First-time buyers: This cute character home is only 80sqm but fits all the family

by HomeDecorBeauty


It’s hard to find an affordable property – but there are still some gems out there. Each week, Homed features a first-time buyer-friendly home on the market that can (almost) come within budget.

This cute three-bedroom house in Christchurch “felt like a gift” to its owners, but now they say it’s time to move out of the city to be closer to their church congregation.

Jess and Berne Dreadon bought the 80m² house almost 10 years ago, before their two children, now aged 8 and 5, came along.

Jess Dreadon, a minister at Hope Presbyterian Church in Hornby, says she and the family “don’t particularly want to leave”, but moving to Rolleston on the outskirts has been the plan for some time.

“It makes sense to be among your people.”

The house at 9 Scott Street, Sydenham, dates from 1900 and is believed to have been built as a worker’s cottage. This was the Dreadons’ first home.

It is now on sale by Tuesday’s deadline – and while they are hoping for a sale price above the first-time buyers’ limit for the Christchurch metropolitan area ($550,000), they will look at all offers.

“It was a very special place for us,” says Jess Dreadon.

“It felt like a haven to me. Much of our lives are spent serving other people and this feels like a relaxing, truly private space. The flow out to the backyard in the summer is wonderful.”

The homeowners made some improvements to the kitchen, including the addition of a massive double-glazed sliding window.

Supply

The homeowners made some improvements to the kitchen, including the addition of a massive double-glazed sliding window.

Berne Dreadon is a builder and has made many upgrades to the home over the time the family has been there.

He replaced a “small” kitchen window with a large, double-glazed, sliding window, realigned the walls and added insulation to all exterior walls, as well as the ceiling space.

The couple repaired the roof, upgraded the kitchen and bathroom, repainted throughout and landscaped the gardens.

The living room opens to the covered patio.  A fire was removed and heat pump installed.

Supply

The living room opens to the covered patio. A fire was removed and heat pump installed.

They added storage to all the bedrooms – something homes of this era are not known for.

Extensive plantings on the 329m² section include raised garden beds, a vine, blueberries, raspberries and many fruit trees including an apricot, black peach, nectarine, feijoas, apples and plums.

The couple installed brickwork for the parking area at the front of the house and replaced a concrete slab. They also replaced what Dreadon describes as a “crusty old fence”.

The house has three bedrooms, including this master bedroom.

Supply

The house has three bedrooms, including this master bedroom.

Dreadon says she loved the location, being so close to many of Christchurch’s amenities.

“When I was a stay-at-home mom, I could walk to the Botanical Gardens in 25 minutes. You can walk to Riverside Market, The Colombo, Ernle Clark Reserve…

“It’s a very quick drive to the beach. We often go to the Lyttelton Markets. It felt like a gift at that stage of life.”

The house has a simple but neat appearance from the street.  The current owners have bricked up the front.

Supply

The house has a simple but neat appearance from the street. The current owners have bricked up the front.

Estate agent Jolene Eagar, of Mike Pero Real Estate, says the property is an “absolute delight” to market as it has so much character. She estimates 50 groups have gone through in the two weeks she’s been marketing it.

“It’s not like a cold new house. It has so much personality.”

In her presentation, Eagar says the interior is “beautifully put together”.

“Open-plan kitchen and living areas flow easily outside, while the modern decor creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. This lovely home hosts 3 bedrooms and a family bathroom.

“Outside, the large grounds enjoy a tranquil view, creating the perfect environment to relax and unwind after a long day.

“The vegetable garden, berries and multiple fruit trees are an added bonus for those with green thumbs.”

Dreadon believes the home would suit either a professional couple or a family with young children, especially people who like the idea of ​​being central and not having to drive a lot.

With an August 2019 RV of $375,000, the home is being marketed for sale with an October 11 closing date. A Homes.co.nz estimate gives an expected sale price of $525,000.

“I really hope it’s the kind of house that captures someone’s heart,” says Dreadon. “You always think it’s worth more than the market says because of the memories you made there.

“That house owes us nothing, we are so blessed by it.”

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