WHEN Brian and Cameron Purvis spotted an ageing Queenslander on a prized corner block in one of Brisbane’s best suburbs, they knew they had to bring the old girl back to life.
Then Covid hit and they feared they had made a big mistake. “We thought; ‘Oh my gosh, what have we done?’” Brian said.
The father-and-son team had spent the past few years trying to rebuild the family air-conditioning business after the GFC.
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“I was involved with some other guys in a big, residential townhouse development in Mango Hill and one week the banks were your best buddies, and the next day, they wouldn’t even answer the phones,” Brian said. “They said; ‘We want our money back in 21 days or else’.”
This was circa 2009 and Brian was forced to sell his airconditioning business.
He eventually worked his way back into the industry and started from scratch again in 2015 under the name of Alfa Air and Electrical. Today, he employs 14 staff and has 10 vehicles on the road.
Brian and Cameron had also built up enough cashflow to invest in a dream development project – a post-war beauty at 79 Henderson Street in the beautiful inner Brisbane suburb of Bulimba.
Soon after they bought the home, house prices started to soar and business was booming. “Over the next months, the market went crazy, and then our phone started ringing off the hook,” Brian said. “As it turned out, it was a real winner.”
Cameron said he was a bit nervous when the pandemic hit and the big four banks were forecasting dramatic property price falls, but knew they had made a sound decision.
“I feel nine times out of 10 property wins, as long as you buy in the right area at the right price,” he said.
So, the pair embarked on a labour of love – gutting, raising and rebuilding the property.
“It was actually in pretty good condition,” Brian said.
“We’ve kept most of the shell of the upper part of the house as it is.”
Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, including the master with a large dressing room, ensuite and balcony, plus a study and a living area.
Once the house was raised and Cameron walked upstairs and saw the city view from the back of the house, he decided they needed to add an extension and make that the master bedroom.
Downstairs, the living area is spacious and open-plan, opening out to a substantial outdoor kitchen, entertaining area and magnesium pool, which make the most of the 405sq m block.
No expense has been spared on the inside kitchen, which has a distinct French flair and features 40ml stone benchtops, integrated Smeg appliances such as a quick oven and induction cooktop, an integrated fridge/freezer, two integrated dishwashers, a butler’s pantry with a hot and cold water tap.
There’s a definite Hamptons influence throughout that is evident with the clean lines and crisp white colour palette, but the design also stays true to the home’s heritage with inclusions like VJ walls and brass tapwear.
“We brought the VJ walls and bigger skirting boards downstairs to the new part (of the house) to blend in as we didn’t want a stark contrast between old and new,” Brian said. “We wanted it to look like it was supposed to be.”
The home’s location is also a major selling point.
Bulimba, only 4km from the CBD, has an abundance of parks, quality schools, a ferry service and the Brisbane River on its doorstep.
Robyn Hoare of Ray White Bulimba marketed the property at 79 Henderson St, Bulimba, which recently sold before making it to auction for $3.2 million.
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