Last year, an unrenovated home went under construction for the first time in 76 years. When the couple finally moved out, hopeful buyers were excited to take a peek inside — but in turn, they unlocked a love story like no other.
In 1938, Tom and Jean Cheetham moved into their first and only home in Sydney, Australia. There, the happy and inseparable couple raised their family until — at the ages of 103 and 100 respectively — they both moved into a nursing home as one of Australia’s oldest couples.
When auctioneers and hopeful buyers stepped inside the house, they felt like they were stepping into a time warp. Visitors were stunned by the fact the home went untouched for all those years! It was impeccably neat and tidy, and still featured its original design and decor. From the carpets, to the appliances, to the smallest nuances, the home was a pristine, nostalgic glimpse into the past.
When the home was auctioned, it sold for $1.6 million to an anonymous female buyer — way more than its original sale price, which records failed to reveal. The Cheethams have six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren. The sale was bittersweet for everyone in the three-generational family.
Over the years, as Jean grew more frail, Tom happily took on the housework and the gardening. In fact, Tom was still mowing the lawn right up to the time they moved out.
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In 1938, Australian couple Tom and Jean Cheetham moved here, their first and only home. Here they remained for 76 years, raising a family and creating long-lasting memories.
On the left: The Cheethams on their wedding day in 1938. On the right: The Cheethams in their “time warp home” just before moving out in 2014.
When auctioneers and hopeful buyers stepped inside the house, they felt like they were stepping into a time warp! The home remained completely unrenovated and agents said the rooms were kept in their original condition.
Tom and Jean’s son said his parents took out a loan to pay for the mortgage, and it probably took them at least 20 years to pay it off. They didn’t mind, because they loved it so much!
Much to the delight of new visitors, the kitchen was still in its original condition. A lot of local residents wanted to come and explore the home, simply because it’s been held in the Cheetham family for so long.
The home was one of only a few unrenovated properties in the Australian neighborhood, an area in high demand. I personally wouldn’t change a thing!
When asked to give love advice, Tom only said that it seems like couples don’t stay together anymore. As his wife grew more frail, Tom took on the housework and the gardening. Together, the couple moved into a retirement home before finally leaving their beloved house.
The sweet couple pictured relaxing on their couch just weeks before moving out.
The Cheethmas put a garage under the front of the home and filled in the small veranda outside. Other than that, the workshed in the backyard was one of the few things the couple added to the home since moving in.
People came out in droves to watch the home’s auction in 2014. After a quick-fire succession of 22 bids, the home sold to an anonymous female buyer.