, got the scoopola straight from Austin: Dennis Quaid and his wife, Kimberly, have a giant 11,000 square foot plus house on Lake Austin under contract and are ditching sunny Cali to raise their twins here in the Lone Star state, or at least, in that part that is most like California: Austin.  My colleague Sheree Curry at AOL talked to their LA agent, who told Sheree that “one of her favorite features of the Pacific Palisades home they are leaving behind is ‘a great set of huge vintage wood doors that Dennis and Kimberly put in to enter the master suite. They add a wonderful ambiance and set the scene for entering the room.’ “  Well, I’ll take being on Lake Austin over vintage wooden doors any day, no offense.

And look how much more space the Quaids are getting in Texas: their 8,400-square-foot main house in LA has 8 bedrooms and 8½ baths, a master suite with a fireplace and private balcony. Fireplaces are everywhere: the gourmet kitchen, the beamed living room and the covered loggia that overlooks the swimming pool and spa. A converted gym sits above the kitchen, but the space can be used as a maid’s quarters. There is also an office and a wine cellar. On for $16.9 million.

In past interviews, Quaid has hinted that he bought a couple of acres on Lake Austin, back when he first met his bride, Kimberly Buffington, who worked in real estate in Austin. According to TREC records, Buffington holds an inactive Texas real estate license. Her father is the CEO of Austin-based Buffington Signature Homes. Last time she was in Austin, she was doing PR for a Title Company. Oh, and talking about multiple homes: the Quaids own their home in Pacific Palisades,  the one on the market, and a ranch near Paradise Valley, Montana, near Yellowstone National Park.