The Ultimate Victorian Restoration

Last week I had the pleasure of assisting two very lovely and loyal clients with a property assessment.

They have been searching the inner west for their next home for the last two years. Following the birth of their second child this year, they decided to ramp up the search.

Topmost on their list of criteria? A three to four bedroom Victorian era home.

Finding the Right Victorian Era Home

“Easy?” I might hear you say. Yes, as long as we accept that the Victorian style home is going to be double-fronted, circa 1870-1910, with the front door and hallway down the centre of the house.

It’s widely accepted that inner Melbourne suburbs all offer these gorgeous character homes, but the only catch to properties like this is that they require a wider frontage and a larger block than their single-fronted counterparts.

And this extra land comes at a significant price difference when the location is an inner suburb.

With a budget of around $1 million and a keen interest to remain in an inner west village environment, my clients identified 2 Crawford Street in Newport as a possibility. They asked me to commence my assessment.

My Property Assessment

I was pleasantly surprised by what this delightful house had in store for me. Though I should mention that I am biased when it comes to Victorians.

This house had been lovingly and honestly restored. True to its former glory, the owners had carefully replaced replica items with originals, right down to the replacement of doors and window frames with those they’d managed to source from near-identical local homes.

“It’s widely accepted that inner Melbourne suburbs all offer these gorgeous character homes…”

Unusually, they had provided the selling agents with a well-constructed list, itemising in full detail some of the restorations and genuine replacements they’d managed.  

The cedar and slate mantles were all originals, the original fireplaces were all in working order, the patterned dado panelling in the hall was an English original pattern dating back more than 100 years, and the IXL wood burning stove in the kitchen was made in Geelong early last century.

Most strikingly, the interior colour palette they had chosen was recommended by a period interior designer who sought to maintain the classic colours of the time. Warm and soft hues of gold, sand and pale turquoise showed off the stunning wide hallway, and original stained glass framed the perfect entrance.

“This house had been lovingly and honestly restored.”

As a Victoriana-lover, I was taken by their effort to share their passion for the home with the future owner. 

This home wasn’t just special because of its era, however. It had a few other features that could arguably be described as drawcards in their own right.

Firstly, it was on a decent allotment of land.

The east facing rear overlooked a pretty garden, which my buyers could visualise their children playing in and growing up in.

Not only did it have the land though – it also featured a lock-up garage. Most home owners in Melbourne take their garages for granted. It’s not until they venture to the older, inner suburbs that they realise it is a regular way of life for many home owners to park their cars in the closest available space in their street, to run in the rain to their front door or lug heavy groceries inside.

This home enabled its owners to pull into the security and convenience of a garage.

“As a Victoriana-lover, I was taken by their effort to share their passion for the home with the future owner.”

It’s most surprising secret however, was the underground room.

It could have been a study, an extensive cellar, a workshop, an office or even a bedroom.

Every single element in this beautiful home had been carefully and precisely finished.

The Auction

So how did we fare at auction? Obviously another buyer felt the same way we did; maybe even more passionately. I appraised the property at $1.05 million despite the fact that my clients’ desired and pre-determined budget did not quite meet this figure.

Unfortunately I was right – it sold under the hammer for $1.05 million.

The encouraging news for my buyers is that as long as they shop in Newport and Williamstown, they will find their dream home.

And I’ll enjoy the assessment when they alert me to the next Victorian double-fronted house.

For more information about Newport, read our suburb profile here.

Newport Sales Growth

Sales and growth in Newport
Photo: Pricefinder

Points of Interest in Newport, Postcode 3015

The Substation Centre for Arts and Culture
Newport Lakes Primary School
Newport Gardens Primary School
Hobsons Bay City Council

About the Author

Cate Bakos is an independent buyers advocate and qualified property investment advisor and has proudly been a property investor for 17 years. Cate has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry (Hons), Certificate 4 in Property Services (Real Estate), a Certificate 4 in Financial Services (Mortgage Broking). She is also a licensed real estate and a Qualified Property Investment Advisor accredited by Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA).

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