Renovator's dreams: Church conversions to long for at every price

Renovator's dreams: Church conversions to long for at every price
Renovator's dreams: Church conversions to long for at every price

There's something stylish about Church buildings, with their striking facades and quickly identifiable shapes. Some even have stained glass windows and other features that anyone with a penchant for property will fall in love with.

In fact, church to home conversions are becoming increasingly common, and when done right they can be absolutely gorgeous and valuable. We'll go through some of the properties you can snap up at present, from the top to the bottom end of the market - and those that are not yet converted.

Top end of the market

On the top-end of the converted market is 8/9 Lowther Street, Alphington, Victoria. Asking for $1,190,000, the townhouse has two bedrooms, three bathrooms and two carspaces.

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/2013/12/18/alpha]}

It has a beautiful cathedral ceiling, a timber ceiling, church windows and doors and really keeps the old church feel, however it brings in the modern conveniences with a Calacatta marble kitchen, powder room, floor-lit staircase and a walk-in wardrobe in the master bedroom.

Similarly, 27-29 Harding Street, Portarlington in Victoria asks for $1,250,000 for the three-bedroom, three-bathroom, two carspace home.

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/2013/12/18/port]}

It has views over the bay, a gas-log fire and a gourmet kitchen. It is named Porthaven, and was originally the Portarlington Methodist Church from the early 1800s.

"To be part of the congregation of buyers please call our office to arrange your private inspection," the listing notes.

Read over page for church conversions in the "middling" price bracket

Middle price range

Up for auction this weekend is 2/18 Rothwell Street, Ascot Vale in Victoria. Without a price listed, but asking for somewhere in the bracket of $620,000 to $680,000, according to RP Data, the two-bedroom, two-bathroom conversion is beautiful.

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/2013/12/18/ascot]}

It has kept some of the most gorgeous aspects of the building, but brought in some contemporary finishes. It also includes a private courtyard. The third level has the original timber ceiling, and a freestanding bath in the bedroom's ensuite.

Another Victorian beauty, 70 Clunes Road, Creswick is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, two-carspace gorgeous property has an engraving of the original year built (1881), which adds to the charm.

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/2013/12/18/cres]}

It's noted to have good holiday rental potential or B&B possibilities, and it includes the original timber beams and gorgeously shaped windows. The home appears stately and definitely sticks out as one of the beauties.

It's asking for offers from $695,000 to $725,000.

And for $450,000 to $480,000, 3/1C Berry Street, Essendon North is a two bedroom, one bathroom townhouse that has a private courtyard as well.

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/2013/12/18/ess]}

It has one of the more striking facades of the church conversions and uses the roofline to great effect.

See over page for church conversions in the lower price brackets


Low bracket

For $395,000 you could see yourself the owner of circa 1918 property St Jude's.

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/2013/12/18/st]}

On half an acre of flood free rise the 1231 St Albans Road, St Albans, New South Wales property has an interesting history. There are graves on the site of Reverend Joseph Anthony Baoke (who became the first minister in the area in 1876), and George Fleming (who sold the land to the Bishop of Newcastle for 10 shillings in 1869).

There are seven known heritage protected graves on the land, having been used as a cemetery from 1883 to 1904.

The property was still used as a church for services into the 1970s. Currently owned by 'Margaret and Phillip' who have held the property for 18 years, they undertook much of the restoration of the site.

The property was heavily used for entertainment and hosting, including family weddings, and historians, genealogists and tourists have also visited.

The rendered stone church has particularly lovely windows.

Meanwhile, for a best offer over $295,000 you could snap up this Tasmanian home at 46 Pioneer Drive, Mole Creek.

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/2013/12/18/mole]}

On almost 1,000 square metres, the three-bedroom church conversion includes myrtle ceiling, hardwood floors, large lead light windows and a mezzanine upstairs bedroom.

In cottage style, with a fabulous white picket fence, it's the property's grand front door that encapsulates much of the charm.

And then there's this home. For $299,900, a three-bedroom two-bathroom church conversion in Victoria could be just your style. In Moorlim, but address withheld, it's currently under contract.

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/2013/12/18/moor]}

On three quarters of an acre, circa 1888, St Patrick's church has an open fire, and well established gardens.

It has some lovely original features, including a timber ceiling and three yellow stained glass windows.

See over page for uncoverted church opportunities



If you want to undertake the conversion yourself, there are definitely opportunities. While not everyone's cup of tea, warehouse conversions and even shipping container conversions have been trendy for a while, so why not get your DIY on and look towards churches?

This one-bedroom, one-bathroom property in Tasmania, 345 Vermont Road, Ravenswood, will set you back just $140,000 and is solid double brick. Built in 1956 and in original condition throughout, it has high ceilings with mezzanine potential, a small kitchenette and a study in the vestry.

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/2013/12/18/raven]}

It still has a cross on the outside of the building, and pews within.

However, South Australia also has an offering, with 152 Young Street, Parkside.

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/2013/12/18/park3]}

Up for auction this weekend, it is currently a residence but basically unrenovated (just gutted).

It has one large open area and three side rooms, with 445 square metres of land, and the building on 248 square metres.

It was originally built in 1880 and has beautiful external features. Sadly there are no photographs of the interior in the listing.

{module Would you want to live in a converted church?}


Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?