THE white marks where pictures once hung and crockery and groceries filled shelves are reminders that this blackened shell at Moffat Beach was once someone's neatly kept home.

Now the hunt is on to find someone who can turn it into that again.

The Maltman St North house, damaged by fire on Boxing Day, will go under the hammer on site at 1pm tomorrow in a true fire sale.

Agent and auctioneer Steve Venn, from Century 21 Coastal, said the house was a rare chance to buy into the tightly held area at under the normal price.

"If you picked this up for the right sort of money, you'd get quite a good opportunity," Mr Venn said.

The back half of the two-storey brick home, containing a downstairs granny flat and laundry and three bedrooms upstairs, was severely damaged by the fire but the front half, comprising upstairs kitchen and living areas, main bedroom, and bathroom, and a garage below, sustained mostly smoke damage, while the front veranda shows no signs of the fire at all.

"It's fair to say the house is probably half gone. Everyone who has been through has had a different opinion about what to do," he said.

"We've had everybody from builder types to renovators and doer-uppers.

DAMAGE CONTROL: Agent Steve Venn in the house that will go to auction after being severely damaged by fire.
DAMAGE CONTROL: Agent Steve Venn in the house that will go to auction after being severely damaged by fire. John Mccutcheon

"It's quite a big house. The positive thing that we've had back from builders is that it's put together like the proverbial brick... A lesser house may not have stood up to the fire the way this did."

Mr Venn suggested the back half of the house could be gutted to just the brick shell and then framed up and rebuilt inside.

The cost of resurrecting the house had been estimated at $100,000-$150,000 by interested parties.

Four to six bidders have already registered for the auction. He said it was difficult to calculate a likely price based on what similar large homes in good condition were selling for in the area.

"It's not what they would pay. It's a matter of whether you find one. You just don't come across any."

Mr Venn said the home's owners, who had lived there for 19 years, would look at re-settling elsewhere once the home was sold.

He said he hoped it would fetch a price that would allow the vendors to move on from a traumatic event.



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