Origin stars’ multimillion-dollar properties

They are some of State of Origin's biggest names who have also enjoyed a number of quiet wins in the property market.

Some have turned relatively small ­salaries into impressive real estate portfolios, while others have used their big pay packets to build on that wealth for themselves and their families.

This year celebrates 40 years of State of ­Origin and today, we meet some of Origin's real estate greats over the past four decades.

Origin star, coach, TV presenter and astute property investor Paul Vautin. Picture; News Corp
Origin star, coach, TV presenter and astute property investor Paul Vautin. Picture; News Corp

Paul Vautin, QLD, 1982-1990, 22 games

'Fatty' Vautin has had several reincarnations since his playing days, comedian, presenter, commentator, Origin series winning coach - you can add savvy real estate investor to that.

He enjoyed a win of almost $680,000 when he sold his Broadbeach property three years ago. He also sold his luxury beachside penthouse, "unequivocally one of the finest apartments in Dee Why", according to its listing, for $2.54 million - a healthy profit of $940,000.

Property records show Vautin and his wife also own properties at Mermaid Beach and Merrimac.

Vautin cleaned up on his luxury Dee Why penthouse. Picture: Supplied
Vautin cleaned up on his luxury Dee Why penthouse. Picture: Supplied

Steve Mortimer, NSW 1980-85, nine games

The first captain to steer NSW to an Origin series win, 'Turvey' has had interests in residential and commercial property since his 1988 retirement.

The former Bulldogs halfback invested in the prime industrial areas of Menai and Revesby, and blue chip locations of Woollahra, Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay.

Steve Mortimer knows his way around real estate too. Picture: News Corp
Steve Mortimer knows his way around real estate too. Picture: News Corp

His commercial property in Rushcutters Bay sold last year for a $100,000 profit after purchasing it in 2016.

He also sold his Woollahra unit for a handy profit of $246,000.

Mortimer and wife Karen bought a traditional stone cottage outside Goulburn for $715,000 about 18 months ago as a holiday home. He also owns a multimillion-dollar Illawong home on over 6700 sqm.

The former NSW skipper made a handy earn out of this eastern suburbs pad. Picture: Supplied
The former NSW skipper made a handy earn out of this eastern suburbs pad. Picture: Supplied

Wally Lewis, QLD 1980-91, 34 games

'The King' is no joker when it comes to real estate. Last month Lewis banked a motza when he offloaded his four-bed waterside Birkdale home that sits on a 1353 sqm, complete with a pontoon, swimming pool and tennis court, in just three days.

Everyone knows why they call him ‘The King’. Picture: News Corp
Everyone knows why they call him ‘The King’. Picture: News Corp

Lewis bought the property for $275,000 in 1994, and while the sale price wasn't disclosed the land alone was valued at $1.15 million last year. He still owns a four-bedroom home in Tingalpa, where median values have jumped 20 per cent since he paid $493,000 almost five years ago. Lewis offloaded his Kings Beach property five years ago for $590,00, property records show.

Lewis’ sublime Birkdale home sold in just three days. Picture: Supplied
Lewis’ sublime Birkdale home sold in just three days. Picture: Supplied

Ben Elias, NSW 1985-1994, 22 games

Cult figure Ben Elias is one of league's most astute real estate figures, which began during his time with the Balmain Tigers. Instead of being paid in cash, he asked to be remunerated with a house instead.

"At Balmain Leagues Club, behind them they used to have those little terrace houses and that was his contract - he said 'I want one of them'," fellow NSW legend Steve Roach said.

"There's a saying: Benny couldn't spell Leichhardt when he got there and now he owns it."

Elias was sold the home in lieu of his $100,000 yearly contract.

Ben Elias bleeds blue. Picture Geoff McLachlan/The Courier-Mail Photo Archive
Ben Elias bleeds blue. Picture Geoff McLachlan/The Courier-Mail Photo Archive

He still owns property there where the median house price is $1.5 million.

