School friend steps up

School friend steps up

A couple will forever be grateful to their close friend, who has managed to save the day and snap up their dream home after plans went awry.

The Waterloo pair was ready to pounce on a stunning inner west semi — until the heavily pregnant wife went into labour early this morning, just hours before the auction.

Thankfully, their buddy from school days stepped in and was authorised to bid on their behalf, securing the home for them by noon.

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AGENTS USE VIDEO TO BOOST BUYER INTEREST

A confident Andrew Scott placed the opening bid of $1.4 million for 118 Ferris St in Annandale.

A crowd of about 60 people had gathered in the quiet, leafy street, with a father and his child watching on from their window across the road.

With one earphone in as he gave long-time friend Tom Whitford regular updates, Mr Scott kept upping counter bids made by another buyer.

After 27 bids, a few of which rose in $1000 increments, auctioneer Karen Harvey dropped the hammer at $1.59 million. The sale price went above the $1.55 million guide.

Mr Scott let out a sigh of relief before saying he was thrilled to have secured the home for his friends.

“I knew I was the backup in case this happened but I hadn’t taken it seriously until this morning, and the situation made it real very quickly,” Mr Scott said, with a laugh.

“This looks like a great place where they will be able to bring up the kids for years, and it suits me because they will live close — I am only a few blocks away,” he said.

While Mr Whitford didn’t have any news to share yet post auction, he told the Daily Telegraph he and his wife, Angela, had been eyeing the two-storey home for weeks.

He said it was ideal for this stage of their lives, having a three-year-old son and a baby on the way.

Selling agent Lynsey Kemp from Belle Property Balmain was pleased to see it go to the family, who were one of 59 groups that inspected the revamped home.

Ms Kemp sold it to the vendors for $648,000 in 2007, when it was a two-bedroom, one-bathroom semi.

She said the level of interest during the campaign was not surprising, as the home’s sellers had “changed it remarkably” over the years.

Originally a 1910 build, it is now set over two levels and has four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

While the ground floor houses two of the bedrooms, there is a central, open-plan kitchen, dining and living space which flows out to a private courtyard.

Seller Matthew Salier said he and his wife started renovating in 2011. After removing the back half of the house and adding the second storey, which features skylights and bi-fold glass doors, they sourced materials to use internally.

“The Kauri floorboards are 23mm thick and they came from an old pub in New Zealand, while the stairs were from an old factory in Melbourne,” Mr Salier said.

The vendor now lives in Adelaide with his wife and three children. Despite moving on in recent years, he said being back at the Annandale home brought back fond memories.

“I was reminiscing about our eldest, who is now eight, crawling back and forth between the upstairs rooms,” he said.

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The latest CoreLogic data shows the median house price is $1.6 million in Annandale, a suburb where people stay for 9.2 years, on average.

The suburb saw 115 home sales in the 12 months to October.

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