After almost a quarter-century of raising their three children at the same address in the tightly-held suburb of Kingswood, Erica and Greg Bartlett have decided to sell up and pursue a tree change in the Adelaide Hills.
Originally from Melbourne, Greg is a chemical engineer and patent attorney. In his youth, Greg played basketball for the Melbourne Tigers and even played two seasons in the National Basketball League (NBL).
It was while playing at the top level that Greg had to make a decision between basketball and his career.
“We had our first child, I qualified as a patent attorney and I had to give up something: family, professional basketball or work,” says Greg.
“So, the basketball went.”
It was a career move that brought Greg and Erica to Adelaide 24 years ago.
The character bungalow at 39 Seafield Avenue, Kingswood, ticked all the boxes as a home for Greg and Erica to raise their three children in.
“Erica was able to come across to Adelaide and see her sister and she actually bought the home without me having seen it,” says Greg.
“It was all about the area. We wanted a leafy, quiet, family-friendly suburb with lots of good schools.”
Now, with their children grown up and Greg partly working from home, the couple has decided to move to the Hills.
“Working from home has become quite normal and means that not having to come into town all the time makes the Hills much more attractive,” he says.
“One of the good things that have come out of COVID-19 is the realisation that you don’t always have to work in an office in the CBD.”
The couple’s Kingswood address is a leafy oasis located on a good corner block of 1369sqm. Almost every window enjoys a garden view and the home even boasts its own “birch forest” and ponds.
Greg and Erica have chipped away at the landscaping over the years to develop a mature and structured garden with trees and hedging.
They’ve also had the verandah re-concreted, built a carport and updated the swimming pool with new tiling and pavers.
“Whoever buys it won’t have to do anything; it’s complete,” says Greg.
A major extension was completed in 2011, with the aim to extend the character feel of the original bungalow.
“Even though we did our renovation 10 years ago, it’s held up really well. It shows that if you make the effort to be timeless, and you get that right, it’s worth it. People are surprised at how new and recent at all looks.
“In selling the home, I’ve come to realise that we know this house from back to front.
“So whoever ends up moving in, I’ll probably need to wander around with them for half a day and talk with them about everything.”
The bungalow is unique in that it has a double-return verandah that encompasses three sides of the home.
“When they were building these houses in the ‘20s they were moving away from the Victorian floral detail and moving into chunky geometric squares,” says Greg.
The old house hasn’t displayed any cracking, as can be the case with 100-year-old homes.
“People might look at our house and say, ‘They must’ve covered up all the cracks so they can sell the house’ … but we haven’t. It’s crack-free and always has been.
“I guess it’s just luck with the soil you’re on but it is a broad, stable, house with a big footprint – everything about it is big.”
Since they listed the home for sale they’ve had conversations with many other locals who have owned their homes for 30 to 40 years.
“It is quite a tightly-held suburb and there’s not much movement, particularly in the big properties and this is one of the bigger ones in Kingswood,” says Greg.
“We’re really looking forward to the change, but we’ve put a lot into this house – it’s been the kids’ life for 24 years so we’ll be sad to leave.
“You really do feel part of it. It will be a bit weird driving past the home and not living there. We’ve created the home so, for a while, we’ll feel like we’re missing a piece of us.”
The sale is being handled by Kris Casey and Laura Prest of Harris Real Estate.