Elias also has developments in Sydney's eastern and northern suburbs plus commercial and residential properties in Queensland.

Elias has had property interests across Sydney, including this 43-storey St Leonards tower. Picture: Supplied
Elias has had property interests across Sydney, including this 43-storey St Leonards tower. Picture: Supplied

"The greatest advice I can give any player is to invest wisely in property," Elias said. "(And) make when sure you leave the game you do so owning real estate."

 

Brad Fittler, NSW 1990-2004, 31 games

 

The former NSW skipper's switch of allegiance from Penrith to the Roosters, also resulted in a move into the Eastern Suburbs property market.

Six years go, that shift paid big dividends when Fittler sold his Rushcutters Bay property for $2.13 million, shortly after selling a Rose Bay investment for around $1.9 million.

Current NSW coach Brad Fittler is laughing all the way to the bank. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Current NSW coach Brad Fittler is laughing all the way to the bank. Picture. Phil Hillyard

He subsequently treechanged into a $3.1 million small rural holding in Terrey Hills, which could provide a much bigger payday if developers come knocking.

The NSW coach and his wife Marie Liarris still own a one-bedroom Bondi Beach apartment with ocean views, that is rented out at $780 per week. The couple paid $632,000 for the unit in 2013. It could now fetch double that.

Fittler offloaded his eastern suburbs home for a treechange. Picture: Supplied
Fittler offloaded his eastern suburbs home for a treechange. Picture: Supplied

Darren Lockyer, QLD 1998-2011, 36 games

Maroons great Darren Lockyer has become an influential figure in property. He is a partner with Ausmar homes and had a Sunshine Coast development named after him.

His first home was in Paddington, close to the Broncos' base at Red Hill. Lockyer, also owns a three-bed investment home in South Mackay.

Darren Lockyer picked up where Lewis left off, on and off the field. Picture: Adam Pretty/Getty Images
Darren Lockyer picked up where Lewis left off, on and off the field. Picture: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

In 2011, he sold a Howard St Paddington address for $2.15 million, for a $660,000 profit. He offloaded another Paddington home in 2015 for $1.4 million.

Darren Lockyer, at his Paul Owen-designed home in Rosalie, Brisbane. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian
Darren Lockyer, at his Paul Owen-designed home in Rosalie, Brisbane. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian

Johnathan Thurston, QLD 2005-17, 37 games

The Maroons legend's portfolio of six investment properties cost around $4 million but would now be worth considerably more.

They include a one-bedroom Balmain unit he bought for $370,000 in 2005, three properties around Cairns and one at Kewarra Beach north of Cairns.

 

The premiership winner lives in a $1.2 million home in Rowes Bay in Townsville and also owns a $850,000 investment home nearby.

Jake and Tom Trbojevic, 2017-2020, 11 games and 2018-2019, 5 games

Smart investors the Trbojevic brothers have amassed an impressive portfolio, despite their youth, of seven properties across Sydney's northern beaches worth at least $6.65 million.

The NSW stars recently spent $964,000 each on a house and land package in Warriewood's Fern Creek estate, three doors away from one other.

Brothers Tom and Jake Trbojevic, serious about footy and investing. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Brothers Tom and Jake Trbojevic, serious about footy and investing. Picture. Phil Hillyard

Tom, 24, and Jake, 26, began buying property in 2014 when Jake spent $680,000 on a two-bedroom Narrabeen flat, followed up by a one-bed flat in Brookvale two years later for $590,000.

The Trbojevic’s investments include a 4-bed home each at the Fern Creek development in Warriewood. Picture: Supplied.
The Trbojevic’s investments include a 4-bed home each at the Fern Creek development in Warriewood. Picture: Supplied.

In July, Jake bought another $1.55 million unit in Narrabeen. Tom's first purchase was a two-bed unit in Manly for $895,000 in 2016, followed by a $1 million two-bed unit in Manly.


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