MURDER IN PARADISE LEADS TO FAST SALE
Model Gemma Ward has sold her clifftop Avalon Beach investment property after being heartbroken by the murder of her rental tenant. The unrenovated shack featured in the news around the world when the tenant, hairdresser Lanell Latta, was murdered in the home last month.
Latta had stayed on renting the home with her partner and two sons when Ward bought the house in June last year.
Latta’s son Joel Woszatka stands accused of the murder.
Ward is not making a profit from the sale, willing instead to take a pre-auction offer of $1.65 million just four days into its marketing.
Ward paid $1.6 million last year through Pacific First National agent Steve Crooks, who also sold the home this time round. Crooks had an obligation to advise the buyer of the recent occurrence under NSW legislation.
When Ward bought the two-bedroom home on the 1000sq m oceanfront block it came with approved plans to build a “dream home”, designed by award-winning northern beaches architect Atelier Haefeli.
It was set to be a four-bedroom Hampton-style residence, with multiple living areas, pool and lift access. But any plans for the project by Ward and her photographer husband David Letts ended when it was sold this month.
The three-bedroom beach home is bordered by dense trees, shielding it from Tallow Beach, which can be accessed via a sandy track.
The couple have two children after Gemma gave birth to baby Jet Ocean earlier this year. Jet Ocean joins threeyear-old Hawaiian-born daughter Naia in the Ward clan.
Ward made her Australian Fashion Week debut at only 15 years old from Perth and went on to become the youngest model to appear on the American edition of Vogue. In 2007, Ward earned $3 million from her doll-face looks, to be ranked by Forbes magazine as the 10th most highly paid model in the world.
Australian model Gemma Ward, and (insets, above) the Avalon Beach home. Picture: Richard Dobson