Sydney auctions: hoarder house too dangerous to inspect becomes battleground for 16 bidders

The home on Bridge St in Erskineville.

A derelict house in Erskineville where visitors were barred from going upstairs due to the risk of the structural timbers collapsing has sold at auction for $1.31 million.

The home on Bridge St was understood to have been occupied by a hoarder who skimped on maintenance and it was uninhabitable.

Agent Adrian Tsavalas estimated the home, located in a strict heritage area, required about $500,000 in repairs.

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Floors were rotting, supports were buckling and ceilings had collapsed in some rooms, the Adrian William director said.

“It was a knockdown, but you just couldn’t knock it down because of the conservation area,” Mr Tsavalas said.

The reserve was set at $950,000 and there was initially little interest in the home.

“We got a lot of low ball offers from bargain hunters … the early feedback was too much work needed to be done,” Mr Tsavalas said.

He added that he was surprised when 16 buyers registered for the Saturday auction. “Some of the bidders hadn’t even seen the house,” the agent said.

There were problems with the roof.

Floorboards were rotting.

Advice from a structural engineer was that parts of the home were too dangerous to inspect. Visitors were required to be over 16, wear closed tip shoes and sign a waiver before entering. The balcony was also at risk of collapsing.

Mr Tsavalas said it was, ironically, the lack of early interest in the home that drove up the sale price as more bidders registered thinking they’d be able to get the home for a lower price. “It was a very competitive auction,” he said.

It is not known what the buyer will do with the property.

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