The real estate boom has found its way to Balldale with a church in the small town selling for $110,000 above reserve at a weekend auction.
St Stephen's Presbyterian Church in Kavanagh Street was sold under the hammer for $180,000, a figure significantly higher than pre-auction expectations.
The Melbourne-based new owner plans to convert the church into short-term accommodation after seeing off two other bidders in the auction conducted by Moloney Real Estate in Corowa.
"We were thinking $100,000 would be a great result," agent Luke Moloney said.
"It was just another example that there are no secrets in the market.
"As soon as we launched the property we had calls from all over Australia.
"(The new owner) will renovate it extensively, but try and keep some of the existing elements.
"Obviously with the pub up and running again and going very well there is obviously a lack of accommodation when you do go out there.
"I'm sure it will do well."
IN OTHER NEWS
The final Sunday service held at the church was about five years ago.
It was built with extensive timber interior by Ade Verbunt and officially opened with a celebration service held on March 7, 1962.
Garden parties, tennis tournaments and flower shows were some of the fundraisers held to bankroll the new brick church.
The last wedding held in the church was in 2018.
The original Presbyterian Church on the site was built half a century earlier and used by other denominations.
It has since been demolished leaving the existing church on a block of land measuring 2023 square metres.
A three bedroom home on almost 13 hectares of land in Carroll Lane, Balldale sold recently for $592,000.
The Balldale Hotel, built in 1905, re-opened almost two years ago.
Mr Moloney said the highest estimate of around $120,000 was well short of the mark.
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