House & Home - One of the Hawkesbury’s hidden gems offers a jewel of a home
When you hear a real estate agent describe somewhere as a “hidden gem” you could be forgiven for rolling your eyes, but when WFR Real Estate Agents’ principal Amanda Coles talks about St Albans, rest assured she's spot on.
With the weekend coming up, we decided to take a tour with you around a great house currently for sale through WFR at St Albans, near Wisemans Ferry.
St Albans is very interesting. Since 1824 an area north of St Albans along the Mogo Creek has been in use as common land. This has its roots in the traditional "Common" of England and is designed to compensate "villagers" for the small size of their allotments. Permanent succession to the St Albans Common was granted on March 4, 1853 to five trustees, who were to act on behalf of the “Settlers, Cultivators and other Inhabitants of the District”.
A brilliantly designed home
The commons land is private property, reserved for the use of the “Commoners” and is still run by the Commoners’ ancestors through the Trustees. As well as being host to horses, cows and sheep, which graze freely, the Common has a large lagoon providing a refuge to many water birds and wildlife.
The whole area is listed as a conservation area, ensuring its preservation for future generations of St Albans Commoners.
Against this background, welcome to 250B Wollombi Rd – a really beautiful home with a separate two-bedroom cottage included.
Overlooking the lake and Macdonald Valley
Sitting in the Macdonald Valley and surrounded by 400 acres of Crown Land, the property faces north and sits on its own 11 acres, four of them arable, with great views over the nearby lake and valley.
The spacious north facing deck
There are fenced paddocks for livestock or horses and access to bore water and a dam, plus mature gardens.
“St Albans really is a hidden gem. People just don’t know it exists,” says Amanda Coles.
“It is very much on a par with the Southern Highlands. It’s a beautiful untapped peaceful area with a strong community spirit. It’s a really great lifestyle.”
The mature gardens
Amanda and her husband Rhys moved from Sydney three years ago to run WFR. She left a high-powered job at a major media company but knew the area well ever since she was a youngster coming down to Wisemans Ferry to the family holiday home.
“Yes, sometimes I do miss Sydney but it takes only a couple of hours to get there so it’s not too far away if you want to go back, but once you’ve moved here you really get to appreciate the lifestyle.”
The house market in the area – like all other parts of the community – struggled during the bushfires, then the floods and now the pandemic, though Amanda says buyers are now very interested in the St Albans area, not least because some want to be well away from Covid.
“We have had strong interest in the area. Yes, we’ve had bush fires and floods and now the pandemic and it was very slow but last month we sold four homes so it’s really picking up now.
“It’s very competitively priced. Properties around here are now being snapped up.
“It’s people escaping Sydney, though it’s only two hours drive to the city from here, and they’re buying and looking for weekenders, water front properties and even buying to use as Airbnb properties, or simply to put roots down and soak up the lifestyle.”
Okay, let’s take a walk around this great property…
The light-filled kitchen also has a walk in pantry. Granite bench tops, custom cabinetry and freestanding ILVE cooker all feature
Three spacious bedrooms, the main with high quality en-suite and walk in robe.
Open plan living zones flow onto the partially covered deck with café blinds and ceiling fans
The study area with internet coverage could be used for guest accommodation
Interior of the two-bedroom cottage's kitchen and lounge area
Pleasant outdoor areas surround the property
The main property also features sandstone floors, both open wood and slow combustion fireplaces, plus ceiling fans.
Pool with a view
The separate cottage features:
- Two bedrooms with open plan living area.
- Separate entrance from main house.
- Slow combustion fireplace.
- Furnishings included in sale.
- Use as a guest house or short term holiday rental.
If you like the look of this property, arrange a private inspection. Contact Rhys Coles on 0406 704 040.