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The Pom Queen

Keilor- Melbourne Suburb

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Looking at the property stats of Keilor, one thing is obvious: units don’t rate a mention. Head up there (for some reason it feels “up” from Melbourne) and you can see why for yourself.

This is the domain of the 1970s super house. The original McMansion. There’s little room for units among the towering larger-than-life architectural (or not) wonders that line the streets.

With valley, city and even Port Phillip Bay views to be grabbed, home owners appear to have gone for any angle that will give them a slice of them. Or perhaps many just did their best to try to outdo their neighbours with grandness and embellishments. Some haven’t fared so well over time and appear to be in a state of ‘sheets as curtains’ sadness. Tradies’ cars fight for space on the narrow hillside streets while, for many of the bigger homes, their front gardens have become car parks.

Lush greenery at Keilor Golf Course.Lush greenery at Keilor Golf Course. Photo: Brimbank City Council

In Keilor, instead of guerrilla vegie gardens taking up some nature strips, you get guerrilla palm trees. It’s gobsmackingly different. Keen for a sticky beak? Keilor’s cul-de-sacs make your adventure a little obvious, but still enjoyable.

But Keilor is more than its houses. There is an even grander, but little doubt haunted, castle here: Overnewton, a Victorian Tudor that does weddings. There’s a lot of history in this town, the most recent being its role as one of Melbourne’s gold rush stopover points. 

Visit on a weekend and you’ll find celebrations going on in the centre of town: parking’s almost impossible at Lagoon Reserve as people pack it with parties. Cycling families slowly meander through on its bike path.

Cycling through Brimbank Park in KeilorCycling through Brimbank Park in Keilor Photo: Simon O’Dwyer

There’s a low key cluster of shops opposite Lagoon Reserve. You could be in any one of those towns that dot any long route between Melbourne and Sydney.

Craig Teal, director of Brad Teal Keilor, says that this suburb is basically a country town. What makes this one different is that it’s just 18 kilometres from the city. 

“It’s got the Ring Road, Tulla, Calder Freeway … it’s great for accessibility,” says Teal. “It’s also surrounded by the valley and the Maribyrnong, which meanders around, and from the outside you drive down into the village – it’s really the best country town in town,” he says.

Haunted? That depends on who you ask about Overnewton Castle.Haunted? That depends on who you ask about Overnewton Castle. Photo: Brimbank City Council

And Teal says that it’s also a town that appeals to families because kids can get around on their own steam. “It’s got a village vibe and friendly atmosphere,” he says. “You can walk everywhere … walk down to footy training, and feel comfortable.” 

So how much is it to live in this “country town in town”? Teal says people have paid $5.5 million to live here.

‘We’ve got one on the market for about $3 million – that’s for 600 square metres, with views over the Brimbank Valley. Another sold for $4.9 million. It’s becoming an affluent area,’ he says. ‘A lot of the homes built 40 years ago are either being purchased and knocked down, or being fully renovated.’

According to listings on Domain.com.au, you can pick yourself up a four-bedroom house here from $550,000, but you might want to budget for more like $721,750 – the median in the past six months according to Domain data.

Teal says price depends where in Keilor you want to buy. “One area is Keilor Village. That’s where you get $1300 per square metre of land, and that’s the highly sought after area. Then there’s the Calder Rise Estate from the ’70s – that’s probably gone up 25-30 per cent in the last 12 months to around $800,000.

“Small pockets behind the council offices are tightly held and have risen up phenomenally as well.”

Five things you didn’t know about Keilor

  • The “lagoon” part of Lagoon Reserve was filled in in the 1970s. So now it’s just a park. 
  • The Maribyrnong river here has a couple of popular swimming holes. Check with locals before getting in. 
  • There’s a huge sporting complex right in town, with cricket, tennis and football, including women’s football. (The men are reining premiers.)
  • Overnewton College is a highly-sought school near Overnewton castle.
  • Horseshoe Bend, a large Parks Victoria park, has been closed for some time, but Brimbank Park is nearby and popular.

If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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