Asbestos, lead and a skeleton but Brisbane house still sells for ‘ridiculous’ price

A heavy shower failed to disperse the crowd at the auction of 30 Ludlow St, Gaythorne.

A FATHER-and-son building team left the auction of 30 Ludlow St, Gaythorne empty-handed on Saturday after the rundown three-bedroom house with the skeleton of a possum visible through a hole in the ceiling, sold for $825,000 to the neighbour’s parents.


30 Ludlow St, Gaythorne Picture Debra Bela

“A possum skeleton will be the least of our worries with the property,” the winning bidder said.

Do you see the skeleton in this picture? Not everyone who inspected the three-bedroom home did.

‘Ridiculous’ was how Brisbane builder Steven Scuderi described the sale, which saw five out of the 11 registered bidders take part in the auction.

30 Ludlow St, Gaythorne had been in the one family for decades.

“It’s a totally different struggle for us as builders,” Mr Scuderi said.

“If we don’t buy right we don’t make anything. So we are up against homeowners and first-home buyers who are able to pay a bit extra.”

A heavy shower crossed over Ludlow St in Brisbane’s north the moment Harcourts auctioneer Christian Hamilton called for an opening bid and there was a pause as a smattering of umbrellas shot up to shield some of the 65 attendees with Harcourts agent Kathy Lillecrapp racing into the crowd with a brolly of her own to share.

Steven Scuderi considers his next move at the auction of 30 Ludlow St, Gaythorne. Picture: Debra Bela

The opening bid of $650,000 came from brothers standing on the street and was followed by a counter bid of $675,000 from a West End couple sheltering under a polka dot umbrella on the grassed footpath.

“Because the house is not character protected we were thinking of moving the house and selling it to someone else and then building a small villa,” the first-home buyers said.

Steven Scuderi and his dad Charlie were next to enter the auction, standing behind the auctioneer under the eave of the front of the house with paddle number 27. But their bid of $700,000 was countered almost immediately by the West End couple. A new bidder chimed in at $750,000 and the builders returned fire with $785,000 at which point the house was called on the market.

It was at this point that the neighbour’s dad revealed his hand, leaning casually against the bonnet of a ute parked in front of the house with a takeaway coffee in hand as he offered $800,000 for the home.

The rain stopped, the sun came out and the polka dot umbrella was stood down as the West End couple made a last bid for the house at $810,000.

The West End underbidders. Picture: Debra Bela

But it was not enough and the dad’s bid of $825,000 saw the house sold.

With stamp duty and $30,000 to remove the asbestos and lead in the existing post-war home, Mr Scuderi said the final price for the block would be more like $900,000.

“To make it work you would have to get $1.5m to $1.75m as a resale,” said Steven Scuderi, who needs to build and flip one house a year to support his family of five.

“Construction costs are going up 30 per cent across the board and now with interest rates about to go up that is going to slow people up.”

The buyer, who lives in Red Hill, has no definite plans for the house and will land bank the property for now.

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