Having decided he wanted a big project to sink his teeth into, builder Judd Bull was thrilled to have been the successful bidder at the auction of a former Anglican Church in Frederickton on the Macleay River just outside of Kempsey.
"To be honest, I was just looking for something in the right price range to renovate," Mr Bull said.
"Initially it was a house but then when this came up it became a blank canvas that lent itself to a similar sort of scope I was looking for."
Mr Bull, who purchased the property with his wife Geordie, said he hopes to work with an architectural firm to ensure he has the best use of the floor space in order to turn the church into a three or four bedroom house.
His initial plans also include putting a deck on the front of the building, erecting a retaining wall and adding stacked sliding-glass doors across the front to utilise the views.
He estimates the work will cost about $120,000 to $140,000 to undertake and at this stage he's unsure whether his family will live in the house, offer it to the rental market or sell it once it's completed.
"I was looking for a project I could chip away at and do in my own time," he said.
"It's a church that doesn't quite look like an authentic church so it lends itself to being transformed into a home."
Mr Bull hopes to start work on the project in July or August with plans to have it finished by the end of the year in case he decides to take advantage of the strong summer property sales market.
Sold through LJ Hooker Kempsey's agent Carlos Peters, the property at 31 Edgar Street in Frederickton attracted a lot of local buyer interest.
According to Mr Peters interest came not only from Mr Bull, who had expressed a desire to renovate the church, but also from buyers who had renovated a church in the past and were keen to do it again.
Mr Peters said another buyer had plans to develop the block by relocating the church and building units on the 1,341 square-metre site.
Thanks to the number of opportunities the unique building and large block presents, Mr Peters wasn't surprised the onsite auction on May 27 attracted five registered bidders with three of them getting involved in the bidding.
"The auction started low early, and then we went from $200,000 to $300,00 then from $300,00 to $350,000 and then whittled our way down to $385,000," he said.
According to Mr Peters the one-bathroom building, with polished timber floors and stained-glass windows, also had plenty of appeal thanks to its location in the heart of Frederickton, not far from the local general store, cafes, pub, primary school and the Macleay River.
According to CoreLogic the median price of a house in Frederickton is $570,000 and $338,000 in nearby Kempsey.
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