Sunday, July 5, 2009

Westport vendors look forward to freedom


Stuff, The Age

The Westport couple who sold a queen size bed, with a house thrown in, are looking forward to their new freedom.

Wayne Saggers and Kathy Wahrlich sold their bed with a six-bedroom historical Westport house in an online auction for $302,600.

The package, which had a reserve of $1, was listed on TradeMe in the beds category.

The auction closed at 6.46pm last night, which Mr Saggers and partner Kathy watched at their home with friends.

Mr Saggers said he managed to stay "pretty relaxed" as the bids crept up.

The action attracted hundreds of comments, which Ms Wahrlich spent all yesterday trying to answer

Known as the Stone House, the old two bathroom, three toilet guest home has a QV of $300,000.

The couple were happy with the final bid, won by an Aucklander named Mike, who Mr Saggers was waiting to hear from.

The couple had owned the house for three and a half year, and had been running it as a bed and breakfast, mainly housing West Coast miners.

Mr Saggers said they are excited about the freedom of being mortgage, rates and bills free.

The takeover could be relatively quick, "we will leave everything we'll take our clothes and toothbrushes, "he said.

"We want to buy a bus and cruise the country, we want to do all the whitebaiting season on the West Coast, it will be very lucrative. You can make a whole year's income." However, he said they were very apprehensive about selling the property the way they did.

"It was the hardest decision putting a $300,000 house on for one dollar, if we had a $2 bid we would have to had sold it."

Before this they had tried to sell though a real estate agency for $370,000 but every offer that came in fell through, because no one had any money, Mr Saggers said.

"We actually had it on Trademe in the property category for six months, we only got 800 hits in six months, and 50,000 in ten days (under the beds listing)."

He credits media attention for the sale.

"We've had people calling up from Singapore, Edinburgh and all the papers in Australia, right through New Zealand, if you did that kind of advertising, what would it cost you?"

While they are looking forward to their new lives, Mr Saggers said they will miss the house.

"We put a lot into it, we got here and it was a mess, street kids had been living in it, we changed a lot in the house, it has been completely redecorated."

The Auckland buyer told the Herald on Sunday he bought the house with a lifestyle change in mind.

He was yet to see the house in person.