Lawyer cracks open ‘piggy bank’ to buy massive inner-city block

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There was stiff competition to win the keys to 17 Errard Street, Kelvin Grove, but lawyer and mother Liz Hardie had a secret weapon in friend Josie.

“Thank goodness I had support,” she said, gesturing to her friend. “I wouldn’t have done it without her.”

Bidding started at $800,000 but hit $1 million in just four bids. Offers then slowed to smaller increments, until the remaining two bidders haggled over how much above $1.2 million they would pay, eventually settling on $1.21 million.

“I had a number in my head I wasn’t allowed to go past, we went past it but that’s OK,” Mrs Hardie said, laughing.

“I have a very large piggy bank that I will be smashing when I get home.”

The buy was worth every cent, she said. There was plenty of room for her two young sons to play soccer, and was within walking distance to everything her family needed.

“They can walk to Brisbane city, down past the creek and stuff, which will be good,” Mrs Hardie said. “They can walk to soccer training, they still go to school at Kelvin Grove.

“My husband can walk to work, he works at Just Us Lawyers just down the road.”

Space Property agent Judi O’Dea said the 1002-square-metre block in upmarket Kelvin Grove was rare.

“There’s enormous potential because the house sits right at the front of the block.

“It would have to be renovated because it’s a character home.

“From the back there’s actually good elevation, so you don’t have to lift the house, you’d actually dig out,” she said. “It would be very easy to extend the back of the home.”

Ms O’Dea said the property would be perfect for the Hardie family to grow into.

“It’s a very private backyard,” she said..

“It’s ripe for a couple who have a couple of children; the backyard is a beautiful backyard with room for a pool.”

Ms O’Dea had expected a family to snatch up the property. “There were builders looking at it but most wanted to keep the block intact.”

Just down the road in Park Street, Kelvin Grove, an old family estate went to auction later on Saturday.

Investors Andy and Cindy Ho beat several other interested parties for the property, paying $697,000 for the dilapidated home.

Mrs Ho said the price they paid for the 405-square metre block was, “just OK”.

The pair plan to renovate the cottage. “First [it will be an] investment property and then after that my son will live here, to go to university at QUT,” Mrs Ho said.

Belle Property Paddington agent Elizabeth Wright said the house would require renovations before the new tenants could move in, but was not sure what the owners would do with it.

“Well, how long’s a piece of string?” she said. “It’s so hard, you don’t know what the finish will be like.

“Even if it’s just a basic fix up, it would change the whole look of that house. It’d be very liveable.”