RUGBY star James O’Connor has sold his family home of 20 years on the Gold Coast as he focuses on his career comeback in Brisbane.
A Brisbane buyer who plans to retire there in another 10 years has paid $1.3 million for the property at 94 The Esplanade, Paradise Point in a deal negotiated by Alex Phillis of Alex Phillis Real Estate.
It’s a bittersweet sale for the 29-year-old, who fondly recalls his years as a teenager having barbecues with friends and playing on the beach in front of the home.
The Wallabies star loved the house he grew up in so much, he bought it from his parents when they moved interstate a decade ago.
Yet his return to Australia after a stint playing overseas led him to Brisbane, where he signed a two-year deal with the Queensland Reds and Rugby Australia.
“The commute just isn’t possible anymore,” O’Connor said.
“I want to be closer to the Reds’ headquarters and make Brisbane my home in Queensland for good now.”
O’Connor renovated the property himself, turning the backyard into a Bali-inspired “recovery area” featuring a straw hut, spa and saltwater pool.
“That was my little creation,” he said. “We used to set up the flatscreen, have tea in the spa, and then have a dip in the pool.”
The house was up for sale with a price guide of $1.4 million.
Mr Phillis said the property attracted lots of interest despite the COVID lockdowns.
He said it was just a matter of finding the right buyer.
“I had great interest post-COVID and a few offers on the table, but cash is always king and ended up trumping other buyers,” Mr Phillis said.
O’Connor and fiancee Bridget Bauman have bought a home in Auchenflower.