WHEN one of the fastest swimmers in history goes househunting, you’d assume a pool would be on his wish list.
But for Olympian-turned-restaurateur Eamon Sullivan, money-making potential and space for his three dogs to roam in the backyard topped the list.
Both of those boxes were ticked when the 30-year-old and his lawyer fiancee, Naomi Bass, paid $1.2 million for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom renovated home in North Perth in December.
Sullivan hopes it will be another shrewd investment after he last year made a healthy profit when he sold the Sydney property he bought in 2009 during the global financial crisis.
“For me, it’s not just a home it’s also an investment because we don’t plan on staying here forever,” Sullivan, who snapped up the property after it had been on the market for just 38 hours, said.
“And if we do want to move in I want to find something we can add value to so that by the time we sell it, we’ve increased our investment. You grow out of houses eventually.
“I look at the investment side of things because I’m always looking towards the future, and Naomi’s looking more for that sort of family home from her point of view. We walked in here and it sort of ticked boxes from her side and also from my side.”
The former 50m freestyle world record holder said while he hadn’t originally considered North Perth, the area had a “great vibe” and was close to trendy Leederville and the freeway.
Sullivan, who also owns a villa in Scarborough, said the home on a 509sq m block offered “room to move”, with the speedster already considering adding a second storey — and pool.
“Everywhere we were looking in Perth, the houses were either really nice places with small backyards or really crappy old houses with big backyards,” he said.
“And we really wanted something for our dogs, so to have a big backyard is really important.
“I want to potentially put a pool in and if we ever wanted to add another room, to add some value to the house, it needed to be a block that was able to handle that.”
While some athletes face financial hardship after retirement from sport, Sullivan is moving along swimmingly.
He owns Subiaco’s Louis Baxters cafe, and co-owns Bib and Tucker at Leighton Beach and May Street Larder in East Fremantle.
The couple have begun furnishing their new pad and are planning a winter wedding in July.
— The couple featured in the first episode of Australia Lives Here on realestate.com.au, a new series that looks into the homes of prominent Australians.
Originally published as Room with a view for life after pool