Most builders hit rock and go, ‘yeah nah’. Either it’s down tools, a hefty new fee or a long, forgiveness-pleading chat with your neighbours (or all of the above).
But these obstacles were no object for one Sydney couple, who four years ago dug a tunnel beneath their (now) glitzy, James Bond style Mosman five bedroom home, partly so that they didn’t have to walk up the 63 steps to the place (something “which is particularly difficult in the pouring rain,” owner Robert Procter, told realestate.com.au).
Before they sold it for a record-breaking sum recently, Robert and his wife, Wendy Procter (the other owner of the house) told realestate.com.au that the tunnel, which goes from the street and double garage to a lift, which goes to both levels of the home, was a game-changer.
In the tunnel, there is a home gym. The home also boasts a heated pool and magnificent views of the Opera House and the city.
To build the tunnel, their builder put them in touch with the Lightning Ridge miners (per the group’s Facebook page: “The voice of the black opal industry,” which represents miners, wholesales and retailers working with opal found in Lightning Ridge, Australia) who, Robert and Wendy revealed, moved to Sydney for the six-month project of building the tunnel.
They provided the miners with free accommodation and three meals a day. The miners used a jackhammer to create the lift shaft and a high tech machine to cut the rock for the tunnel.
Robert told realestate.com.au that the lift and landscaping cost just about $1 million.
The couple moved into the place 40 years ago. It cost them just $290,000 to buy. Now the work they’ve done to the place (plus the fact that the Sydney property market has gone bonkers) has meant they have been able to sell it for quite an increase.
Mosman real estate agent Jacqui Rowland-Smith, who had been guiding $10m for the home, has told media the place has now sold for well over $11m. This beats the old street record (8.25 million) by more than 3 million.
A villainous price, some might think. But we have to admit: the place certainly looks slick. And it certainly lives up to its billing by Rowland-Smith’s billing as being “very James Bond.”