Walking into 201 Johns St, Ballarat East feels like a “step back in time”.
A Ballarat East miner’s cottage that’s been preserved as an 1880s time capsule is offering a golden opportunity for a history-buff buyer.
Owner Louis Santin spent seven years painstakingly restoring the rare piece of the past after saving it from likely demolition.
His job as a restorer of up-market vintage cars came in handy throughout the process, which involved stripping back layers of paint, plywood and timber added to Sanford Cottage over the years to reveal original floorboards, ceilings and doors.
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201 Johns St, Ballarat East was built by miners in the 1880s.
Owner Louis Santin has restored the historic home.
Mr Santin also furnished the three-bedroom house at 201 Johns St with handmade antique pieces and knick-knacks to complete the historic picture.
His efforts were rewarded when the cottage won a National Trust Heritage Award for conservation of a heritage house earlier this year.
Mr Santin lived at the abode for several years and recently had success offering it on Airbnb.
He’s now listed it with a $380,000-$409,000 price guide, and the option of adding the furnishings to the sale, after deciding he needed more space.
He said two brothers, both miners during Ballarat’s gold rush, built the house.
One of three bedrooms at the cottage.
The owner has sourced antique furniture and knick-knacks to add to the home’s authenticity.
It was renovated in the 1950s, but had fallen into disrepair before Mr Santin got his hands on it.
“I was seeing a lot of historic buildings being destroyed in country towns, and I didn’t want that to happen to this one,” he said.
“It absolutely would have been demolished — it was falling down. A townhouse would have been built on it.
“I thought if I could restore it, that would protect it.”
He said only the front facade had heritage protection, even after its National Trust gong.
The rustic bathroom.
The property offers a decent backyard with an orchard.
Biggin & Scott Ballarat director Francesca Nicol said prospective buyers were looking at running the gem as a B&B, offering it as a short-stay rental, or moving in.
“If you’re going to be visiting one of the oldest towns in Australia, it’s nice to stay somewhere so historical,” she said.
“You walk in and feel like you’ve stepped back in time, it’s so authentic.
“There are also people who’d like that more rustic lifestyle.”
Ms Nicol said while the house looked old school, it had fully insulated walls and ceilings plus new plumbing and electrical.
A decent garden with a mini orchard of fruit and nut trees is also part of the package.
The agent said people from as far as Daylesford, Trentham and Kyneton were eyeing the home, with Ballarat’s development into a cultural and foodie hub luring more and more out-of-town buyers.