Seven Family Homes Selected

We have a core philosophy here at Sydney Family Homes.  The house could be dire, the colours wrong, the kitchen lacking, the carpet sticky… but if the house has a few certain elements then you look harder, you start making plans and ask for that contract.

Rule 1.  As mother said ‘It must be a north facing backyard’

Rule 2.  Made of brick

Rule 3.  A backyard not a courtyard

Rule 4 You can change anything but all of the above.

We also are mindful of pricing.  We don’t live on fantasy but realism.  Mortgages in Sydney are steep and we are here to show you houses from $1M to $2.5 M.

So here are Seven Houses for Sale with all of the above.  Some are just right others are fixer-uppers.

No. 1  – 71 Sunnyside Cres, CASTLECRAG.

The whole street is filled with expensive houses and this is the last one left in original condition.   This is the house you start your family life with and end up with something of your own making (or your designer/ architect).


Castlecrag is a premium suburb with architectural history, bush, water, great local schools and close to the city.   You can buy a reasonable house in Castlecrag but this house has the 4 elements that make it liveable and what we define as a perfect family home (after a bit of renovating, of course)

No. 2  – 17 Dolphin St, RANDWICK


Pleasant Federation cottage with 3 beds and plenty of below ground storage thanks to a sloping block.  The heritage style of the house is here but with no clear design ideas.  It would be super easy to give a ‘Hamptons’ or ‘French’ style to update the interior.

Location is what this house is all about.  Take the kids to Nippers at Clovelly and home to the backyard for some trampoling.  Plan a top floor in the future with a parents retreat.


No 3 – 6 Brown Street, BOTANY


Botany is one of those areas, full of low rise townhouses and cottages, yet teaming with parks and a great pool.  It will always be low rise due to the airport (until that moves) and is close to Rosebery and Alexandria which are turning into destinations.

This cottage in Brown Street is considered one of the best streets.  It has all the elements and no style to save, just add it yourself.   Worth driving around Botany and seeing for yourself.


No 4 –  43  Barnstaple Road, Five Dock


Five Dock is easy to love.   Set between bays with long park walks and that ideal mix of cultures giving ample choice of food destinations.  The house could either be updated or redeveloped, either way you are buying into a good area with the right location. Just close your eyes and pretend you don’t see the old decor and concrete backyard.  It’s opposite a park  – always a bonus.


No.  5 – 26 Libya Crescent, Allambie Heights


Praise the sunshine this house is designed to love it.  It’s open, airy and looks like it could withstand the worst of Sydney’s muggy summer nights with ease.


No. 6 –  13 Fullarton Street, Telopea


Telopea, yes, even I struggle with where some of Sydney’s 700+ suburbs are.    If I said ‘The Kings School’ is up the road and Telopea has a train station, does that help?

Price guide is $1.2 – $1.32oK.   I’ve picked this for a reason,  because if the next buyer doesn’t knock this down and build a duplex I will be surprised.   Not quite in the category of ‘family homes’ but it is a ‘family home’ area.    House is plain, inside is plain.  Enough said.

Now for something pleasing to the eye..  the best is last

No. 7.  26 Vista St, Pymble


It’s in a park or a forest or a large garden, the pool is heated (!) and the front doors are splendiferous.   Style is described as ‘Balinese’? .   It has that deft hand of maintenance to it but lacking in a finished or defined interior style.    Just needs the right paint and the right furniture which is not difficult.   I’d talk to the nice ladies at Piper & Ross.  Start with a nice cheese board and get some decorating advice, or do one of their masterclasses in shibori?

Anyway this is a proper family home and has all the elements on the check list.


It wasn’t easy to find these 7 homes all the with ‘elements’ and so many of them need work on them, but they are worth it if you want to create a home for your family, your needs and make it your own.  I am tempted between Castlecrag and Pymble, but then Allambie is designed for Sydney, Randwick is a great position, Botany is up and coming and Telopea is just a money-making opportunity.

All images courtesy of Domain.  All opinions and conclusions are my own.  Any experiences or extra information on any of these houses would be welcomed. 


Three Homes for Inner City Families

Erskineville, 33 Eve –  Family Starter pack


Tucked in behind Sydney Park, is this  3 bed cottage set on one and a half levels.  Already set up for a family life it would be great for the first child but move out by the second.  The area is teaming with shiny prams, dogs and excellent childcare.

Darlinghurst, 172 Bourke –  Magic door of calm


Behind this micro looking terrace set on the lower end of Bourke St is delightful surprise of a family home.    All the colours are calm, the bookshelves are plentiful and the light is coming in the right places.   It seems amazing to find so many rooms in what appears to be a small home.  There are three levels, so send the kids upstairs and you can relax with a book in the front parlour.

The sunlit back area and open kitchen has a cute playroom tucked around the corner.   The only improvement would be a mural or chalkboard wall outside the kitchen as its too plain.

Family factor.  Already set up for a family.  There is an excellent preschool nearby,  you could join both the Australian Museum and Cook & Phillip pool.    For last minute meals, reasonable Italian eats are in Stanley Street.

Newtown, 49 Gowrie – Formidable


I never thought to seek out a french industrial inspired terrace but here it is. The level of detail is like a fabulous film set from walkways, copper plumbing, internal trees, moroccan tiles to an actual swing.    It’s a great life for a creative childhood.  I would ask how many of the fittings are included. You would want the kitchen table as the tiles are featured throughout the house.    Excellent for parents who still like a night out at the Enmore.

All images courtesy of Domain.  All opinions and conclusions are my own.  Any experiences or extra information on any of these houses would be welcomed. 

