Buvette Masthead

Fall in Love with Fraser

Ashleigh Went

Some people look for a beautiful home, others look for a home to make beautiful.

Belinda Neame is definitely the latter. Her house in Fraser, now transformed into a beautiful bespoke family home, was built from very humble beginnings.

Fortuitous findings

In 1996, Belinda and her husband Tim were in their early 20s when they spotted the three bedroom home in the newspaper. Having grown up in Fraser, Belinda knew that the area was one renowned for people buying and not leaving. It was this unique opportunity, and the $103,000 price tag, that piqued her interest.

“The house is at the end of a cul-de-sac, and I remember driving by and seeing the weeds that climbed sky high and saying to Tim, ‘keep driving.’ I didn’t want to go anywhere near it.”

The house remained in their thoughts, and a few days later Belinda and Tim returned for a second look, suspecting that the house might have good structure.

“It had good bones. It’s on a massive block, it had floorboards throughout and lots of light. We offered them $97,000, they came back with $98,000 and we accepted.”

Belinda’s parents lent them the $10,000 deposit and, with that, they signed on the dotted line.

Dodgy dealings

On the day of settlement, Belinda awoke to the news on her radio alarm clock.

“The news was that a house in Fraser had been raided for drugs, and $100,000 cash had been found underneath the house. I rolled over to Tim and said ‘that’s our house.’ They didn’t give a street name or anything but I just had that gut feeling, because the house was disgusting inside.”

Following some brief investigation, Belinda’s suspicion was confirmed. After consulting the police about the implications of buying a house with a history of drug exchange, Belinda and Tim decided to go ahead with the purchase of their new home.

“We didn’t get keys on exchange because there were no keys, so we had to climb through the manhole to get into the house. It was disgusting, there were half empty milk bottles all through the kitchen, there was a sleeping bag soaking in the bath… it was putrid, and the smell was horrendous.”

After pulling up the carpet, removing the curtains and reviving the wooden floorboards, the house was transformed.

“It came good. The kitchen was run down, but we were very young and couldn’t afford to do anything about it. We lived in it like that for years, and then have slowly extended.”

Wide open spaces

This year marks 21 years since Belinda and Tim moved into their home in Fraser Now the parents of two teenagers, Belinda says the family couldn’t be happier with the home that they’ve created and the community that they live in.

“The suburb is just beautiful. I class it as semi-rural because where we take the dog for a walk it’s all paddocks that look out to Hall. It’s a gorgeous area, I can’t imagine ever moving out of it.”

In 20 years, Belinda hasn’t tired of the picturesque landscape.

“I always make sure I drive around Shakespeare Crescent, where there’s the great view over Hall, because it ends your day on a really nice note.”

It’s not just the sweeping views surrounding Fraser, but the generous block sizes that lend a feeling of spaciousness.

“It’s so private. The house is up the end of a cul-de-sac and we can’t see any neighbours at all from our backyard. We’re on a laneway too so there’s a massive gap between us and the next house.”

Family feel

“There seems to be a lot of families wanting to come back into the established suburbs for the sense of community where your kids can run around the street with each other.”

Belinda’s children went to nearby Miles Franklin Primary School, with her youngest daughter Tilly moving to Fraser Primary in her final two years of primary school.

“Fraser has an amazing public school, I couldn’t speak more highly of it. It was great because it was an eight-minute walk – half the kids were coming from Dunlop so they’d knock on the door in the mornings, grab Tilly, then go to the next street and grab the next kid.  It was awesome to see them starting the morning off like that. There’s nothing like having your school mates two streets down.”

Happily ever after

Having recently completed a renovation, including new flooring, kitchen and the addition of a fireplace, the house has been transformed.


“I love the cosiness of a small home. It makes the kids talk to us even if they don’t want to, we share one bathroom which can be a challenge in the morning… but it builds character.”

“We really have it sorted now, it’s a reflection of us. We’ve got what we wanted finally after 20 years. It’s been worth it.”

Think you could fall in love with Fraser? Check out houses for sale in Fraser on realestate.com.au.

This is a sponsored article. For more information on sponsored articles, click here

Images by Tim Bean Photography


Ashleigh Went

HerCanberra ACTIVE Editor Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. As someone who loves champagne and cheese almost as she loves a sweaty workout, she's all about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She can usually be found with her nose in a book, planning her next adventure, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue. More about the Author

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