The Hobart

‘You Have to See the Vision’: Heritage Renos Are On The Rise

by Zilla Gordon
‘You Have to See the Vision’: Heritage Renos Are On The Rise

While 2020 was a write off for most of us, Tasmania’s property market shone through and went from strength to strength.

Housing prices have moved to record highs in Hobart, and Launceston reported in as the country’s top-performing region in 2020, according to data from CoreLogic.

Although there are many benefits to a strongly performing property market, buyers might need to make their money stretch a little further.

Could the answer lie in the expression: buying the worst house on the best street?

So how do you navigate the world of DIY, renovations and Tasmania’s many heritage listings?

Director of Blue Gum Builders Andrew Walter said buyers are often scared when the word ‘heritage-listed’ was mentioned.

“They think about how they’re going to have to deal with the heritage council and worry about the amount of work it’s going to be,” Andrew said.

The cost associated with restoring a listed property was also at the forefront of buyers’ minds.  

But Andrew said cost concerns should be a worry for all buyers.

“It’s not specific to heritage-listed property – sometimes people underestimate the cost of renovations,” he said.

Andrew renovated this pub himself. Photo: supplied

A labour of love
Andrew has helped clients renovate their historic homes and knows the pros and cons of the process, having restored his former home, a heritage-listed pub in Lewisham.

Even as a professional builder, Andrew said he was “a bit hesitant” as it hadn’t been lived in since the 1970s.

Andrew’s property was a WIP

He knew some of the pub’s history before purchasing the property, but it wasn’t until he started stripping back 200 years of paint from around the doors that he really made some discoveries.

“I kept finding all these marks on the door jams – a dot with a circle around it,” he said.

“It was like it was drawn with a compass, but the circle was always broken.”

He later found out that the drawings were symbols used to ward off nasty spirits.

“There was a murder at the property… a bushranger had killed the landlord,” Andrew said.

Do your due diligence
Andrew said buyers wanting to make an offer on a historic property should have a walk-through and make note of “anything that looked a little funny” and pass those notes to a building inspector who had worked in heritage listings for a professional opinion for a second walk through.

“If it needs work, then get yourself a builder who’ll look at the report,” he said.

“It’s worth getting a builder to at least give you a vague idea and what it should cost and maybe get them to visit the house.”

Andrew also said to prepare for the unexpected.

“As you carry out the work, you’ll probably find more things that need to be looked at.”

Having already stood the test of time, restoring a historic property doesn’t have to be rushed.

“You can move in and just live in most heritage houses,” Andrew said. “You don’t have to renovate the house in three months.”

The finished pub. Photo: supplied

He also suggested looking for a good roof. “It generally won’t deteriorate too badly because they’re all built from well-suited materials,” he said.

“They’ve lasted 200 years, so they’ll be ok. “Then just tackle the renovations in a prioritised manner.”

But the work was worth it. “You can’t buy character!”

Mid-century modern
Real estate agent Yvonne Hawkins from Harcourts Launceston agreed saying it’s “lovely” to be able to keep the character in a property.

Her recently sold listing in Kings Meadows was lived in by the same person from construction until the owner’s death.

A bedroom in the Launceston property. Photo: Supplied Harcourts Launceston/Richard McLennan

The property remains almost unaltered from its construction some half-a-century ago.

“The kitchen could have been from the cover of a Woman’s Weekly magazine,” Yvonne said.

“As you walked in here, you just felt that vibe.”

The kitchen could be from a vintage magazine. Photo: Supplied Harcourts Launceston/Richard McLennan

Yvonne also suggested acknowledging the amount of work that would be needed for an older home.

“There’s a high demand for DIY properties because of television renovation shows.”

Renovating mid-century houses could still involve labour-intensive repairs and it was important not to put “ambition over ability”.

“You have to see the vision,” Yvonne said. “Because of the age and originality, it needs to be done right.”

Wallpaper is back in style. Photo: supplied Harcourts Launceston/Richard McLennan

Knight Frank sales agent Rorie M. Auld shared his insight on Hobart and the current renovators’ market.

How quickly is Hobart property moving at the moment? Well-priced property is moving very well at the moment. We’re seeing unprecedented demand for Tasmania due to geopolitical, climatic and pandemic factors. There’s been a seismic shift in the psycho-
logical disposition of many buyers, work habits have changed and deeper questions are being asked about what’s important in life, not to be too philosophical!

