28 February 2011

460 Albion Street, Brunswick West, VIC, Australia

The drug house was for sale for a very long time. Wonder why?
Brunswick West does have a lot of nice places. It really does. But you can never quite get rid of properties like this, loitering incessantly like a bunch of underage youths outside a liquor store. This place is probably just as dirty, but a hell of a lot more fascinating. Like many of the properties around these parts, we initially thought this one was most definitely abandoned. It looks as if it hasn't been painted since it was first built - and if you think the front looks bad, you should see around the sides and the back! There are a couple of outbuildings which I believe were once a shed and garage. Both are now falling to pieces and literally unrecognisable. So, who in their right mind would actually live here? Nobody, right? WRONG.

Complete with nice car.
We had taken to calling this place "the drug house" due to to the fact that we would quite often see very nice cars parked incongruously in the driveway. We assumed that nobody would have a car that nice and a house that shitty, so we naturally jumped to the conclusion that the falling down shed out the back was actually a sophisticated hydroponic setup. Mystery solved! We would smirk knowingly to ourselves as we wandered by, sure that we had uncovered yet another house of illicit wares. However, as always, things were to take a surprising turn.

One day around Christmas, we were lucky enough to be walking past the drug house when the front door was open. Up until this point, we had never had so much as a glimpse inside, since the curtains are always drawn. But today we were in luck. One of the very nice cars that we had been seeing regularly was outside, and there was a couple who appeared to be dropping a few things off at the house. But here's where the shock set in - this decrepit, falling down heap of turds is actually furnished. It would appear that despite all evidence to the contrary, people actually live here. I'm not just talking about a couple of garden chairs here, either. I'm talking large sideboard (complete with mirror and Christmas decorations), reasonably well-kept floorboards, bookcases and soft furnishings.

The original ad for the drug house.
This is bizarre in the extreme. The place had actually been advertised for sale up until just a few days ago when the sign disappeared. Given that they were asking over a million dollars for the site (they pretty much said "just knock this place down and build massive apartments"), I'm not surprised it hasn't sold. Still, this place didn't look too bad inside. If someone has been living there over a long period of time, why the hell haven't they done ANYTHING to the outside? People would probably be interested in this place if it was fixed up - it's a pretty big house on a full section. A clever estate agent would be able to get close to a million for it quite easily. But no, it's been left to fester and now nobody even wants the land it stands on. I'm not surprised; that shed probably full of cockroaches and rats and used syringes. I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

Rating: Condemnable

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