TO AUCTION: Bernadette Gorman and Stephen Nicholls in the dining room of their old Queenslander on Penlingto Street which will go to auction on December 6.
TO AUCTION: Bernadette Gorman and Stephen Nicholls in the dining room of their old Queenslander on Penlingto Street which will go to auction on December 6. Chris Ison ROK071116chome1

Historical home goes to auction for lifestyle change

ROCKHAMPTON couple Stephen Nicholls and Bernadette Gorman have made a lot of fond memories in their Penlington St home over the last 15 years.

They've put a lot of time, effort and money into maintaining the beautiful, historical home and have ensured that any type of repair work or renovation goes unnoticed.

But for the local owners of Major Player Music School, it's time to pass on the five-bedroom home in The Range to someone else who'll love it just as much as them.

On December 6, 49 Penlington St will go under the hammer as Stephen and Bernadette get ready to make a lifestyle change and move to an apartment on Rockhampton's river front.

The husband and wife duo bought the house back in 2001 for a little over $200,000.

"We've had the place for 15 years as we love it, it's a magnificent home,” Stephen said.

"The thing we liked about the house when we first saw it was that it had never been touched in terms of the original structure of the house so it was the same as it was when it was built 115 years ago. I personally think with these types of homes, as soon as you start changing the shape of rooms or the layout of the property, it destroys the architecture of the house so this is one house that has never been broken from that original layout and style.”

After Stephen and Bernadette purchased the 835 m2 block home, they injected $700,000 of renovations into the place.

"When we did the major extension we even went to the trouble of getting the mills to mill the timbers to the exact proportions of the rest of house,” Stephen said.

"So everything in the extension is exactly identical to the rest of the house. The idea we had was to maintain the integrity of the architecture. This house was actually identified in Australian Architecture and is said to be one of the finest examples of federation filigree architecture in a home, so it's pretty special.”

Bernadette said as much as they would miss their home on the range, they were ready to make the transition to apartment living.

"We will miss a lot of things about it, especially the views and I think that homely feeling you get when you walk through the house, but it's just time for us to have a change,” she said.

"Last year we stayed at the Empire for a few months and we really got used to that apartment living, we really enjoyed the experience of being able to come and go when we please and the benefits of that low maintenance lifestyle.

"It's just the easy access of it all I think. We're looking at apartments being built on the river front where we can sit down with the architect and discuss our design options before it's built which is really exciting. We're very busy business people and it just gives us an opportunity to have more options in our life including that lock up and go sort of lifestyle which is very appealing, you can leave the place for two months at a time and get back and it will be exactly the same as how you left it and you wouldn't need to worry about anything.”

"This house has been here for 115 years and I see myself and Bernadette as care takers of a very special piece of Rockhampton history and what we always wanted to do was leave it in a better state as when we took it over and I would hope that lots of families get to enjoy this house over the years,” Stephen added.

McGrath Real Estate principal Todd Brandon said this was a rare opportunity for buyers interested in a Queenslander in The Range.

"It's a pretty rare opportunity given the history of the home and the quality of the property. I mean it's had an extension which is seamless and it's hard to pick where the old meets the new,” Mr Brandon said.

"I think that's testament to how much thought has gone into this home and the maintenance over the years. The views are pretty hard to find as well.

"This home is obviously unique and it's got a lot of personality so it's hard for someone to move out of something like this into a cookie cutter, standard apartment, but being able to sit down with an architect and have that advantage of free reign in the internal design process where they can put their own touches to it makes the move easier.”



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