Are buyers apprehensive to undertake major renovations or are they specifically looking for homes they can make their own? I think some should be. In the age of a plethora of DIY TV shows people can sometimes get a little ahead of their skillset and end up in hot water, both literally and figuratively! Generally, younger demographics are looking to add value by doing some work themselves. Older buyers are less likely to have the time or inclination because they have done it too many times before. I think I fall into this category yet I don’t learn and keep doing it!

What are the benefits of buying a property that needs a bit of work? It allows you to make it your own, no matter how much or how little you want to do. It creates a connection with the property, which I think is special. And of course, if you do have some skills, why not create some upside.

Any tips for buyers considering a reno property? Know your limits, employing professionals will save you money, heartache and pain!

Love this

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close
Escape To The Country
Pet the animals, walk in the wilderness, pick your own berries and enjoy colonial accommodation... Farmstays and day tours are popping up across the state, providing a fun weekend away for visitors and Hobartians keen to get their gumboots dirty. Here are four farms to visit this Spring.
Exploring The World’s Widest Canyon – Capertee Valley
The Blue Mountains and surrounding areas suffered greatly during recent bushfires but slowly the National Parks in New South Wales are reopening, with some ready to welcome visitors back.
Talk Sexy To Me …
If I asked you to think of a food item that makes you sexy, healthy, attractive, youthful and energetic I can almost guarantee that you didn’t think of gelatin.
Madame Saisons: Corona Cuisine – Surviving Lockdown
The vacant stare in front of the open fridge or cupboard has afflicted us all on occasion. No matter how much food we have in store, there seems like nothing to eat. When you’re hungry and lacking cooking inspo, the ‘hangries’ can easily take hold.
Hannah Moloney
Meet the Tasmanian designing a better life for us all. Hannah Moloney of Good Life Permaculture is a leading landscape designer and educator in South Hobart (you may have noticed her bright pink and green house up on the hill). She’s spent 15 years designing and managing projects around urban agriculture, small-scale farming and community development. She believes in ‘radical hope’ and facing the climate crisis in a proactive and positive way.
Australia’s Online Beauty Queen – Kate Morris
Kate Morris had an idea to sell cosmetics online at a time when it wasn’t done. She borrowed $12,000 from her boyfriend’s parents and set up an online store, Adore Beauty in the garage. Twenty years later, the business is thriving, enjoying annual revenue around $100m. Kate recently sold a chunk of the business to private equity investors, Quadrant.
What’s With The Weather?
Even though Tasmania is known for its mild summers, it doesn’t take much to get sunburnt. Tasmania experiences extreme ultraviolet (UV) levels, but contrary to popular belief this isn’t due to the hole in the ozone layer, which is actually south of the continent.While higher UV levels often occur at the same time as higher temperatures, the two are not linked. Instead, UV levels are determined by the angle of the sun in the sky: the higher the sun, the higher the UV. In December and January, the position of the sun over Tasmania gives the state a UV index of 11 or more on most days, which is classified as “extreme” on the UV index. Tasmania’s lack of humidity and generally clear skies contribute to the stinging feeling of the sun. UV can reflect off buildings and water, making it possible to get a higher dose of UV from these reflected rays, even in the shade.
Transport Trackers – Your New Timewaster
It was almost 2am and US singer Halsey had just finished her set and was being whisked off stage at Falls Festival and into her waiting Tesla.
Cascades Female Factory Reopens
On a site where only the outside walls remain, how do you help visitors contextualise what happened inside those walls? At the Cascades Female Factory site in South Hobart, actor Karissa Lane, together with director Craig Lane-Irons and writer Finegan Kruckemeyer have created The Proud & The Punished, a 45-minute monologue to share the horrifying, heart-warming and sad stories of the women and babies, who went through the site from 1828 until 1856. At any given time there were between 700 and 1200 prisoners.
Day Of Impact 1967
Devastating bushfires on mainland Australia strikes vivid memories to those of us who lived through the 1967 bushfires in Southern Tasmania when 62 lives and 1293 homes were lost.
Magazine
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
April 2021

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!