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Maria lived on Gardiner Road for 69 years. Today her home went to auction

August 13, 2022

Rubbish bins at the Gardiner Road property. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

By Peter Holmes

It was just the third house constructed on Gardiner Road, built on what was then the outskirts of town for a young post-war European migrant named Maria.

Maria raised a family and grew into an old woman in the house, and when she died in March aged 95 she had been there for nearly 69 years.

Now it was time for Maria’s surviving family to sell.

The garden on Gardiner Road. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

There were nine registered bidders for the dilapidated house on Saturday afternoon, but only two became involved in the auction.

"Renovator's delight" doesn't quite capture what was on offer.

And they don’t call it the outskirts of town anymore, with the property described by auctioneer Ash Brown as being on the "fringe of the CBD".

The bidding - between one person at the auction and another on the phone - began at $380,000 and rose in $5,000 and $10,000 increments before stalling at $420,000. There was no vendor bid.

Auction about to begin. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

After discussion with the executor of the estate, it was announced that the highest bid, by a man named Adam, had fallen short of the reserve price.

With no further bids made, the property was passed in, with Adam earning the right as highest bidder to negotiate with the executor.

Around 20 people were gathered under moody skies for the auction. About half appeared to be local rubberneckers.

At first sight you would assume the new owners would tear the house down and start again on the 734-square-metre block.

The house as it was.

However the registered bidders had all expressed a desire to renovate the property, Brown said.

The Orange News Examiner spoke with Maria’s daughter Janine, who is the executor of the estate, after the auction.

Janine grew up in the house and later lived temporarily with her first child in the garage, which had been done up with a toilet, stove, sink and bedroom.

“We had many good years here,” she said.

Over time, Janine said, the property had become too much for her mother to cope with.

One of the rooms in the house.

The evidence of this was in the condition of the inside of the house, and the severely overgrown gardens strewn with rubbish. Whoever buys the property will have a mammoth task ahead.

“She let it go the last 20 years,” Janine said. “She kept collecting everything. There’s a lot of trash and treasure here.”

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