Home Truths Two

Hey. We’re back again for round two. Home Truths Melbourne was a hit last week, with more hits than we ever expected for the premier posting. Thanks to those who voted in the poll, Depot de Pain on Rathdowne Street was the winning brekky venue which is duly reviewed in this Home Truths – keep your eye out for a new poll each week. In this week’s Home Truths we feature four auctions in Melbourne’s inner-north from the 26th of March, 2011. Can you handle the Truth?

Starting out in Carlton North. Editor-in-chief Iolanthe Gabrie.

Vibe: Jeggings and croissants. Mais oui!

Wearing: Windsor Smith clogs. Tilkah Dynasty earrings. Bettina Liano Blouse.

You voted, we attended. Prior to beginning our auction run (along with it seems half of Melbourne, the auctions were all very well-attended today), we supped at the new Depot de Pain (voted by you!) located at 693 Rathdowne Street Carlton North. Right in the heart of the Rathdowne Village, this little gem is nestled not-so-far from popular Belki and almost directly opposite Curtin Square. Beautifully decorated throughout with a range of different seating possies (looking over Rathdowne, nestled in an antechamber or looking into an internal courtyard), Depot de Pain will suit anything from a big croissant-fest with girlfriends through to a cautious first date. Francophiles rejoice – even their welcome will warm your tummy. Checkout the front door image below. Charmant, n’est-ce pas?

Home Truths was warmly welcomed by owner Christopher Vivian, who chatted us through the impressive menu (available in addition to an array of Willy-wonka-esque patisserie and quality baked breads). We chose to imbibe a long macchiato and a croque monsieur, although Christopher recommended the Oeuf Hollandaise en Croutade with sides as their hero breakfast offering. The croque was delicious – a great mix of slightly piquant cheesy interior with a crisp buttery exterior.

All this luscious smoked-ham and Gruyère cooked to golden perfection in french clarified butter. Be still my beating heart. Literally.

Other things you might not know about Depot de Pain is that they also supply their delicious breads to Le Parisienne on Lygon Street, and that they are related to the excellent French Fantasies in South Yarra. This is a lovingly designed mecca to both quality breads and beautifully executed french foods, and replaces the gap in the Carlton North market now that Bagatelles has closed. Christopher also has a pantry of premium quality smallgoods which you can use to whip up your own french fantasy. Ahem.

Auction 1: G15/264 Drummond Street, Carlton ‘Rosso’

Agent: Hocking Stuart, Ben Harrison 0430 457 234

It’s a bit clockwork orange inside, with expensive-looking light fittings and long shi-shi corridors. Glamma!

Time: 10:00 am

Punters: This part of Carlton is right near the hub of Lygon Street (aka Brunetti, Readings & The University of Melbourne), so it’s a safe investment bet. As such there were a healthy mix of investors and owner occupiers vying for the home. Very cool-looking fash-forward bidders!

Review: This was a one-bedroom apartment, located to the side of the block. It had no views, and diffuse light through warehouse windows to the laneway. I personally really love Rosso, with its hushed corridors and designer fittings. The apartment had access to a fairly large courtyard which could certainly be dollied up with an outdoor setting and plants… but it did have some privacy issues. The kitchen was scandinavian-chic blonde wood, and there was a full walk-in-robe in the bedroom. Sweet.

The auctioneer was the experienced Carlton Hocking Stuart Principal Scott McElroy. (Inset below)

Scott had great starter banter, really illustrating the benefits of Rosso as a development. Unusually for a contemporary development, Rosso has very low body corporate fees. (Rosso means red in italian, and is not a colloquial aussie nickname in this instance.) Scott made mention of the ex-warehouse’s former incarnation as the location of University Press, as well as its great potential for investment return from the many students who lease in the area. The auction was opened up quite swiftly at 360k, and continued upwards in rises of 10k with little encouragement necessary. Scott was strong in dialogue, and continually refused to break down the bids to 5k or 2.5k until necessary. The property had three bidders, and pulled up at 400k where it was passed in and negotiated. The property sold for $420k.

Slightly blurry, although a lovely happy photo of Ben Harrison – the listing agent for this property. He’s not doing the Time Warp.

Auction 2: 26 Grant Street, Fitzroy North

 Agents: Chambers Real Estate, John Costanzo

Time: 11:00am

Punters: This home on superbly large land was also opposite the Edinburgh Gardens, which meant that the punters at this auction were mostly family purchasers and requisite neighbourhood local yokels. There was also one really cool little boy who had a Ben 10/Power-Rangers outfit on who seemed to be bidding furiously.

