Australia

Indoor soccer, slides in ultimate fun houses

Sick of spending increased time at home during the coronavirus pandemic with nothing to do but watch TV? These houses could be the perfect antidote.

A variety of properties have recently come up for sale with unusual entertainment features that make it much easier whiling the hours away at home.

They include a prized Earlwood house with an indoor soccer pitch, complete with netting and built-in goals.

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The 565 sqm property on Clarke St also comes with an aquarium and panic room and many of the features can be controlled with an app. The games room has space for a full-size pool table.

Cobden and Hayson agent Jim Nikolopoulos, who is selling the Earlwood house in conjunction with agent Namir Mikha, said it was a property where you could “holiday in the backyard”.

“You don’t need to leave, everything is there,” he said. “If you want some sport all you need to do is go downstairs, there’s an amazing man cave.”

The indoor soccer pitch was “the cherry on the cake” for the property and was attracting families with young kids, Mr Nikolopoulos said.

It was installed by the current owner, who is understood to be a staunch supporter of Everton in the English Premier League.

“It would have to be the best entertainer’s home I have ever walked into,” Mr Nikolopoulos said.

Families keen on the property will likely have to pay a steep price to get the keys: the property goes under the hammer next week with expectations of $3.2 million to $3.8 million.

In the northern beaches hinterland, a house in Terrey Hills includes a man-made lagoon of 600,000 litres, sauna, aquarium and floodlit tennis court. An area outside one of the guesthouses was once used as a drive-in outdoor movie theatre.

The property last sold in 2014 for $7.5 million, according to CoreLogic data, but could fetch around $10-$11 million if sold this year.

“The home was built in the mid-1990s and the current owners have spent an awful lot on improvements,” Christie’s International listing agent Darren Curtis said.

The 1.65ha property on McCarrs Creek Rd has a horse paddock backing onto a mountain bike and walking track in Kuring-gai National Park.

There is also a jacuzzi deck with firepit and outdoor shower, numerous veggie gardens and a chook pen.

North of Sydney, a four-bedroom house is available on the grounds of an actual amusement park. The $1.95 million property in Rainbow Flat includes four water slides, a putt putt course and a toboggan run.

A resort-style retreat in the Snowy Mountains that’s attracting interest from Sydney buyers on the hunt for a weekender includes a training gym and boxing ring.

The weights and exercise equipment come with the five-bedroom home on the shores of Lake Jindabyne, along with other decor such as coats of armour. There is also a sauna.

Selling agent Matt Lowe of Raine and Horne-Snowy Mountains said the price expectations were “north of $2.5 million”.

“The gym is probably bigger than the one we have in town,” he said. “The owner ran a security company and many of the workers would train there … it’s a pretty state-of-the-art gym.”

Sports enthusiasts also have plenty of entertainment features with a Glenhaven house in Sydney’s northwest. The $3.95 million estate on Mills Rd has a squash court, tennis court, gym, indoor pool and billiards room.

Further afield, in Queensland, a house in the suburb of Hamilton in Brisbane’s north includes possibly the most unusual entertainment feature of all: a skate bowl — in the living room. The house on Joynt St has a guide price of plus $2.37 million.

Westpac research published earlier this week showed greater time at home during the coronavirus pandemic made most Australians place a higher value on more space and better entertainment options.

Westpac managing director of mortgages Anthony Hughes said there was an increased appreciation for lower-density living

“The ideal home is changing (to include) studies, more space in the kitchen … and home gyms because all gyms are closed,” Mr Hughes said. “(Aussies) are also valuing outdoor space and backyards more, as there’s been a reluctance to be out in the community.”

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