by Mal James & Gina Kantzas

Saturday, August 22nd, 2020

This could be you.


A normal family, living in Malvern nearly a decade ago, made a directional change, one based on pure and free emotion AND in 2020, it seems to have worked.


They thought and were prepared to act, away from one’s usual curvatures of emotion, away from the guiding norm, outside society’s traditional dictates and their life went on – their family is safe, no harm has come, no damage done.


With our pandemic asking some pretty emotional questions of us all, here is the first of clients many; who have made a simple but seemingly less than easy, directional change for their own, their children’s, their family’s wellbeing.


This is the story of Pauline, Jimmy, Erin and Aisling – a story of change – a story of more through less – jubilant, total emotion, a true story for now.

Change - Outside the Dot$

Pauline, Jimmy, Erin & Aisling – Bradleys Lane Warrandyte North

Those Bloody Pooing Wombats and the occasional visit to their friends on extreme bushfire days, were seemingly the only major negatives of buying into a lifestyle change, when we were talking to Pauline and Jimmy (and Erin and Aisling) via zoom this week (2020). But first:

Backstory from Gina’s (James Buy Sell) notes 2012

It was a Monday morning, May 12, 2012.


Pauline is my name and I want to buy a home – a warm voice stated rather quickly, in a light but engaging Irish brogue.  Warm was a feeling, I was going to experience a lot in the next 5 days, despite being on the edge of a colder Melbourne Winter.


My notes show I spoke to both Jimmy and Pauline on the phone that day. I really liked them as people, they felt genuine.


  • Pauline and Jimmy hadn’t bought a home before (yep correct!!)
  • They were not even really looking.
  • Last weekend Pauline and Jimmy had been through a home, they’d seen on the internet, and they wanted us to buy this coming weekend at auction. That home was 118 Bradleys Lane Warrandyte

Simone made many phone calls that week.

Never bought a home before,

No finances and auction this weekend.

Mmmm – challenging!


  • Professional couple – she (Pauline) is in health and he (Jimmy) in IT with family, Erin 2 and another about to happen), renting in Malvern
  • Looking for a meaningful way to bring up their children
  • Budget to mid $1M’s


Position: State Park on 3 sides – river, forest and all free, gratis, no charge for mowing.

Property: The façade and feeling of this home was palpable as you entered the driveway.

Price: Was incredible – people pay 3 or 4 times, maybe 10 times what was paid, looking for the sanctuary, adventure and family life Bradley offers.


Quoted from Mal’s client rating in 2012 – 669/1000:

Sometimes in our business you view homes that actually move you – sometimes is only a few times a year. This home at 118 Bradleys is one such home.


Yes there are the growth, school and possible isolation issues of purchasing in Warrandyte North; but when you see a home of this calibre, all that melts away, as your emotions are elevated by the look and feel, the position to the national park and Yarra river and the exquisite care that has gone into the building of this home.


Some may come here and go quirky and others may think the home entrance is a little plain, but those that switch off from iPod life to a more contemplative one, can only become engrossed by the feeling of sanctuary, of peace and of family.


This is a truly great home for children to grow up in.


Fast Forward Saturday and in a different sign of the times – Simbo was able to co-ordinate the broker we recommended (Grant Rheuben) who said should be ok (that same week WOW!), as well council was ok, legals were checked and ok, pest and building ok. We had two pre auction meetings and bought Bradleys, for Pauline and Jimmy and Erin and soon to be Aisling, on the day, under the hammer, at a powerful auction – 3 main bidders.


The feeling was one of elation – this felt so right for them.

From our August 20, 2020 Zoom

Pauline and Jimmy: Gina and Mal good to see you again, how is life treating to you? And yes, we’d love to talk about Tree Change / Sea Change / Blow you mind change that 118 has been for us.


The pandemic has been interesting, but we feel pretty good in our home, right now.


Firstly, we thought our children were growing up and going to school on a block in Canterbury – things have changed, we will be staying here. We love it here.


Pauline: When I first drove down the street and we turned into the driveway – it all got to me, so strongly. The absolute warmth of the whole place and of that façade – I felt such a rush down my spine – this was it for me.


Walking into the place – I felt such joy. Yes, it was quirky but stylish. I still feel that joy


Jimmy: I loved the house then and I still do today, Mal and Gina. I could tell it was well built – it was for the owner; it was their pride and joy and today almost a decade on – I still feel the same way. Walking the trails, down by the river, love the block ………….


Pauline: This home works so well, it has been brilliantly designed.


Photos: Google Maps, Pauline and Jimmy, James Buy Sell, Fletchers


Pauline: See that balcony, so many dinner parties – but what I love the most is my morning coffee, in amongst the treetops – the kookaburras, the cockatoos and the rosellas.


Jimmy: Agreed – the home is so simple – but it works so well.


Mal and Gina: Surely must be some downsides.


Pauline and Jimmy: More mowing and maintenance (you could pay a gardener), a few days a year we need to think twice on bushfire ratings – even with 120 sprinklers built into our home by the builder (Chris and Jaki – Character Building) and until recently internet access, but NBN has fixed that. But that said, the plusses of family life and friends and the community far outweigh those issues (except when we’re weeding Mal and Gina)


Mal and Gina: What about distance from everything?


Pauline and Jimmy: Distance is not a problem unless you commute to the city and then it couldn’t work, if you had to do that 5 days a week – so get your work to fit your life and your family’s life (may be 2 days a week).


It might be further, but it takes no longer, to get anywhere locally as there is no traffic (yay)


Friends – it’s better for friends and family – when they come – they are here with us – they are present and they stay – its more meaningful and what we do is more together. Distance is not an issue.


Mal and Gina: So, your advice to professionals (Pauline is a psychologist and Jimmy an IT architect) or for that matter any tree change homebuyer:


Pauline and Jimmy:

  1. Do It
  2. Get a professional to help you buy – your work Mal and Gina was spot on.
  3. Get into your community.


Get into your community! Mal and Gina that has been the best part and why we won’t move now – it’s our community and if we could give any advice, it would be get into it, as early as you can – volunteer, join, turn up – meet people and share. This is such a welcoming and truly wonderful community and 118 Bradleys lane is as much a part of a great building, great block, as it is a great community – in fact community is the best part.

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Hi All,


We thoroughly enjoyed interviewing Pauline & Jimmy yesterday. Pauline is a beautiful person and the way she described her love at first sight – she felt for her house – was poetic! 


“I remember turning the corner into the driveway and my heart sank with warmth and joy. There was a home quirky & fun but stylish & modern. It was love at first sight which was amplified once I got inside.”


Later she said “her love grows rather than gets depleted” – once again we think she was referring to the home, but maybe it was Jimmy!



After discussion: Mal and Gina I so remember the auction day and the nerves I had – I was so pregnant – but Mal, your suit. I still remember it, with the purple lines running through your tweed and your hat – it was well……


Mal: Still have it Pauline, still wear it at auction and thank heavens Savile Row England, knows how to hide extra kilos.


Buying Agent: James Buy Sell


Builder (Provenance): – Chris and Jaki Cornell


Selling Agent: Fletchers: Chris Chapman, Mandy Berenyi and Lachie Fraser-Smith (Auctioneer – Bidderman was 3). Vendor Advocate: Ian and Ben Reid.