Talk about a Cinderella story! Star has learned exclusively that newlyweds and parents-to-be Jill and Derick Dillard are living in a stunningly renovated 4,000-square-foot mansion that was a completely trashed, foreclosed property two years ago — and Jim Bob Duggar is their landlord!
Fans of TLC’s 19 Kids & Counting will recall the episodes that saw the patriarch recruiting his army of children to help clean up the four-bedroom home, dubbed The Stoney Brook Project, after purchasing it from the bank in Feb. 2012. Viewers will be stunned by its transformation, which will be shown in the new season, the show’s eighth, which began on Sept. 2.
While the home was purchased for a mere $95,000 when it was a wreck, it’s now worth an estimate $1.5 million, thanks to the Duggars’ renovation and its prime location on undeveloped land near the Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., where Derick works as an accountant.
“This was a great purchase by Jim Bob,” a source says. “He’s a savvy investor. It was always his intention to rent it out or eventually hand it over to one of his kids.”
Enter trained midwife Jill and Derick. “There’s definitely enough space at the Stoney Brook home for tehir family, and Derick’s work is five minutes away,” the source adds.
The public’s interest in the young couple — particularly their infamously chaste courtship — reeled in more than 3 million viewers for the proposal episode that was last season’s heartwarming finale. “Now Jim Bob and TLC can better control access to Jill, Derick and another child,” the insider explains, adding that the Dillards will also benefit from the arrangement. “They definitely have their privacy at this house…plus room to grow.”
FOR BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS OF JILL & DERICK’S HOME, PICK UP THE LATEST ISSUE OF STAR, ON NEWSSTANDS NOW!