The image above was next to the Contracts of Sale and Auction Rules, and was a lovely reminder to the buying public about the legacy nature of this home. It had been in the same family for a long time, as evinced by the wedding photo taken outside 26 Grant Street circa 1950’s. A charming touch.

Review: This home was very well loved. It was a three bedroom home, but every room was immaculately and girlishly furnished (lots of roses!). You could really tell it was the end of one era and the beginning of another for this home. Perfectly located opposite the Edinburgh Gardens and near a gigantic fun-looking playground, it is also near the heart of Queens Parade and its bevvy of niche shops. John Costanzo called a brisk and efficient auction, making the most of the home’s 350 square metre land size and location. There were three key bidders throughout the duration of the call, which started off swiftly with an opening bid of 1.1 million. Rises of 10k continued upwards as the value of the home rose to 1.4 million before being called on the market. The bidding was so fast at one stage, John’s arms were flying and he acknowledged he was ‘doing the Macarena’. The home eventually sold under the hammer for $1,605,000 – a princely sum.

Beautiful old facade of home opposite 26 Grant Street, Fitzroy North. A reminder of the history of this unique area.

Auction 3: 20 Rutland Street, Clifton Hill

Agents – Nelson Alexander, Roland Patterson

Time: 12:00pm

Punters: It was like a Ramones convention at this cutie-patootie extra-wide single fronted home. So many Generation X’s you couldn’t swing a cassingle of Teen Spirit. The price quoted on this two bedroom residence with good-sized courtyard area was $550-600k which is at the lower end of the scale for a quality property. Perfect for a young couple or single person.

Review: Rutland Street is sequestered away on ‘the other’ side of Hoddle Street, past Schots home furnishings. The streets are quaint, but it’s a little isolated. This home was located opposite a rather sizable block of 70’s era housing commission flats, and the road finished up at the freeway. That said, the council had provided substantial sound-reducing walls to cut down on noise pollution. As auctioneer Arch Staver aptly pointed out ‘You should buy this house because it’s cheap’. Arch encouraged buyers to bid, and a bidder swiftly stuck their hand in the air at $480,000 for an opening bid. Arch graciously accepted, and noted that bids at that level made him feel like they’d ‘turned back the clock’ and stepped back to a property market from a decade ago. Several bidders pushed the property to 606k where it was announced on the market, before finally selling for 645k. A swift, engaging and professional auction which was enjoyable to watch.

Auction 4: 60 Curtain Street, Carlton North

Agents: Nelson Alexander, Peter Stephens

Time: 1:00pm

Punters: This was an older crowd, full of local faces from previous auctions in the area. It appears that the whole neighbourhood was out to see this Carlton North icon go under the hammer. As the home was a unique offering, I can’t suggest it appealed directly to any one demographic.

The interiors of The Cotton Mill, 60 Curtain Street were awesome. They had a definite Grecian vibe going on, with weathered copper heads on dramatic doors in the living zone. Very God of War (Playstation 3 Game, image above) inspired in aesthetic.

Review: 60 Curtain Street (also known locally as The Cotton Mill) sits grandly opposite Curtain Square, a unique brick building that looks like it’ll last another few hundred years guarding over the park. What a space! Definitely a niche-purchaser product, as the home is over three stories with stairs of varying degrees of difficulty on each. But so rich with history, and a home well-lived in. The ground floor had a unique living zone with ‘God of War’ style decorations, bathroom and a contemporary kitchen. Upstairs was another living area with glowing floorboards and park views, plus a separate study or third bedroom. Tom Roberts (auctioneer) spoke further about The Cotton Mill’s history, and noted that it has been a place that Paul Kelly and Archie Roach had recorded music. He spoke of the current owner’s love of the house, as he had purchased the home for the first time in 1982, sold it in 1989 – before repurchasing it again later. How Elizabeth TaylorRichard Burton a love affair!  The auction itself was unfortunately quite silent, with Tom Roberts doing his very best to try and engage bidders in the process.

A live opening bid was underwhelming at $1.00 million on the knocker, which was swiftly followed up by a vendor bid at $1.1 million. The property was eventually passed in (after a brief vendor referral) for $1.2 million. It is now privately on the market for $1.280. Grab it while it’s there if you have a spare $1.28 million hanging around as this is a unique home, just waiting for an equally unique buyer to come along.

Well, that’s the end of Home Truths Two. If you’ve got any property coming up you’d like our journos to review, tell us in advance by emailing info@rubyslipper.com.au Also, make sure to vote in each week’s poll. This week lets you choose which Carlton Auction Home Truths attends.

