insights - Home Owned By Family For Over 60 Years Smashes Reserve Price At Auction

Home Owned By Family For Over 60 Years Smashes Reserve Price At Auction

“It’s not a house. It’s a home.”

You might recognize these as the words of Darryl Kerrigan used to describe the love that he had for his family home in the classic Australian movie ‘The Castle’. Someone that understood these simple words more than most was George Stephenson.

George purchased his own “castle”, a three bedroom home in the beautiful suburb of Wahroonga, back in 1956 with his wife Phyllis. Over the past 64-years they lived, laughed and created thousands of memories with family and friends at the home that quickly became lovingly known as “Cherrywood” within the family, situated at 9 Cherrywood Avenue and just across the road from Cherrywood Park Reserve.

“They loved the area surrounded by bushland and in a quiet area of Wahroonga,” said the couple’s great-niece, Justine Lammey. “It was truly their ‘Castle’ and they loved to entertain with family and friends.”

This past Saturday, August 1st and 64-years on from when George and Phyllis first purchased the property, Cherrywood went up for auction after the pair sadly passed away in 2019 and 2015 respectively.

Before George passed, he had expressed to his family that he wished to sell the home after making contact with the agents here at McConnell Bourn. And so the family decided that the best way to honour his wishes was to do just that, and put Cherrywood up for auction with MB.

“McConnell Bourn was recommended to my Uncle by a family member who was aware of the great Real Estate services,” Justine told us. “He spoke to Rob [Elphinston] on a few occasions whilst deciding on his living situation after his wife passed and was very impressed by the professionalism and service.

“So I felt that it was appropriate to honour my Uncle by continuing with McConnell Bourn for the property sale.”

Ahead of the auction, Cherrywood had 180 inspections and 35 registered buyers that were keen to make the property their own, and Ms Lammey explained that “no stone was left unturned in preparation for sale”.

Eventually the auction day came with the reserve set for $1.6 million. But as the hammer came down, the final bid ended up going in at $2.02 million, an incredible $420 thousand over reserve. What a way to do George and his Castle proud!

“I was full of mixed emotions after the auction. I was completely speechless by the result, as well as extremely sad about losing the last connection to my Uncle and Aunt,” Justine admitted.

As for what she will miss most about Cherrywood, Ms Lammey told us that she will “miss the family connection to the home”. But luckily, she has numerous happy memories from her childhood to hold onto and cherish.

“I do have some amazing memories of trying to jump up to reach the chandelier in the lounge room, always wishing to be tall enough to reach it,” Justine reminisced. “My wish did come true when I was a teenager when I’d have to start walking around it so I wouldn’t bump my head.

“Also I have great memories of running from the back patio and diving into the pool. I spent many holidays swimming all day and refusing to get out when it was time to go home.”

Having created so many memories at Cherrywood with her own family, Justine now hopes that the new owners will be able to do the same.

“I hope that they can enjoy and create wonderful memories in the home, hopefully for the same amount of time as my Uncle and Aunt did,” she said.

Well, 60 odd years is a hard feat to beat, but by the sounds of things the new owners are certainly planning on spending a significant amount of time creating their own memories at Cherrywood.

The new owners plan on doing a knockdown rebuild at the home with the intention of living there with their family for the foreseeable future.

At McConnell Bourn we strive to be our clients’ idea of what an excellent real estate agency should be. If you are looking to sell, get in contact with us today!