Ramshackle house that baffled locals listed for $2.3m-$2.5m – The Age

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Abbotsford locals have long wondered why and how 159 Gipps Street had fallen into its state of disrepair, with its smashed and boarded-up windows, colourful graffiti and piles of rusting machinery in the backyard.
The home’s ramshackle appearance had given it some notoriety in recent years, and it was regularly discussed on social media platform Reddit.
Peter Moore, the owner’s brother, said the sale of 159 Gipps Street was bittersweet.Credit:Simon Schluter
Posters would speculate about whether the house, now listed for sale with a price guide of $2.3 million to $2.5 million, was abandoned and if it would soon be developed into units or townhouses.
Peter Moore, brother of 76-year-old owner Raymond, said Raymond had intended to build new homes on the property himself.
“He would have liked to develop it, but he wasn’t capable as the years went on,” Moore said. “When you get into your 60s and 70s you don’t have that energy any more. The process takes too long.”
Instead, Raymond had resolved to sell the three-bedroom house when his health took a turn in 2017, Moore said, but put off the clearing out the yard. The 686-square-metre block had doubled as storage for his excavation business.
Moore said his brother lived in the home until he was hospitalised last year, and that it took seven people six weeks to clear the railway-adjacent property to ready it for sale.
About nine skip bins of rubbish were removed from the site, and much of the machinery and tools were put into storage.
Nine skip bins of rubbish were removed from the property before it was listed.Credit:Peter Moore
“Some of us worked seven days a week on it,” he said. “Up to 12 hours a day sometimes.”
The proceeds of the sale will be used to buy Raymond a new home and pay for a carer.
The home was occupied until last year, Peter Moore said. Credit:Simon Schluter
Jellis Craig agent Jodie McCarthy has the listing, and said she thought the property would sell to a developer, though it was subject to a heritage overlay. She said a development that retained the original building and built new homes behind it could be possible.
“Potentially somebody will renovate the house and bring it back to its former glory,” McCarthy said. “I imagine people would do a couple of townhouses on there.
“There is a heritage overlay on the house, but someone may be able to get rid of that.”
The City of Yarra requires a planning permit to demolish or alter a property subject to the overlay. The council was contacted for comment but did not respond by deadline.
A recent Productivity Commission report said housing would be more affordable if more homes were built.
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