“It was very Spanish and I wanted it to be more French Riviera. “I wanted it to be like the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes,” says Waterhouse of the latest update.
When asked about the nearly $18 million price increase over three years, Waterhouse says his $10.25 million purchase price was below market value because the transaction coincided with the onset of COVID-19 and was expected property prices plummeted.
“The right time, the right place. If it weren’t for COVID, they wouldn’t be interested, but they just wanted certainty and a delayed deal,” explains Waterhouse.
Since then, he has obtained plans approved by the prosecutor’s office to go up another level and expand the garage.
Agency co-founder Steven Chen, who is selling the home with agent Bethwyn Richards, says the plans made will add millions to the value of the property.
“The DA has allowed a four-car garage with a health and wellness room and studio underneath. There is also approval for a spacious master suite on level three, which will provide panoramic views of Sydney Harbour. If these plans were implemented, it would be worth more than $30 million.”
Given Waterhouse’s long-standing love of the house, sparked during a visit in the ’70s, his relatively short tenure is a surprise.
“For my stage of life it is too big for me. It is a perfect family home. If I had a four in front of my age instead of a six, it would be great for little kids going to school. “
While Waterhouse may have overshot the bachelor’s commission for the villa, there is another, equally impressive, historic harborside property involved in the surprise sale of Villa Biscaya.
Waterhouse says he and Janette, who get along well, are planning a family compound on a 3,300-square-metre beachfront lot in Elizabeth Bay. The block houses the former colonial mansion and naval residence Tresco, built in 1864, in the name of his ex-wife.
“I’m trying to put a couple of houses in Elizabeth Bay, so my ex-wife can stay in the main house and my son has a house and I have a house. “It’s a heritage property and we’re going through a lot of hurdles right now,” says Waterhouse.
Tresco hit the market for 50 million dollars in 2017, but Waterhouse said the only offers came from developers eager to carve up the waterfront site. He describes this as a “terrible outcome” for the large estate and one the family hopes to avoid.
When the inevitable topic of her high-profile family and their long-running family feud comes up, Waterhouse says her last name has been a heavy burden to bear.
“It is a huge burden for me because I have never benefited from it,” he says. “I haven’t spoken to them in 31 years.”
Waterhouse says that while his current name took a beating during the 1984 Fine Cotton horse racing substitution scandal and its aftermath, he believes his famous sister-in-law’s racetrack success has been key to social revitalization. of the name Waterhouse.
“In the 90s it was terrible. Since Gai, famous horse trainer, arrived, it’s not so bad. She has softened it. But everyone knows the distancing, so it’s of no use.”
While it’s clear there’s no love lost between the two sons of late lawyer-turned-bookmaker Bill Waterhouse, the Waterhouse men still share a penchant for punting, something second son David describes as “being in the blood”.
With an uncanny ability to remember dates and numbers, Waterhouse’s passion for risky investments is evident during the interview, whether in art, markets or property.
Of the three, he believes prime real estate in Sydney remains the safe bet.
“It may plateau, but it never really goes down. It can move quickly and you don’t want to be stuck in musical chairs. You can just hum (snap your fingers), and that’s exactly what happened here,” he says of Villa Biscaya’s nearly tripling asking price.
When it comes to taking real estate risks, Waterhouse says instinct has determined his odds.
“Life is about controlling your destiny, taking advantage of opportunities and not putting a toe in the water: you either take the plunge or you don’t,” he says. “If you feel very confident and it’s so compelling, like buying this house is so compelling, buying Tresco is so compelling, I’ve been very lucky with property.”