Tamworth community rallies behind charity auction for struggling farmers

When the hammer comes down at the auction of a brand new house in Tamworth at the end of this month, the lucky buyer will get much more than a family home.

They will be part of an extraordinary show of community kindness and generosity to help drought-ravaged farming families in country NSW.

For the past five months, scores of local tradespeople, businesses and suppliers have donated their time, money and materials to build The Tamworth 300 – a four-bedroom house in a boutique land estate – to raise money for struggling farmers.

And while the COVID-19 crisis initially threw up some curveballs during the build, the house was finished on time and advertised online on Thursday.

The idea was the brainchild of Natalie and Dan Urquhart of G.J. Gardner Homes Tamworth, who wanted to help farming families battling after years of severe drought. The couple received an overwhelmingly positive response when they took their idea to the community, partnering with the local council, developer McCloy Tamworth and real estate agency PRD Tamworth – as well as hordes of tradies and corporate suppliers.

“Right from the excavation to the slab, to the plasterer and the tiler, every trade either discounted or worked for free,” Mr Urquhart said. “Everyone chipped in. There would be a hundred trades and suppliers by the time you broke it down.”

Local community members could also donate money to the project by “buying a brick” for $25.

The house is expected to fetch upwards of $550,000 when it goes to auction on July 25, with all profits going to the Salvation Army Rural Relief program. After deducting the final build cost, the organisers hope to donate in excess of $250,000.

“What comes with buying this house is the satisfaction of knowing it’s for a great cause,” said James Goode, project director of McCloy Group, which donated the 710-square-metre piece of land in the new Lampada estate.

The newly finished house has three separate living areas, an open-plan gourmet kitchen with butler’s pantry, a dining area with an adjoining rumpus room, and two bathrooms.

“The home is beautiful,” Mr Urquhart said. “Every aspect of the build has been thought out; it hasn’t been rushed at all.”

And while the property was only listed online at the start of July, it has already attracted keen potential buyers.

“We’ve had lots of people wanting to know whether they can buy prior to auction,” said real estate agent Dean Cummins of PRD Tamworth. “But it will go to auction, and it will sell.”

Demand for property in Tamworth has been very strong, despite the economic slowdown surrounding the coronavirus, according to Mr Cummins.

“In the past 30 days, we’ve negotiated 38 new sales,” he said. “That’s as busy as it’s ever been in my 20 years in real estate.”

The auction is expected to attract a large community turnout. “We’ll just have to make sure everyone stays a 1.5-metre distance apart,” Mr Cummins said.

DOMAIN.COM.AU | 3rd July 2020 | Allison Worral | Read Domain Article