Former top jockey hopes to rein in a buyer
THIS season will be about both the Spring Racing Carnival and spring selling for former top jockey Gary Willetts. Mr Willetts and his wife, Raewyn, have listed their home of about 14 years in Brighton East with a September 23 auction date.
The couple bought the elegant four-bedroom house shortly after it was built at 20 Roseberry Ave.
CoreLogic records indicate they paid $763,000. The property now has $2-$2.2 million price hopes.
Willetts — who rode almost 1500 winners in his career and had a long association with champion sprinter Manikato — said he was “really sad” to be leaving the “beautiful home”.
“I love the back veranda. We eat most of our meals out there, and it’s been great for the family at Christmas,” the now-director of the Dingley Hotel said.
“I sit out there most days and watch the races as well, as there’s a bar. Some days I’m watching the cricket and listening to the races while having a beer.”
The 74-year-old said his five grandchildren would miss the solarheated pool, which he installed after buying the house, and his wife, the English garden in the front yard.
“When the ‘for sale’ sign went up, the neighbours asked us, ‘What is Raewyn going to do without the garden?’” he said.
The couple is selling to downsize, having already bought another house in the area through Nick Johnstone Real Estate. Director Nick Johnstone is also selling Roseberry Ave, and expects it to be sought by families.
“It’s a great family home. It’s spacious, it’s got big open-plan areas and huge rooms with high ceilings,” Mr Johnstone said.
The house also features “period flourishes” throughout, an American oak-finished kitchen with Miele and Bosch appliances and polished granite benches, a luxe bathroom with a spa bath, and two bars — one on Willetts’ veranda and the other in the open-plan living and dining area.