Monday, 25 May, 2020

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Surrey Hills auction: tastelessly retro, water-damaged house sells big

The kitchen inside 3 James St, Surrey Hills, which sold for more than $2 million.

A Surrey Hills house with water-damaged walls and ceilings, a loo in the backyard and a seriously retro kitchen has smashed expectations by a whopping $130,000.

The dated, dilapidated house at 3 James St had little to recommend it.

But a 715sq m block in one of the suburb’s most popular pockets was enough to drive a $2.01 million sale.

And the result emerged despite a downpour that forced the auction indoors.

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Despite being dated, the home has a certain charm and solid bones to it.

An outdoor loo against the back wall of the house joins a Hills hoist and lawn as part of the backyard’s list of features.

Despite the gloomy weather, Ray White Balwyn auctioneer Bronwyn Lucas said the sale was “almost like it was in the burgeoning stages of the last rise around 2014”.

“There’s the same enthusiasm in the air,” Ms Lucas said.

Four bidders chased the home from a low-ball $1.4 million offer, past its $1.6-$1.7 million price guide.

They were still going when the home was called on the market at $1.88 million.

As it stands, the home’s walls and ceilings show cracks and the kitchen appears quite dated.

But it could be made liveable and offered for rent in the short term, Ms Lucas said.

Cracked walls and water damage are on show in the lounge room.

Other rooms also have water stains on the carpet, walls and ceilings.

The buyer, a local developer, beat a young man with his parents supporting him.

Ms Lucas said the result was purely about land value, with expectations that the home would be developed as a grand new house.

Once complete, she estimated the property would be worth well beyond $3 million, and potentially even as much as $4 million.

“It’s very much a good sign for the market,” Ms Lucas said.

“It’s nice to see bidding.”

The bathroom could also use with a little TLC.

The kitchen is functional, but dated.

A townhouse auctioned across the road earlier the same day had passed in at $1.85 million.

“So it seems land value is now on top again,” Ms Lucas said.

“And at $2.01 million, I think that’s right on the money.”

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