Melbourne’s own “Machu Picchu” has taken Upper Ferntree Gully’s housing market to new heights with a record-breaking sale.
Perched at the top of a stone walkway with sweeping views of the Dandenong Ranges, the tri-level house’s design was inspired by the Peruvian wonder.
The award-winning, eco-friendly property at 8 Olivette Avenue sold for $2.15m last week, after passing in at an online auction in July.
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It soared past the outer-eastern suburb’s previous price record holder, a luxurious five-bedroom house at 26 Wynette Avenue that fetched $1.26m in 2017.
Ray White Forest Hill agent Hugh Francis said Melbourne’s tough real estate restrictions — under which physical home inspections were banned for almost two months from early August — had been a roadblock to selling the property.
“We did have another auction booked (for the home), but we postponed it due to lockdown,” Mr Francis said.
“After private inspections were reintroduced, I had three or four people booked in for inspections immediately after, and then we had an offer a less than a week after that.”
A North Melbourne family ultimately snapped up the property in a private sale.
“A main factor that got the deal over the line was the inclusion of some of the plants inside the home,” Mr Francis said.
“Most of them are in pots so they aren’t actually fittings, but the owner generously agreed to include quite a large collection to maintain the look and feel of the home.”
Vendor Anton Engelmayer, a Master Builder, designed and built the six-bedroom pad with sustainability in mind.
He likened his and wife Mel’s house to Machu Picchu, as it was built from the same type of stone used to create the Incan site, volcanic rock, and designed to stand the test of time. It also held a close relationship with the sun.
“Machu Picchu was built to worship the sun gods, we instead harvest the sun and use it in powering the house,” Mr Engelmayer said.
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Eco-friendly highlights include a passive-solar design, an indoor plant wall featuring rare flora, and a rooftop garden of native plants and grasses that provides thermal insulation.
It wasn’t short on luxury either, featuring a cinema room, its own lift and a 1000-bottle wine cellar.
While the sale price fell below the initial $2.3-$2.5m asking range, Mr Francis said the vendors were “happy to have sold and to move on to the next chapter in their life”.
“It’s still a record price and the home is unlike anything else in that area. It’s a huge sale but the house commanded that price,” he said.
The home’s grand stature earned a spot on the Herald Sun’s Top 50 Homes, and won the most sustainable house gong at the 2013 Master Builder’s Excellence in Housing Awards.
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