Randwick – Two houses for One


6 George St, Randwick.   For Sale via McGraths.  Price Guide $2.8M

B.O.G.O.F.   Buy one get one Free.  Buy the Brick House get the Sandstone one for free.

Years ago Great Great Grandma Mary-Rachel ran out of money so she sold off a bit of the land, then other bit, then another. Before that the family owned all the ends of the street.  Now its a funny shape of land, very large in today’s terms, and the two cottages built for the family are still there.

This could be the reason for the odd shape of this property and the two different aged homes.    But let’s explore and see what could be done.  The leading image of the conservatory is completely enticing.  The land is huge but the house/s need an update.  Not too much.


There are some great elements in this room, but also some missing elements.  The ceiling is very plain, the light is plain, the TV looks like an uninvited guest along with the glass coffee table.   I suggest taking a design look at Vaucluse House and the colour schemes of pale sage, persimmon and cream,  along with some fantastic old italian geometric tiles.


Gabled roofed upper bedroom.  I ache for the potential to be reached in this unusual home.


Close-ups of expensive stoves get me all excited.   I may be horrified by the rest of the kitchen but you’ve got me a step closer with the stove.  Pity about the fluro light – my instagram dinners will need better lighting.


Hello down there!  if you climb up the Jacaranda tree you can see a long way.


A secret garden so close to the city.   Just over 7 kms to the CBD.

In summary,  love seeing these tucked away mash-up homes from different eras and this one, subject to a good building inspection, could be family history in the making.

Family Factor: the amount of exploring space for children is magical.  I would encourage fort building, tree houses and vegetables patches and lots of yelling ‘go play outside it’s a lovely day’.

If $2.8 M is the stretch in your budget then ditch the private school prices and go state. The Government high schools including Randwick Girls are very close.  New South Uni is the same suburb so you could see your prodigy at home for years with this location.




All images courtesy of Domain.  All opinions and conclusions are my own.  Any experiences or extra information on any of these houses would be welcomed. 

Waverley – Old Face New Body


16 Langlee Ave, Waverley .  That’s it Sydney property buyers.  It will take a minimum of $2.5M to buy this cute but tiny house in Waverley.   The property market in Sydney is nuts, ridic, hilarious or just simply depressing.  Signs are the market is about to explode again. House are being sold before Auction and there is a black market for properties that never reach the illustrious pages of the Wenty.

Fatigue sets in about now so I’m here to help. Apart from a dated kitchen which a splash of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint will fix, the house is ready to go.  The backyard faces north, the house is painted that fashionable grey colour (although only the facade, guys you could have painted the sides).  The garage is like a cupcake.. so take a long tape measure and see if the Jeep fits in.  Bonus playroom in the attic and home office outside.



The so-called ‘formal’ rooms are simply furnished and look more usable than normal.


Brilliant choice of window and door frames.  The industrial look frames are loft style and not simply a concertina fold back look.


There’s a home office/ study lurking in the back yard.  I advise looking at the google satellite maps closely.  There is an apartment building at the rear.


Sleigh beds make me feel sorry for the removalists.


The kitchen is the only room with a high need for renovation.  The cheap option is to paint the cupboards and replace the door knobs. Expensive option is to gut and redo and get a better flow to the adjoining family room.


Lounge room is now a TV room.  A practical use of an otherwise ‘formal’ room.


Queens Park – Nino in the 90s

44A Queens Park Road, Queens Park NSW 2022

Unusual to see an Eastern Suburbs house in a prime suburb  (not a pretend suburb like Matraville) using the For Sale system.   That’s because, despite the undoubtably important Architect,  this house is out of fashion.  It’s the wrong modern.  Everyon

You can read about the architect Nino Sydney here .  His Beachcomber house, which is the old modern that is the right modern for now is in demand.  This house, incidentally designed for his daughter Maya, has all his classic features.  Cars are ground level, living is upper level.

The house is badly styled which doesn’t help when it is already unpopular. The position is terrific.  North facing living areas, three car garage (some could be storage space) and lane way access to Queens Park.   My tip, this is a bargain.  It’s not the the worst house it’s just the wrong house for now.

For Sale via Phillips Pantzer Donnelley.












Bondi – You got me at the tiles


Presenting 311 Old South Head Road, BONDI.  3 Beds, two baths, one loft, no parking (will this be a deal breaker?) and amazing use of tiles.

Main road houses usually put one off, but with this clean looking semi-detached terrace, its actual entrance is behind on Simpson street so the living is oriented to this quiet street.

It is halfway to Bellevue Hill so not in the catchment for Bondi Public and its healthy living canteen (admired by sugarless loving Sarah Wilson).  Although check with the official school zone site and don’t take the pre-loaded website for an answer.

Panning out from the kitchen the high ceiling and loft come into view.  I can see ourselves dragging sand and scooters into the house while we make post-surf green smoothies.


Clear dining chairs are popular in small spaces. If you want more storage look into using the stair space.


This area faces Simpson street and north is too the left.  It really saves the awfulness of being on a main road.


Too distracted by another set of fab tiles to see the useful cupboard space.  Extra points for the ensuite.  This room does face the main road so look at the noise levels.


Cute, nice, clean.


Price range.   Changed from 1.6 – 1.65  to 1.7 over the last few days meaning it’s popular. Surprisingly it’s FOR SALE, not auction.

Link to old sales data

Liveability  Ranked 39 – 164 depending on which part of Bondi you inhabit.

Simpson J

I like a realistic photo especially taken on garbage night.