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FEATURE PROPERTY: Blackwood beauty

On a large block with a swimming pool in the leafy Adelaide foothills, nurse Tamar Allner and her builder husband Wayne are selling their four-bedroom family home that often attracts some unexpected guests.

Tamar Allner says whoever purchase her home at 70 Brighton Parade, Blackwood, should be aware that they may find themselves with regular visitors including a koala that sometimes loiters in the back yard, magpies and willie wagtails that come looking for food and the occasional bike-riding rockstar pedalling down the street.

Tamar received quite a surprise a couple of years ago when she saw a group riding past on mountain bikes and recognised legendary frontman Dave Grohl and the rest of The Foo Fighters, while they were in Adelaide as part of their recent Australian tour.

“We were out the front of the house – we’re often out there feeding the birds – and I recognised Dave Grohl and then realised it was all of the Foo Fighters that had gone out for a group ride. We’re located right on the doorstep of the mountain bike trails at Blackwood,” says Tamar.

Tamar, a nurse at Flinders Medical Centre, purchased the 1500sqm property 20 years ago when it contained an old timber cottage.

The cottage was full of character and seemed ideal for a renovation. Tamar lived in the cottage and became well-known in the street for keeping a pet sheep to control the grasses, and an emu that served as a guard dog.

“They’d be standing there at the gates waiting for me to get home from work. Lots of people would walk past just to see the sheep and the emu. The previous owner even kept horses here,” she says.

“When I bought it, there was a tiny two-bedroom timber cottage on this huge block and the plan was for me to renovate it and stay in it forever, but it just needed too much work.

“There was nothing we could salvage, and in the end, it was just easier to demolish it and start from scratch,” she says.

Tamar and Wayne met in 2007 and a few years later began planning to build their “forever home” to raise their two children and hopefully see them right through their childhood and teenage years.

They completed the build in 2013. Much of the construction was completed by their family, friends and contacts in the building game.

“Wayne’s done a lot of the work. He’s done the fencing and a lot of retaining, built the pool house and the deck, and we have good friends that are landscapers from Earthworks 1st that have done all the levels and the lawns and irrigation,” says Tamar.

The result is an expansive and modern four-bedroom home, with a brand-new kitchen installed last year. The house itself is just under 400 square metres in size.

However, the couple has recently moved to be closer to family and has made the decision to sell their Blackwood address.

“It’s bittersweet. Blackwood is a place that people never really leave; it’s a community suburb full of families and retirees who enjoy the safety and beauty of its surroundings. It feels like we’re out in the country but we really are close to everything,” says Tamar.

“Up until mid-last year, we were still doing things with the intention of staying there forever, such as installing solar panels. But sometimes life changes and we know we’re making the right decision,” she says.

“We’d only just spent thousands re-doing the kitchen and matching laundry, thinking that we’d be staying there. All the flooring and curtains are brand new and we had it all completely repainted.

“We never intended to leave, we only moved out because we decided we wanted to be nearer family.”

The house was designed so that parents and children can live together, but also retreat to their own sections with doors that separate the front of the house from the rear. The second master suite at the rear of the house has its own access, perfect for a teenager’s bedroom.

“There’s lots of room. The kitchen and the lounge room overlook the swimming pool area so that we could be cooking dinner and the kids could be out in the pool,” Tamar says.

“It’s been the most perfect house for entertaining. The pool house is bigger than a double carport so we’ve had Christmas Day at our place every year.”

The family also put Christmas lights up every year, so they made sure there were plenty of power points at the front of the home — about 10 of them.

“I’m a bit of a Christmas fanatic, so I also needed lots of storage because I would always completely redecorate the house for Christmas. I made sure we had lots of room for storage.”

At the rear of the property, behind the poolside pavilion, there are plumbing and electrical provisions for a new owner to build a studio or granny flat.

“With the COVID situation and being at home last year, it was no problem because it was such a big house and block; we never felt penned in. We’d go weeks without really leaving Blackwood anyway, other than to go to work, it’s just such a nice spot.

“I just loved sitting down in the pool house watching TV and reading a book down there, it was always really lovely — the dogs or cats sit there as well in the shade.

“There’s a magpie with one foot that I’ve been giving water and food to for 20 years. So, the new owners are going to have to take over that for us.”

The sale is being handled by Sharee Redic and Gena Nash of Toop & Toop Real Estate.