A regional Victorian house listed for sale with a dick drawn on the wall and a pentagram hanging over the fireplace was one of the state’s most viewed bargain homes in 2023.
The fixer upper at 70 Henty Highway, Beulah, was described as ‘what you see is what you get’.
And what the 29,000 prospective buyers who visited the listing online saw was a serious renovation project, and graffiti genitalia.
Exterior photos show broken weatherboards and missing paint.
Inside, there were bare floorboards and a mix of unpainted and partially painted walls – some adorned with crude drawings of male genitalia and seemingly homophobic slurs.
The home was trashed, with former occupants’ belongings strewn messily on floors, damaged furniture and wherever they’d last landed.
A debris-strewn corner of one bathroom even hints at where a bath tub used to be, with daylight shining through a hole in the wall where the drain pipe had presumably been located.
Speaking of water features, the kitchen sink was full of dishes, as were most of the benchtops and the floor for that matter.
Marketing material from North West Real Estate director John Hadley frankly admitted white ants had been seen, and while the home had power connected in the past – it was electricity-free at the time of listing.
But the other thing buyers saw was the price tag. The five-bedroom house on a 1229sq m allotment sold for just $55,000 – making it one of the most affordable homes sold in Victoria in 2023.
No estimate on how much renovations would cost. Or how much the new owners have spent cleaning it up.
The eighth most-viewed home on realestate.com.au that sold for under $800,000 in 2023, the only thing more shocking than someone signing up to purchase it might have been a photo of a laundry area that appeared to have a disused mop and cleaning materials haphazardly scattered around it.
Full credit to the agent, the goal of selling a home is to get as much interest in it as possible. And getting tens of thousands of eyeballs on it by leaving it dishevelled and dilapidated clearly worked, given the sale.
But with $800,000 effectively the cap on government assistance reserved for first-home buyers, under the federal First Home Guarantee scheme which allows approved purchasers to make a home move with a 5 per cent deposit, there were tens of thousands of buyers eyeing some of the states other affordable options.
At the top of the list was a $685,000 Prahran apartment at 1/240 Punt Rd.
An address on one of Melbourne’s busiest roads seemingly not a deterrent to affordability-conscious buyers, with 39,000 checking the listing out online.
Sold in July, the two-bedroom abode was quite unusual as an apartment with no owners corporation and a separate title, as well as garage access via a rear laneway.
Missell Property Group director Craig Missell said the home had been popular, with more than 100 people inspecting it – most of them first-time investors.
But the buyer was ultimately a young professional in the medical arena who appreciated the location near public transport and key amenities.
“It sold above the range, but only just, from memory,” Mr Missell said.
“It wasn’t an easy sell. But I do a lot of work on social and digital media to push people to listings on realestate.com.au.”
A two-bedroom serviced apartment at 33/604 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, was the next most viewed address under $800,000, with 37,000 digital inspections.
The investor-only property sold for $369,000 via Moment Group’s Dimitris Koptis.
The next most clicked-on listing was for an Ocean Grove holiday cabin that could only be used by its owner for a maximum of 31 days over a two-month period, with the option for it to be rented out by the Riverside Ocean Grove Motel Suites and Holiday Cabins group.
Hayden Real Estate’s Penny Dawson have it listed for $169,000-$179,000 and 32,000 people had viewed it online by the end of 2023.
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