Castle-like beachfront could be a steal
A rare heritage-listed home with a grand "sprung" ballroom, waterfront access, a castle-like facade and a whole lot of history under one roof has been listed in south Sydney.
With a price guide of $4.25 million - it's just a fraction of what the stately residence with a private path to the water's edge would fetch in other parts of Sydney.
"If this home was in Vaucluse or Point Piper you could easily be asking around $40 million, so this is about 10 per cent of that cost. You really do get a lot more for your money here though," Joseph Halavazis of McGrath Sutherland Shire said.
In almost 140 years, Ellesmere in Sans Souci has been home to just a handful of VIP owners.
Built between 1880 and 1890 for the one-time Premier of NSW, Joseph Carruthers and his wife Louise, Ellesmere has more recently been owned by Richard Kulkarni, a top IT professional at international software firm Qualtrics.
Before that, a local doctor had the Vista St property as his home and surgery for more than 50 years.
The slice of Sans Souci history on 1201sq m is considered the most significant residential property in the St George and surrounding area, as there are few homes south of the airport that hold the same level of original detail and historic context.
Sir Joseph was the sixteenth Premier of NSW from 1904 to 1907, and although he never entered Federal politics, was an ardent Federalist and played a central role in Federation.
He is also remembered as one of the founding members of the Liberal and Reform Association, the forerunner to the modern Liberal Party of Australia.
"It's such an honour for me to be chosen as the agent selling this magnificent home," Mr Halavazis said.
"Just walking around the home you get a real sense of how significant it is. When you're in the home office, which would have been Carruthers' library and study, you have to wonder just what important decisions for the country were made there," he said.
While the property is on the surface in its original condition with period light switches and fittings as well as high ornate ceilings and detailing throughout, Ellesmere has actually been through a significant but sympathetic renovation.
"The current owner made sure that everything behind the scenes was fully updated from the electrical wiring and the plumbing to full state of the art digital networking," he said.
"He even kept the original sauna intact but updated it to modern standards as well as the home's intercom which looks original but uses newer technology," he said.
In addition to six, or possibly seven, bedrooms and three bathrooms, there are several formal and informal living spaces, a contemporary granite kitchen and an elaborate ballroom with its original sprung floor which was built to facilitate regular swinging soirees.
"It's just a spectacular ballroom with very high intricate ceilings and that sprung floor is still doing it's job after all those years, you can really feel the bounce," Mr Halavazis said.
The sprawling property also features landscaped grounds, multiple outdoor entertainment areas, a large in-ground solar heated pool and a private walkway to the water.
"It's a beautiful tidal beach that when the tide is low you can enjoy the beach and when it's high you can cast off and catch a fish," he said.
It is a short distance to the Botany Bay Yacht Club, beaches and primary schools.