A FORMER real estate agent Bob Garnett knows a good property when he sees one.
And so, after a career spent marketing the merits of properties with privacy, potential and position, he and wife Joan bought The Grange - 32ha with unlimited water and uninterrupted views in Little Hampton, near Trentham - without hesitation.
- THE GRANGE
- Property: lifestyle
- Size: 32ha
- Price: $1.8 million-plus
- Agent: Raine & Horne, Gisborne
- Contact: Ken Grech 0418 509 710 or (03) 5428 4007
- Auction: Saturday May 5, 1pm.
- Pictures: The Grange
That was five years ago; now the property boasts a 430sq m home with huge 92sq m garage (46 and 10 squares in the old language), four-bay colourbond shed and cattle yards with loading ramp.
It's an impressive set up - especially for a block that was sought as a weekender for fishing.
"But, being a real estate agent, of course I thought we could develop it," Bob said.
"In removing the old car bodies and other bits and pieces, we discovered that, underneath, it was a very lovely property.
"We didn't want to just put a shack on it - we wanted to leave the legacy of a quality, luxury home that would stand the test of time."
It's a fitting description of the imposing stone homestead, which was completed a year ago.
There are four bedrooms, the main with bay window, fitted walk-in robe and fully tiled ensuite and two more bedrooms with walk-in robes.
The country-style kitchen has large granite benches and walk-in pantry and there are several living spaces including family room and formal lounge, each with open fire places, and a dining room with leadlight bar and sink.
Outside, the verandas run the length of the building, taking in views of the nearby Mount Alexander and Macedon Ranges.
The garden has been neatly laid out but could be expanded with traditional beds or native plantings to complement the surrounds.
But it's the 19-megalitre lake that really sold Bob on the property.
"I really wanted somewhere I could go trout fishing. It has beautiful trout, four-to-five-years-old and we've put some more in two and three years ago so they are all catchable fish - I've got one in the freezer right now."
The same (spring-fed) lake has a 19-megalitre transferable water licence and is connected to an underground irrigation system that can water the entire 32ha.
There are two more spring fed dam and bore water to all paddocks.
"The big thing about this property is the water; it's in a very high rainfall area (1000mm annual average), but also has this irrigation system with hydrants that can be connected to pipes to water anywhere you like across the property.
In addition, the water table beneath supplies drinking-quality water.
"I've often wondered if I should have started bottling and selling it."
The Grange has been fenced into paddocks for running livestock, with wind breaks and a tree-lined concrete driveway.
Preliminary landscaping work has been done to create a park-like environment connecting the two smaller dams and lake.
For Bob and Joan, the project has been an exercise in practising what you preach. "Having been in real estate all my life, I knew location and proximity to Melbourne were a must," Bob said.
The Grange neighbours Wombat Forest and is 5km northwest of Trentham, 20 minutes drive from Daylesford and Kyneton and one hour from Melbourne, Bendigo and Ballarat.