Majestically located in a leafy court, this stunning 3 bedroom Californian Bungalow fuses modern living with old fashioned charm. Perfect for the family with …
Can you believe people read this stuff? Well, the thing is, people do. And, if you’re ever in the market for a new home, you will too. And, if the time comes, you’d like to think that what you’re reading is at least partly true. And, that’s where I come in …
G’day, I’m Ken Williams – copywriter for hire.
Recently, I was contacted by an estate agent asking me to write up some houses for her, ‘I expect you to weave your magic in 300 words or less,’ she said. ‘Capture the hidden gem within,’ she said. ‘Capture the vibe, the ambiance,’ she said.
The bulldust more like, I thought.
The truth is, each Melbourne home has its uniqueness, its own characters and pitfalls. What I like to do, is delve into the real feel of a suburb – talk to its people, marvel at its history and uncover a gem or two – and then build a realistic dream for the potential buyer.
Montmorency – hard to pronounce, easy to find
Bang on nine o’clock this morning, I received an email describing a Californian Bungalow in Montmorency (sounds more like something you’d pick up at a ‘rave party’ than a suburb in the North East of Melbourne), It’s fun to say though, Montmorency. If you hold your tongue while you say it it’s even more fun. Momporempthy.
Anyway, I headed off to check it out. I took the Western Ring Road to the end, swung onto Main St Greensborough and wound around the Watermarc Aquatic Centre, where giant waterslides dart out from the building and hang above the street. Impressive. From there, I crossed over the Plenty River where I was greeted by two large football grounds and a black and white billboard that read: Home of the Monty Magpies.
Were street (pronounced Weir) is Montmorency’s main drag, where a giant Windmill – an actual life-size Windmill – stands at the top of the street. A train station at the foot of the street has views of the hills, and outside cafés line the street. I parked out front of the Newsagent / Post Office and took a stroll.
First thing I noticed was the street was quite artsy – mosaics along the footpaths and murals on the walls. I entered a coffee shop at the top of the hill. An attractive woman wearing a red apron over a blue t-shirt greeted me with a warm hello.
‘G’day,’ I replied, and followed up with, ‘Cappuccino, please.’ You can’t teach that. She smiled politely and walked off.
I sat outside and peered down the hill towards the train station. The street was a mix of workers in overalls breaking for morning tea and mums with prams stopping for chats. Monty was growing on me. Monty, I discovered was the term the locals used. When I say locals, I don’t mean to suggest that they’re country folk. It’s only five minutes from Greensy, that’s Greensborough, or 45 minutes by train to the city on the Hurstbridge line.
I got up to take some photos when an older lady brought out my coffee and waited til I finished my snaps, ‘Only forty-odd years ago this was a fruit and vegetable growing town,’ she announced. ‘Dairies and orchards filled these hills.’
I thought, why is she telling me this? Maybe it was the camera.
‘It was founded in 1917 and named after a local farm, Montmorency Estate, which in turn was named after the French town, Montmorency Val-d’Oise.’
‘Sacre bleu!’ I said.
She stared at me blankly before continuing, ‘It’s where French philosopher, Jean-Jacques lived.’
I nodded impressively, though I had no idea who she was talking about.
She shook her head and walked away.
I thanked her, spilled a good measure of coffee down my shirt, and decided it was time to check out the property.
As I drove around Monty I noticed something quite unusual. There were hardly two houses that looked alike. It was a real hodge-podge of new and old. Old weatherboard homes, massive modern monstrosities and even old farm houses. Nothing blended. I’ve since been told that this makes it difficult to price a lot of these homes. One might sell for over $1 million and another half the price. But entry level is around $750,000 to $850,000.
There are parts of Monty though, where you’d think you are in the country. And the street I was after is one of them. A Californian Bungalow stood quietly behind several bushy trees. The home was empty, yet felt cosy as I stepped across the porch into spacious living areas with timber floors. The renovated country style kitchen had me dreaming of breakfasts spent gazing out into the bushy garden. This home was telling me it wanted a family. Built for a bit of noise and activity, and a dog. A shaggy dog with a waggly tail.
The Wrap up
Overall, I like Monty. It has charm. Well worth a look if you’re wanting an escape from the hustle and bustle without being far from the big smoke. I don’t think it matters that the homes are not matching. And, I say homes not houses, because that’s the feel. The kind of place you might still see Billy-carts tearing down the hilly streets. It’s got all your sporting amenities, three primary schools, two shopping strips and a secondary college. But my favourite thing of all, Monty is the home of the Diamond Valley Racing Pidgeon Club. I can hear Bill Lawry now, ‘Wendy?’
Another point of note is that world renowned singer Gotye grew up in Monty. Born in Belgium, he moved to Monty when he was two. But then, he’s just somebody that I used to know.
I returned to the car feeling somewhat peckish, so I drove back to Were Street and a place called Max’s. I ordered a woodfire pizza and was happy with my choice, the topping was nice, but wow the crust! The crust was as delicious as I’ve ever eaten. Enjoying my meal, I got writing while the home was fresh in my mind, Majestically located in a leafy court, this stunning 3 bedroom Californian Bungalow fuses modern living with old fashioned charm…
Montmorency – 3094
Location: Located in the city of Banyule with a population of just under 9000, Monty is 18 km north east of Melbourne CBD. Trains to city on Hurstbridge line. Buses: The 293 to Box Hill, Frankston/Airport 901 and Glenroy/Eltham 513
Schools: 3 primary – 1 catholic, two state. Plus Montmorency Secondary College
Leisure: Restaurants, cafés, bakeries, parks, IGA grocery store, football/cricket ovals, tennis courts, lawn bowls, RSL club, Diamond Valley Racing Pidgeon Club.
Personality: laid back, sporty and artsy, almost country feel. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016, 80% of residents are Australian born and a mix of older residents and young families.