We hope that you also enjoy the new Vitalsigns page with weekly Victorian Auction Stats, and hold tight for the upcoming Agentsays page. The best of Melbourne’s estate agents telling all!

See you next Saturday!

*Home Truths Melbourne has gathered this information to provide an interesting document for readers and subscribers. Information contained herein is gathered from a range of sources including but not limited to; local press both virtual and hardcopy, Valuer General Information & Agents own investigations. All efforts are made to verify the information provided. The information is not to be relied upon or used in dealings with third parties and people should make their own investigations regarding their own property or personal circumstances. Opinions and observations offered should not be treated as fact.

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Home Truths One

 So this is our first Home Truths.

It’s the moment you’ll want to remember, so you can tell your kids where you were. We’re bringing you something you’ve never seen before in Melbourne’s property market. We’ll be providing a rundown on an Auction Saturday (19th March 2011), starting with our first niche coffee venue and ending with the last sale result. It’s an informal yet entirely informative blog where you can see who’s cool in Melbourne’s property scene… and who’s fool. So, take my hand and let’s go.

Starting out in Brunswick East. Editor-in-Chief, Iolanthe. Who says property’s just about suits?

Vibe: Autumn I love you. Clearance rates steady.

Wearing: With clogs. Gulu jewellery. Leona Edmiston hosiery.

Home Truths attended four auctions today, from Fitzroy North to Fairfield, Carlton to Carlton North. Bang in the middle of all these locations is the perfect place to start your home hunting day – Pope Joan 77-79 Nicholson Street Brunswick East. We arrived bright and early to get started on the Domain newspaper, and we weren’t the only ones. It was chockers with oldies, newbies and babies.

Warmly welcomed, we ordered a long macchiato which arrived in under a minute. It was beautiful and creamy, served in a glossy chocolate coloured old school cup. We ordered ginger bread with smoked maple butter which was delicately moist and warmed up my belly. Perfect.

As we munched on this tasty morsel, we noticed David Barnes of Harcourts Carlton setting up his auction flags for the day. He went on to pop this property under the hammer, which was passed in at 16 Nicholson Street. Well worth a look if you’re after a four bedroom unit in a location close to Pope Joan and Brunswick East. But I digress. Pope Joan staff were welcoming, opening the door for locals as they left the premises, topping up water… the works. A great way to start the day if you’re hunting in this locale. Ok. One last photo below. Artistic, innit?

Auction 1: 91 Rowe Street Fitzroy North

Agent: Collins Simms Stefan Dzanovski

Time: 10:30am

Punters: Fitzroy North is a notoriously ‘everyone knows everyone’ neighbourhood, so there were a lot of locals having a squizz in the crowd. Interested bidders seemed to be either older investors or younger couples. LOTS of Dora the Explorer trikes around.

Review: A cute home in a muchly-loved location, very close to a corner cafe and Queens Parade conveniences. Compact and contemporary, this was a classic two bedroom home with a slightly modified lounge and dining zone. Martha Stewart would love the kitchen, which was quaint and super glossy and white in a country style. Rear yard was undeveloped, but bright and with room for a Jamie Durie garden (if that’s your bag). Home would be suitable for those whose kids have left home (it’s on one level and close to everything) or a young couple who don’t want their in-laws to come round too often. Tres cute home.

The auctioneer for Collins Simms was Gary Fitzpatrick who called a solid auction to a crowd which remained tightlipped for quite a while. As is a trend at many auctions, Gary started off proceedings with a vendor bid of 800k. He called for 10k rises before the bidders gave it a bit of gas, going up to 870k before stopping. The property was eventually passed in for 897k before selling by negotiation for 907,500k. The agent Stefan Dzanovski said that his clients were very happy with the sales result on the day, and that he had confidence in the local Fitzroy North market remaining strong. Stefan says ‘The wider market is patchy as a whole, but Melbourne’s inner north remains strong. Purchasers have more choice at the moment, and aren’t prepared to secure properties at any price. Lifestyle is what brings the extra element to the desirability of a home. Collins Simms experienced an 100% clearance rate today.’

 Home Truths wants to make it clear that passing in a property doesn’t mean failure – negotiating after sale can be just as effective given a willing buyer and vendor.

This was the case with AG Property’s iconic Holcombe Terrace 205 Drummond Street Carlton (image above) which was passed in on the 5th March, to sell privately with the underbidder just four days later for $2,700,000. Agent Anthony Gattuso said ‘Holcombe Terrace was an exciting property to have on the market, as it was such a unique home and Carlton icon. As such, we found the right buyer who appreciated all of the home’s high Victorian drama’.

