A chance trip up the northern beaches taking the family dogs to the beach in 2006 led Don Hunton and Esther Bergan past a beachside house when it was open for inspection.
On impulse they stopped the car and looked inside. Five days later they were the owners of the house in Collaroy.
“The house reminded us of home in the UK, we loved its English features, character and gabled roof,” Ms Bergan said.
The 180 degree ocean views and the English pub in the basement were the clinchers.
“We literally couldn’t not buy it. We had to live there,” Mr Hunton said.
The pub, called The Duck and Crown is the full pub experience with beamed ceiling, old-style lanterns and brightly-coloured carpet. It holds special memories for the couple who held their wedding reception in the pub, threw parties there and hosted school pub quizzes and curry nights.
“The person that has the best night is the one who never had a bar job in their 20s and gets a go behind the bar,” Mr Hunton said.
Thirteen years later and the couple have welcomed three sons, Jonah, 11, Finlay, 8 and Gabriel, 4, and the five-bedroom house has been remodelled to suit a young family.
Number 17 Hay St, Collaroy is a solid English style house on 620sqm with ocean views in suburb’s well-regarded street. It goes to auction on Saturday March 23 through Belle Property Dee Why and has a guide of $3.1 million to $3.3 million.
The courtyard has been levelled and tiled so the boys can play basketball or handball, the roof has been retiled in its entirety, the ensuite has been updated and bi-fold doors and windows have been replaced. The gardens have been landscaped front and back and the home’s lighting has been replaced throughout. However the home still has its chocolate box character with numerous rooms and lots of nooks to hang out with friends.
The double-brick house has a northeast orientation, ocean views from the upper deck, a formal lounge with open fire and a teenager bedroom with loft retreat.
“If we were staying, we would convert the kitchen into a room that flows through to the dining and decking area, making the most of those amazing views. Also, we would add a corner seating area in the courtyard to capitalise on the beautiful afternoon sun you get in this part of the house,” Ms Bergan said.