Helen Lowrie has loved being the “custodian” of a part of Unley Park history for the past 16 years.
And now, she, husband Paul Neighbour and their three children are ready for new owners to move into the grand 1880 sandstone Whistler Ave villa and write its next chapter.
Set on an expansive allotment of approximately 1486sqm, the four-bedroom villa mixes character charm and contemporary lifestyle, with recent renovations making it an ideal family home. And Ms Lowrie says it has been simply a joy living there.
“We were really fortunate to buy it from the gentleman whose grandfather bought it 120 years beforehand in 1882,” she says. “So it had been in the one family since then – and the grandfather had bought it when it was only two years old.
“They did an extension in about 1904 and that was about the last time that family made any changes to it. It’s fabulous because the ceilings are 12 foot high and it’s got the original oak-grained skirtings and Belgium black marble fireplaces … it’s quite a grand house.”
Extensive refurbishments involved making the property much more family-friendly, which included the addition of a children’s wing.
“We kept most of the original part of the house original because it was just too beautiful to change,” Ms Lowrie says. “We really didn’t want to ruin the heritage side of it. We didn’t want to paint the skirtings white or do any of those things because that takes away from the history of it. We left a lot as we could.
“And with a house like that, I think you’re more custodians than anything else … you kind of have to look after it for the next person. But it’s been a joy living there, I have to say.
“We’ve modernised it – put in a quality kitchen and a family room and bedrooms out the back for the children. It’s really good because we have the front end of the house and the children are down the back, so the house is really well-zoned from that point of view. That works really well – particularly as they get older and want their own space.”
The house has also provided a more-than suitable showcase for the family’s “lovely art collection”. “There is a lot of wall space for art, which also adds to the home,” Ms Lowrie says.
The adult haven at the front of the residence includes one side dedicated to sleeping, dressing and bathing, and the other with an informal dining room and entertaining area.
Entertaining is also made easy in the property’s beautifully-manicured gardens, which surround the decking extending from the rear of the house around to the pristine in-ground swimming pool. Other features include an underground cellar easily accessed from the kitchen and dining rooms, and a glass walkway joining the triple car garage to the house.
Ms Lowrie says while it will be sad to say farewell to the home – and the “lovely” neighbourhood – changing family needs had prompted something of a lifestyle rethink.
“The kids have got older … we don’t use the yard as much and they’re never in the pool, so we’ve decided we don’t need a yard anymore,” she says. “So we’re going to a more low-maintenance home nearby without any of the family-type things that we didn’t use for so long.”
While the versatile property could appeal to a wide range of potential buyers, she expects two main groups to feature prominently.
“Our agent says it will appeal to the people who have a really big property – with a tennis court, swimming pool and big grounds – who want to downsize without going to an apartment-style home,” she says. “Or it might appeal to a family who are looking for a bigger house.”
The home is close to shops and quality schools.
9 Whistler Ave, Unley Park
Contact agent for price
Agent: Ouwens Casserly Real Estate, Nathan Casserly 0419 358 699. Land size: 1486sqm. Offers: Close Wednesday, March 4 at noon.