Auction 2: 9/37 Park Crescent, Fairfield

Agent: Nelson Alexander John Karr

Time: 12:00 Noon

Punters: A big range of buyers for this unit, and Home Truths expect that we’ll see more and more investors coming back into the market in 2011. A few older buyers browsing, but all the action was with young couples. Home Truths had the chance to chat briefly with the underbidders of this property who were North Carlton locals. They were going to live in the home initially and then use as an investment. So far, they’d found their house hunting process OK and didn’t really have much to remark on either way. Maybe they were just nervous about the auction to come.

Have you ever seen such a jolly auction grin? John Karr laying down the law in Fairfield.

Review:  This was a little one bedroom apartment with a nice-sized courtyard. For some reason there’s quite a few 1 bedrooms popping up in this area of Fairfield.   John Karr called an elegant and quietly confident auction to a hesitant crowd. His tone was regular and calming, and he made interesting patter about the nature of Fairfield Park. The auction opened up at 330k and ended up passing in at 352k to an enthusiastic young couple. The property sold for 353500 – just a touch above the reserve. Home Truths interviewed John Karr, who remarks that Fairfield is a great area which will continue to sell well.  John feels that there will be less incidences of underquoting reports, and homes are now selling within the quote range.   

Auction 3: 208 Drummond Street, Carlton

Agents In Conjuction: Nelson Alexander James Keenan, Kelly & Shiel – Damien Shiel

Time: 1:00 pm

To see… and be seen. That kind of gig.

Punters: This was the auction equivalent of a who’s who in Carlton. Serious buyers, serious money. Neighbours hoping for gangbusters results to improve the value of their own homes … a definite hob-nobbing vibe. As this residence (named Derby Terrace) was in commercial use, the buyers appeared to be those who’d renovate and speculate.

Review: The auction was called by Tom Roberts of Nelson Alexander. Well, what can I say? This is one of those pieces of street theatre that comes along in real estate once in a blue moon. This was a grand ole girl terrace home, currently used as commercial premises. It was definitely a property for those with ideas of re-configuration into a traditional residence. The auction consisted of furious bidding by two determined buyers in a face-off that consisted of $5000 dollar rises instead of cussin’. It all got a bit OK corral. Tom called a beautiful auction with tight, swift patter and the occasional amusing quip. The auction opened at $1.5 million and finished up at $2.151. With assistance from AG Property’s Anthony Gattuso, the winning bidder has made their mark on Drummond Street. Amazing auction action, the kind Home Truths wishes you were there for.

Auction 4: 338 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

Agent: Jellis Craig – Simon Shrimpton

Time: 2:00pm

It’s a community event, y’all. Chockers turnout to 338 Rathdowne auction.

Punters: Rathdowne Village Carlton North on a Saturday afternoon is full of yummy mummies, sometime gangstas, neighbours and visitors to the village’s gorgeous cafes like Degani and Tre Bicchieri. This was no exception, and the crowd for this beautiful home’s auction was massive. Even the median strip was packed! A huge cross-section,  but those with their hands in the air appeared to be more mature owner-occupiers.

Review: 338 Rathdowne Street was a glowing jewel-box of a residence. Beautifully maintained although petite, this little home glowed. It also had a conservatory room which appealed to the Miss Marple in me. A wonderfully designed ROW with parking and large planters finished off the deal. Simon Shrimpton was both the agent and the auctioneer (a wonderful and rare thing to be) for this home, and he called an energetic and amusing patter to the crowd. And boy – what a hard crowd! You could probably make paddlepops on their steely gazes. Simon kept it light and coaxed both laughter and interaction from the crowd. The home started off at $1.2 million and was eventually passed in at $1.270 before being sold for in excess of $1.3 million that afternoon. Simon remarked that the vendors were very happy with the result, and that the Veuve was flowing! He said that Jellis Craig had a very successful afternoon across their network with 31 selling out of 37 auctions.

So. That’s Home Truths One.

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*Home Truths Melbourne has gathered this information to provide an interesting document for readers and subscribers. Information contained herein is gathered from a range of sources including but not limited to; local press both virtual and hardcopy, Valuer General Information & Agents own investigations. All efforts are made to verify the information provided. The information is not to be relied upon or used in dealings with third parties and people should make their own investigations regarding their own property or personal circumstances. Opinions and observations offered should not be treated as fact.