The AFL off-season is as much about players trading houses as it is clubs trading players.
Plenty of past and present footy stars have played the property field since the final siren sounded on the 2018 season, with some cashing in on beloved homes or savvy investments and others buying their first pads.
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Here are some of the AFL/VFL footballers who’ve been active on the market this off-season.
TOM SCULLY: FIVE-BEDROOM HOUSE IN GLENHAVEN
SOLD: $1.862 million in November
PAID: $1.35 million in March 2012
The former No. 1 draft pick blew the final siren on his time with Greater Western Sydney by selling his Glenhaven home in Sydney’s outer northwest. CoreLogic records show the speedy sale was notched just 14 days after the five-bedroom house, with a pool and spa on a private 1065sq m block, hit the market. The sale came in the middle of a busy off-season for the 27-year-old in which he was also traded to Hawthorn and wed longtime love Zoe Robertson, daughter of ex-Test cricketer Gavin Robertson.
LANCE ‘BUDDY’ FRANKLIN: 14 WOODHALL WYND, DONVALE
SOLD: $1.415 million in November
PAID: $863,500 in July 2008
Buddy bagged a buyer for the four-bedroom Donvale pad where he lived for a short time during his Hawthorn playing days before moving north to join Sydney. The four-time Coleman medallist’s father Lance Snr had been the most recent resident of the grand brick house, which featured an upstairs rumpus room with “wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling memorabilia”, according to selling agent William Lyall of Jellis Craig.
LEIGH MONTAGNA: 38 JOHNSTONE ST, MALVERN
SOLD: $1.82 million in October
PAID: $560,000 in August 2005
The Saints great booted the first home he ever bought at a hot off-season auction. The $1.82 million sale price was well above the $1.76 million top end of the quoted range, prompting the two-time All Australian to declare the deal “a good result, … especially the way the market is”. The Fox Footy and Triple M broadcaster bought the Edwardian-style house in his fourth year as an AFL player, renovated it and had intended to move in before changing his plans.
GREG ‘DIESEL’ WILLIAMS: 34 BREWSTER ST, ESSENDON
SOLD: close to $7 million in October
PAID: $3.08 million in June 2004
The dual Brownlow medallist sold his magnificent Essendon mansion for the second highest residential price ever recorded in the suburb. The 1860s pile opposite Windy Hill features an eye-catching towered facade, a pool and tennis court. The Carlton, Sydney and Geelong great said he’d miss watching his childhood team, Essendon, train from the tower. But he would have no doubt been delighted when the property sold after just three weeks on the market.
CHRIS MEW: 3 MURRAY ST, MCCRAE
SOLD: $1.535 million in December
PAID: $410,000 in April 2014
Five-time premiership player Mew sold his McCrae home after the siren sounded on its auction. The Hawthorn centre-half-back of the century — who’s run Chris Mew Homes since retiring from footy in 1992 — built the coastal chic house about two years ago. He told the Herald Sun it had been a great house to live and entertain in, and that he’d hosted former teammates there, including Hawthorn half-forward of the century Gary Buckenara.
CALLUM MILLS: TWO-BEDROOM HOUSE IN PADDINGTON
PAID: $1.74 million in November
The Swans young gun will have a convenient commute to work in season 2019, after snapping up a classic Victorian terrace a short walk from the SCG in up-market Paddington. The 21-year-old defender, who missed most of last year’s season with a broken foot, bought the pad in November and took possession last month after he and partner Tiffany Browne returned from an off-season trip to China. The two-storey house opens out to a deep courtyard garden, and retains original period features internally.
LUKE MCDONALD: THREE-BEDROOM HOUSE IN KENSINGTON
PAID: $970,000 in September
Just weeks after North Melbourne’s 2018 season ended, the Roos defender hopped into the property market. The 23-year-old bought a Victorian-era terrace house in a quiet cul-de-sac, handily around the corner from North Melbourne’s Arden St training base. The buy came a month after McDonald signed another three-year contract with the club, with Nelson Alexander agent Ryan Currie declaring the footballer “was lucky to come out on top” by getting in the night before a scheduled auction. “We had a lot of interest from young professionals,” he said.
WYLIE BUZZA: FOUR-BEDROOM HOUSE IN WANDANA HEIGHTS
PAID: $702,000 in December
The budding Cats cult figure scored his first home — a four-bedroom house in Geelong suburb Wandana Heights — in the off-season. Buyer’s advocate Tony Slack said Buzza and his partner Sarah Pettiford had been pipped at the post on a number of occasions, but got the four points just before Christmas. The property is within 15 minutes of Cats home base Kardinia Park and features an open-plan kitchen, meals and living zone that flows out to a covered entertainment area.