A tightly held Sydney property that’s helped hundreds of people turn their lives around is up for grabs.
Currently housing 10 men, The Barracks Boarding House in North St Marys has been listed for sale with a $999,000 price tag.
The single-storey residence has 12 bedrooms plus a communal bathroom, lounge, kitchen and dining area, and it brings in an impressive $88,400 a year.
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Vendor Johnny Brewer bought the property in 2009 with his wife, Luisa, when it had been a functioning boarding house for more than 15 years.
“I realised very early on that it did have a social justice element to it, and that was really needed in the area,” Mr Brewer said.
“The boarders have mostly been single fathers who have gone through a break up or dealt with some sort of turmoil in their life — but over time they get back on their feet and move on which is really nice to see,” he said.
The property hit the market in 2014 but the Brewers quickly pulled the pin due to a change of heart.
The couple, who are both teachers with a background in real estate, are now selling as they prepare to relocate to the Central Coast with their family.
Mr Brewer said the boarding house had been a great investment with a solid return, that has been put back into the home over the years.
They have done some renovations, repainted throughout the home and added new flooring.
Previously, the property also served as emergency accommodation. The council-approved site now costs boarders $170 a week and caters to those who are either working or actively seeking employment.
There is currently an on-site manager who keeps things in order and helps with the cleaning.
“It was tough in the early days and we’ve had some colourful characters, but now that the rent has gone up the clientele is great,” Mr Brewer said.
“It has been a really rewarding experience … we would like to see it continue to run the same way.”
The house, which also comes with front and back porches, off-street parking, airconditioning and a solar system to keep costs down, spans almost 280sqm.
It is set on a 1081sqm corner block of land near shops, public transport and the popular St Marys Rugby League Club.
Listing agent Terry Hansen from Professionals St Marys said while the site offered ample land, it did not lend itself to development.
“It is heritage listed so there are restrictions — the character of this and other nearby cottages has to be retained,” Mr Hansen said.
He said in its couple of weeks on the market, the property had already attracted “about a dozen” inquiries.
The main interest has come from investors looking to take it over as well as a community group and local business.
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“It presents a really good return on investment and the tenants are all willing to stay on.”
The Barracks Boarding House continues to be one of only a handful up and running in the wider Penrith region, despite a recent spate of new development applications being rejected by the council.