Lane Cove bounces back as buyers return to this family-friendly spot
When Sally Penfold returned to Sydney from a stint in Hong Kong with her husband Bruce Wymond 18 years ago, they set about finding a new home.
Originally from Melbourne, the city was new to Mr Wymond, an engineer and executive director/founding partner of international consultancy the Inhabit Group.
“So when it came to looking for a house he had a few conditions,” Ms Penfold, a health and wellness consultant, said.
“Nature and privacy were the non-negotiable draw cards, after returning from a built-up lifestyle in Hong Kong.”
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She said they both wanted their children to grow up surrounded by nature.
“I think he thought Sydney wouldn’t deliver and we’d end up in Melbourne,” she joked. “However, we were lucky enough to find this beautiful home in Osborne Park (Lane Cove), 10 minutes, and three traffic lights to the centre of Sydney.”
The couple have since added two children to their family, Lili, now 16, and Tom, who is 14.
Their home, at 11 Cogan Place, has surpassed all their expectations. Birthday parties have been particularly memorable, she said.
“At my daughters fourth birthday we ‘bumped into’ Snow White at the rock pools below us, and 12 years later my daughter still talks about the joy of that party,” Ms Penfold said.
“The kids loved those parties. As they got older it became pool parties and sleepovers in the stingray tent strung up in the trees.”
Lane Cove has become a hot spot for families like this one in recent years.
While it was among one of the hardest hit suburbs in the upper north shore in the recent downturn, buyers are now back in their droves and prices are bouncing back.
Agents are reporting strong numbers at inspections and auctions, and a stock shortage across the board is contributing to premium sale prices.
Nerida Conisbee, chief economist at realestate.com.au, said Lane Cove was recording “a lot of search activity” on the site.
“It is absolutely a place to watch,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Penfold/Wymond family are preparing to farewell their much-loved home, which is due to go to auction on October 26, with a price guide of $2.65 million. James Bennett and Simon Harrison, of Belle Property Lane Cove, are managing the sale, and the property is open for inspection on Saturdays and Wednesdays, from 10.30-11.00am.
Ms Penfold is hard-pressed to come up with the single thing she will miss the most when she closes the front door for the last time.
There are just too many memories wrapped up the home and the street.
“We love the convenient location, the peaceful holiday vibe, the bush walks, the street parties, the sense of community and the neighbours,” she said. “I’ll really miss our neighbours.”
From children’s fairytale parties to sleepovers in the trees, and pool parties and treasure hunts on the bush trails to Gore Creek Reserve, it has been an idyllic life for all of them.
“On every other day, it feels like we’re on holidays in Byron Bay, 1000 miles from anywhere,” Ms Penfold said.
They have put plenty of energy into the home.
“We’ve renovated every room and in doing so we’ve been loyal to the architectural integrity of the house, and kept a timeless, neutral palette that allows the natural environment around us to pop and sing,” she said.
Storage has been a priority and Ms Penfold worked with designers Jacinta Preston and Tina deSalis to create the kitchen of her dreams.
“My kitchen is a joy to be in, we managed to get everything I wanted into the design and then some,” she said. “It has a relaxed contemporary holiday vibe about it with every detail immaculately planned and executed. You want for nothing so it’s the perfect kitchen.”
The home is well-located close to the city, schools and a myriad of walking trails the family has used a lot.
“It’s quite incredible to be so close to the centre of Sydney yet so immersed in nature,” Ms Penfold said.
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