A lavish limestone mansion believed to be one of Portsea’s oldest holiday homes has hit the market in a rare public offering.
‘Karacoum’ is a five-bedroom Victorian villa with a pool and tennis court on a 2029sq m block at 12 Back Beach Rd, and has a $4.5-$5.5 million price tag.
Built in 1878, it has a long history as the summer playground of the wealthy as one of the first seaside holiday houses on a subdivision of land owned by one of Portsea’s early pioneers, James Ford.
Mr Ford is widely credited with naming Portsea after his native hometown of Portsmouth, England, and might have even produced the limestone used to build ‘Karacoum’, according to a 2019 Mornington Peninsula Heritage Study.
Kay & Burton agent Liz Jensen sold the property to its current owners about 15 years ago, and described it as “classic old Portsea”.
“People dream about owning a Portsea limestone property, and this is one of the best examples of a villa built in its day,” she said.
“Better still, all the work has been done to bring it up to date.”
She said a couple of rainy weekends had put a dampener on the first few weeks of the campaign with city-dwellers steering clear of the peninsula, but predicted a surge in interest now that summer was in full swing.
The original part of the house has been restored and converted into five spacious bedrooms and two bathrooms, while a sympathetic extension features an open-plan kitchen, living and dining areas opening onto a north-facing terrace and pool.
A pool house offers potential for a sixth bedroom, and the mod-grass tennis court is surrounded by manicured gardens.
Karacoum overlooks the historic Delgany Castle, and is just metres from Portsea Village and the secluded Fishermans Beach.
“It’s far enough away from the highway but has proximity to one of the few beaches in the summer that doesn’t get so crowded that you’re sharing beach towels,” Ms Jensen said.
“This is the riviera end of Portsea.”
– Jo Davy