A one-of-a-kind home built on the site of a catastrophic inferno was designed by the owner from his hospital bed.
When John and Karyn Mason’s house was razed to the ground in the 2003 Canberra bushfires, they imagined they had experienced the darkest days of their lives.
But as the blaze raged on, John was hospitalised with Guillain-Barre syndrome, rare and crippling nerve disorder that left him paralysed, unable to speak, and clinging to life in intensive care.
Determined her husband would pull through, Karyn began designing a house that would suit their new-found needs, while John did his bit by using his eyes to communicate with the architect and interior designer.
This one-of-a-kind home built on the site of a catastrophic inferno was designed by the owner from his hospital bed
John Mason helped his wife Karyn design their new home by blinking once for ‘yes’ and twice for ‘no’ after he was paralysed with a rare nerve disorder
After eight weeks in ICU, John started blinking once for ‘yes’ and twice for ‘no’ to tell his wife and team what he wanted from their new home.
The result was a spectacular 380sqm residence complete with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, sprawling open-plan living spaces and a sparkling outdoor swimming pool sunk into the ground.
Designed in accordance with accessible standards, the house features wide hallways, wheelchair accommodating amenities and a specialised kitchen with a low bench, sink, and built-in coffee machine.
The kitchen and family room exude a great sense of space with 2.7m high raked ceilings and an inviting view of the swimming pool, while the rumpus room has a bar area and bi-fold doors that lead out to the tiled entertainment space.
After eight weeks in ICU, John used his eyes to tell his wife and team what he wanted from their new home
The result was a spectacular 380sqm residence complete with an accessible kitchen (pictured) and a built-in coffee machine
The house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and sprawling open-plan living spaces
There’s also a sparkling outdoor swimming pool sunk into the ground
Mr Warren said the couple would be sad to leave the custom home, which had served their needs, but it was time to downsize as they moved into retirement.
The design was recognised with the 2005 Masters Builders Association Home of the Year award, a nod to its extraordinary story of resilience.
‘From John blinking and not being able to talk to creating an award-winning home, it’s truly remarkable,’ real estate agent Jonny Warren told Daily Mail Australia.
The one-off house sold under the hammer for $3.1 million (AUD) on October 5, three times the average for similarly sized properties in the area.
Australian property prices are soaring at the fastest pace since the late 1980s, with detached homes that have gardens in particularly high demand, which means the number of them on the market has plummeted.
The house has been designed in accordance with accessible standards
The master bedroom (left) overlooks the garden, while the other three (one right) are tucked at the other side of the house
The kitchen has special features including a lowered bench (pictured) and sink
The one-off design was recognised with the 2005 Masters Builders Association Home of the Year award, a nod to its extraordinary story of resilience
Australia-wide there has been an 18.4 per annual price increase, the sharpest since July 1989 when interest rates were at a now-unimaginable 17 per cent.
Sydney’s Northern Beaches had a 33.8 per cent annual increase in property prices with the Richmond-Tweed area of northern New South Wales – including Byron Bay – climbing by 29.5 per cent, outdoing greater Sydney’s 26 per cent rise.
Record-low interest rates saw house price records set in 88 per cent of Australia’s real estate markets, with regional areas by the coast doing even better than capital cities as more professionals began to work from home, eliminating the need to live in major cities.
In August, house prices hit new peaks in 69 of Australia’s 78 property sub-markets based on a grouping of suburbs and towns.
The house (pictured) sold under the hammer for $3.1 million (AUD) on October 5, three times the average for similarly sized properties in the area
The sale comes as Australian property prices continue to soar at the fastest pace since the late 1980s, with detached homes that have gardens in particularly high demand
A study from house price data provider CoreLogic revealed there were 153,803 houses for sale across Australia in August 2018. As of late August 2021, there are just 88,872 houses on the market, a drop of more than 42 per cent.
But finance experts warn prices in suburban areas could crash by 20 per cent while apartment values may plunge by up to a third when the boom inevitably ends.
Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond said he fears prices have moved ‘too far, too fast’, calling them ‘insane’.
A 20 per cent drop in some suburbs would see Sydney’s median house price plunge by $258,690, from a record high $1.293million, while a similar catastrophe in Melbourne would see prices fall by $190,900, from $954,496.