Mark Schwarzer cops $2.2 million loss on Watsons Bay harbourfront

The recently retired Socceroos champion Mark Schwarzer and his wife, Paloma, have sold Boongarre, their 1870s Watsons Bay property for $8 million.

The buyer is former model Genevieve Reed, the wife of the publican Damien Reed. Genevieve Reed had an extended settlement, put and call option over the eastern Sydney harbourfront property.

Title Tattle gleans Genevieve Reed had quietly, until the recent settlement deadline, unsuccessfully sought $9 million plus buyers who would have taken up Reed's speculative purchasing rights from earlier this year.

The Schwarzer couple, who are staying in Britain while Mark continues his club career with Chelsea Football Club, never resided in the five-bedroom Victorian weatherboard, best known for its association with the Stead family. They rented it out to tenants who remain in the heritage listed residence until early next year. 

Title Tattle wrote of its mooted secret sale in March this year, but without any sale price indication because it was difficult to nail down with any degree of surity.

Around August the SMH belatedly wrote it had sold with the Title Deeds "inside story" section then advising the "property fetched more than $9 million."

Set on a 1,132-square-metre block, Schwarzer did the hard yards during their ownership securing development approval for Tobias Partners alterations and extensions. They met public resistance when the likes of the US author Jonathan Franzen asked that the house be preserved insitu as a national heritage item.

No development works were undertaken by Schwarzer who bought it from the boatshed-seeking Pavlik family for $10.2 million in 2009.

The Pavlik family had bought it from the National Trust in 1991 for $2.67 million after it had been bequeathed to the trust by Stead's third wife, botanist Thistle Harris, best known as the author of Wild Flowers Of Australia.

It was bought for £400 in 1917 by naturalist David Stead, when his daughter, the novelist Christina, was 14 years old. Christina, who left for London in 1928, used the locality in her books For Love Alone, The Man Who Loved Children and Seven Poor Men Of Sydney.

It was built for John Harmer, a clerk in the water police office at Watsons Bay, by his father, William, a builder and ferry boat owner.

During the Stead ownership the property was known as Boongarre, derived from the name of an Aborigine, Bungaree, whom Governor Lachlan Macquarie described as the chief of the Broken Bay tribe.

It was listed with $12 million plus hopes in March 2012.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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