An old farmhouse on the NSW South Coast that has been transformed into a luxury retreat has hit the market for only the third time since it was built about 140 years ago.
The property, called Soul of Gerringong, underwent a major renovation at the hands of Sydney-based builder and interior design team Ben and Simone Mathews, who transformed it in 2017 from one of the region’s original farmhouses into luxury accommodation. It is being sold with the business in place and has a price guide of about $4 million.
“We bought the property four years ago and basically just fell in love with the charm of the original farmhouse. Then we spent nine months restoring the farmhouse and adding some additional dwellings but making sure we repurposed all the original materials on site,” Ms Mathews said.
The couple, who were experienced in buying and transforming properties but hadn’t run a hospitality venture, were inspired by their trips to northern NSW and resort areas overseas.
“We wanted to introduce a new type of travel to the South Coast – we loved the Byron area and the South Coast didn’t have that … We describe Soul of Gerringong as blurring the lines between hotel and holiday house.”
Today the property consists of the original farmhouse, pool-side cabana, studio barn and a stand-alone cottage, spread across two titles and 1525 square metres of land with a total capacity for 16 guests.
Bookings at the Soul of Gerringong have been strong ever since opening, with the property proving popular for large family gatherings and corporate bookings, Ms Mathews said.
“We opened Melbourne Cup Day 2017 and … within a month we were solidly booked for 12 months.”
She said the appeal of Gerringong for visitors was its location, in easy reach of the city, and the beauty of the beaches and lush hinterland.
“The first part of the appeal is the locality to Canberra and Sydney – it’s two hours to Sydney and two-and-a-half hours to Canberra, so you can finish work on a Friday afternoon and be down having a glass of wine at seven that night,” she said.
“The second part is that Gerringong itself it really is untouched beauty, the coastline there is amazing. It has the coastal lifestyle, with the beaches as well as the farmland, it is really where those two mingle together.”
Ms Mathews said the couple had “always intended to sell the property” after completing the renovation and that now was the ideal time for them to move onto new ventures.
Listing agent Neil Campbell, of Ray White Gerringong, said the property represented one of the most unique accommodation offerings on the South Coast.
“It is one of a kind, not just in Gerringong but really in that whole sector of the South Coast; there’s not another property like it, even if you go further south to Bannisters at Mollymook it doesn’t offer what this offers,” Mr Campbell said.
Fellow listing agent Craig Pontey, of Ray White Double Bay, said the property would likely appeal to existing hospitality operators, as well as families seeking a sea change with income potential.
“It’s a perfect opportunity for an individual buyer to live in a farmhouse and pick up extra revenue, or it could be just a family holiday rental business that’s extremely profitable,” Mr Pontey said.
Both agents said the Gerringong market was benefiting from an evolving local dining scene and improved transport links to Sydney.
“The Albion Park rail bypass is the final piece of that – when it’s done there won’t be a set of traffic lights between Heathcoate and Gerringong,” Mr Campbell said.
143 Belinda Street is auctioned on site on April 7, 2020.
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