Can you imagine the couples tennis rivalries that exist on Hawthorn’s Kooyongkoot Road?!?
Having a tennis court adds value to a house, right? Sure, it makes sense. Another amenity, another drawcard, a status symbol, tennis courts are synonymous with prestige real estate in Australia (especially in Melbourne). But is there a point in which a tennis court detracts from a home’s value? Why do so many homeowners add a tennis court at the expense of a pool, lawn, or even a driveway?!?
Enter the just listed 34 Ellsa St in Melbourne’s Balwyn North…
Situated in the sought-after Balwyn High School zone, the home is your run-of-the-mill Balwyn North McMansion: Neo-Classical-French-Chateau-Revival architecture, 5-bedrooms, underground 4-car garage, and tennis court. But not just any tennis court; unfortunately for 34 Elssa St, they couldn’t quite squeeze in a doubles tennis court, so a singles court had to suffice. Was the tennis court addition really worth it? Wouldn’t the family Labradoodle Fido or children Hamish and Edwina gain more utility out of a grassy lawn? Paul Pfieffer and Mark Wridgway of RT Edgar Toorak have the home & singles court listing and want a cool $2.4m+ for the property. 34 Elssa Street, Balwyn North
Seeing the above tennis court sandwiched into the property makes you think: would a plain and simple garden or a level lawn bump the price of this property? Is a tennis court only a value-add improvement where significant excess land exists? And if so, are there any precedents where a home has sold for a higher price after a tennis court has been removed? Now enter ‘Carrara’, one of Sydney’s indisputable trophy properties, and a home that has traded hands enough times (3) in the past 20 years to serve as a bellwether for Sydney harbourfront real estate. Carrara first appears on our pricing radar in 1993 when the home sold for $8.5m. Fast forward to July 2006 and the two-storey manse high above Sydney Harbour and Milk Beach sold for $22.3m, the second-highest price sale of the year behind the $24m sale of the iconic ‘Bang & Olufsen’ house on Wolseley Crescent, Point Piper. In 2007, the new owners of Carrara lodged a $144k Development Application to Woollahra Council including "replacement of the tennis court with a landscaped area.” Speed up another three years and in May 2010, Carrara sold for $26.7m, with its tennis court replaced with a flat, grassy expanse (see below images).
Carrara as seen from the Harbour
Tennis court-turned-“landscaped area”
No tennis played here.
Looks good to us. Now stay tuned, the Radical Terrace will find our favourite examples of Tennis Tetris and provide y’all with a sexy slideshow.