Why Brisbane grandmother didn’t sell home to highest bidder and took lower offer from young couple


Touching reason a grandmother didn’t sell her decades-old home to the highest bidder and took a lower price offer from a young couple instead

  • Elderly widow Rosemary Bartlam refused to sell her home to the highest bidder 
  • Almost every prospective buyer who showed interest wanted to raze it to ground
  • She sold property for $705,000 to young couple who vowed to live in the home


An elderly widow refused to sell her home to the highest bidder and instead took a lower offer from a young couple who promised to live in the home rather than demolish it.

Rosemary Bartlam decided to sell the home she had lived in for more than 50 years in Holland Park West in Brisbane‘s south-east after the death of her husband Edward last year.

But every prospective buyer who showed an interest in the octogenarian’s three-bedroom bungalow intended to bulldoze it to the ground and start over again.

Ms Bartlam eventually sold the property for $705,000 to young couple Madeline Pyke-Moran, 23, and Josh Cawse after they vowed to live in the home and look after her garden. 

Rosemary Bartlam (left) sold the home she had lived in for more than 50 years in Holland Park West in Brisbane’s south-east to young couple Madeline Pyke-Moran, 23, and Josh Cawse (together right) after they vowed to live in the home rather than demolish it

Ms Bartlam eventually sold the property for $705,000 - which was lower than the highest bid - to the young couple after vowing not to let the home be demolished

Ms Bartlam eventually sold the property for $705,000 – which was lower than the highest bid – to the young couple after vowing not to let the home be demolished

Their offer was less than the highest bid she received for the one-storey cul-de-sac home but she vowed not to let the home fall into the hands of property developers.

She asked her real estate agent Roger Carr to vet every offer from a potential buyer and ask them what they planned to do with the property.

‘I think it’s just a disgrace well-built homes are being knocked down in the area and I didn’t want that to happen to mine,’ she told The Courier-Mail.

Ms Bartlam – who raised four children in the home – said the young couple even promised to take care of the camellia tree her beloved husband planted in the garden almost 70 years ago.

‘The price I got was enough for what I needed, and I like the idea of a young couple starting off their life and loving the house that we did,’ she said. 

Ms Pyke-Moran said her winning bid was a major surprise given she had spent months trying without success to find a home for her and her partner.

Every prospective buyer who showed in an interest in the octogenarian's three-bedroom bungalow intended to bulldoze it to the ground

Every prospective buyer who showed in an interest in the octogenarian’s three-bedroom bungalow intended to bulldoze it to the ground

Pictured: The home's lounge area. The elderly woman asked her real estate agent to vet every offer from a potential buyer and ask them what they planned to do with the property

Pictured: The home’s lounge area. The elderly woman asked her real estate agent to vet every offer from a potential buyer and ask them what they planned to do with the property

The young couple even promised to take care of the camellia tree her beloved husband planted in the garden almost 70 years ago

The young couple even promised to take care of the camellia tree her beloved husband planted in the garden almost 70 years ago

‘I had been looking at houses from the start of the year and had become unmotivated as I thought I would get nowhere, so I am excited because I did not expect this at all,’ she said.

The couple have already moved in to the home and started making renovations, some of which had been suggested by the grandmother.

‘I feel so fortunate that I have been given a gift from a stranger who has now become a friend and it’s incredible,’ Ms Pyke-Moran said.  

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