17 Mar 2017

Offers mount up for collapsed Wellington house

4:08 pm on 17 March 2017

A real estate agent has been inundated with calls and tender offers for a dilapidated, uninhabitable house in Wellington.

Run-down Wellington house selling for more than half a million dollars

The house was declared dangerous by Wellington City Council last year. Photo: RNZ / Jacob McSweeny

The Californian bungalow in Mount Cook has been given a rateable value of $540,000 and a land value of $380,000.

The house has partially collapsed and has been declared dangerous by Wellington City Council - but it was close to top schools, the city centre and had a bus stop at the doorstep.

Ami Rustom, who had just moved in across the road, tried to guess the value.

"Looking at the state of it, it can't be worth that much... A couple hundred thousand dollars?"

She could not believe the rateable value when told.

"That's just ridiculous. That's too much... It's not a good house. You can't live in that."

The house was declared dangerous by the Wellington City Council in December last year when the northern masonry wall on one side of the house became detached, looming ominously over a public thoroughfare.

Any rooms attached to that wall were also deemed unliveable.

Run-down Wellington house selling for more than half a million dollars

A handyman's dream? Photo: RNZ / Jacob McSweeny

Real estate agent Everard Aspell said the house was not a typical listing and he had not been sure what to expect when he listed it.

"I didn't realise when I put the signs up on Wednesday that the response would be so huge.

"I have sold a number of houses in Wellington in a run-down condition. Nothing like this of course," he said.

"I just didn't know if the phone would ring or if anyone would contact me and it's just been an incredible response."

So far, he had received more than 40 calls and 15 applications for tender documents.

The house was 296 square metres and was on a flat section.

The exterior of the house was likely to be redwood because a lot of it was shipped to New Zealand at the time it was built, prior to the 1930s, Mr Aspell said.

It was probably going to be demolished and replaced unless a clever architect or structural engineer could come up with an idea, he said.

"It is dilapidated and it is a dangerous property. The northern side of the property has actually collapsed."

The southern side still seemed reasonably strong, he said.

"So there is a possibility there of someone maybe buying the house who's an architect or a builder and maybe trying to restore it, which would be lovely."

Next-door dairy owner Anil Patel said he would make a bid for the property if he had the money.

Values in the area were very high and it would be worth demolishing the current house and putting up two new properties, he said.

Mr Patel said he wasn't the only person interested and Everard Aspell probably had to fend off a lot of other agents to get the job of selling it.

One agent had asked Mr Patel for the owner's phone number and promised him $1000 of a potential sale, he said.

The owner had never wanted to sell but could not afford the necessary repairs, Mr Patel said.

The house will be sold by tender at midday on 31 March.

Run-down Wellington house selling for more than half a million dollars

The back yard has ... potential. Photo: RNZ / Jacob McSweeny

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