Run-down Port Kembla shack sells sight unseen for nearly $100K over reserve

Brendan Crabb
26 Lawarra Street, Port Kembla recently sold via a timed auction.
26 Lawarra Street, Port Kembla recently sold via a timed auction. Credit: Supplied.

A first-home buyer has major renovation plans in mind after snapping up a derelict Port Kembla home.

The property also sold for considerably above the reserve price following a hard-fought online auction.

The home fetched $741,000 earlier this month.

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On the market for the first time in 40 years, the older-style, three-bedroom cottage with a sunroom sits on a generous 626 square metre corner block.

There were no pictures of the Port Kembla house’s interiors in the advertisement.

The home is currently rented out on an expired lease at $350 per week, with a long-term tenant in place.

Selling agent, Shane Szakacs from Ray White South Wollongong said the auction was brought forward at the request of the overseas-based owner, who was seeking a quick sale.

It was instead converted to a 24-hour online timed auction.

Mr Szakacs said he contacted various interested parties and those who had inspected the home about taking part.

“It’s about doing what the seller wants to get the property sold, and in this instance, we had to think outside the box a little,” he said.

“We used the timed auctions regularly during COVID times, but I was one of the agents who had put that method of sale on the back burner.”

The home sold for $741,000.
The home sold for $741,000. Credit: Supplied.

The end result was 11 registered bidders, a starting bid of $620,000, and more than 20 bids placed.

The reserve price was $645,000.

The home was on the market for the first time in 40 years.

Despite the interest of Illawarra-based developers, it ultimately sold to a first home buyer from Wollongong’s northern suburbs.

Mr Szakacs said the buyer had purchased the home sight unseen. Due to being away as a result of work commitments, he sent a friend to inspect it on his behalf.

“He’s a young surfer, and is going to renovate it,” Mr Szakacs said.

“All his mates are tradies, and once the tenant moves out they’re going to get stuck in.

“Port’s one of the best surf beaches around the place, so that would have been partly what attracted him to it.”

The home was on the market for the first time in 40 years.
The home was on the market for the first time in 40 years. Credit: Supplied.

According to CoreLogic records, the property was previously sold in August 1984 for $35,000.

Mr Szakacs said no work has been done to the home in recent times while the long-time owner had retained the property as an investment.

Meanwhile, Mr Szakacs said Lawarra Street was a “nice, quiet little pocket because there’s not a lot around that area”.

Records show the previous sale in the street was in December 2022.

Currently, the median sales price of houses in Port Kembla is $826,500, according to CoreLogic.

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