Family Draw A Hard Line In The Sand And Refuse To Sell Land Worth $50M To Developers

By maks in Real Life On 12th February 2024

Have you ever come across the term "nail house"?

"Nail houses" are those persistent buildings that stand firm, refusing to make room for development because their owners won't sell.

This term, which got its start in China, is now recognized worldwide to describe properties that hold out against the pressure to sell.

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Owners of these nail houses, much like Carl Fredricksen from the movie, cling to their land and refuse to sell.

The reasons vary. Sometimes the financial offer doesn't cut it, and other times, the owners simply can't bear to part with their homes.

Consider the case of the Zammit family in Sydney, for example.

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The Zammits have clung to their land, not tempted by the prospect of a quick payday.

Their plot is valued at a staggering $50 million, but no amount of money seems enough to persuade the Zammits to sell.

Credit: 7NEWS Australia
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When the Zammits first purchased their property in the Ponds, a quaint area just a 30-minute drive from Sydney’s CBD, it was a charming land of cottages and farms.

Every home in their neighborhood once had its own charm and character.

Yet, in recent times, the Zammits have watched as one neighbor after another has given in to developers, trading in their unique homes for the promise of modern, identical houses.

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Credit: 7NEWS Australia

In a conversation with Daily Mail Australia, Diane Zammit, the head of the family, fondly remembered the neighborhood's better days.

She recalled how the area used to be “farmland dotted with little red brick homes and cottages”.

"Every home was unique and there was so much space - but not any more.

It's just not the same," she expressed, mourning the loss of diversity.

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Credit: 7NEWS Australia

Yet, the Zammits stand firm, their home now a striking contrast to the conformity that surrounds them.

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The Zammit residence is nothing short of impressive, boasting a sprawling lawn and a 200-meter driveway that leads up to a sizable brick house equipped with a triple garage.

If the family were to sell, it’s estimated that 40 to 50 houses could be built on the land.

Real estate expert Taylor Bredin from Ray White Quakers Hill shared with 7News:

"Depending on how far you push the development plan, you'd be able to push anywhere from 40 to 50 properties on something like this, and when subdivided, a 300 square metre block would get a million dollars."

Credit: 7NEWS Australia
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Despite the potential profits, Bredin admires the family for not giving into the temptation of easy money.

Credit: 7NEWS Australia
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The Zammits are a private family and have not revealed their future plans regarding the property.

The future might see the Zammits selling their property for even more, or perhaps they'll choose to keep it forever.

Their story echoes other famous nail house tales, like the 108-year-old farmhouse in Seattle, Washington, belonging to Edith Macefield.

Credit: 7NEWS Australia
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Macefield refused to sell her property, but she struck up an unlikely friendship with the construction chief, Barry Martin.

After her passing at the age of 86 in 2008, Martin inherited her home.

To this day, her house stands defiantly, a symbol of her resolve, and bears an uncanny resemblance to the iconic house in "Up".

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Credit: 7NEWS Australia

So, faced with a dilemma like the Zammits or Macefield, what would you do?

Would you cling to your property, or would you cave to the pressures of developers?

To get a better look at the Zammit’s expansive property that stands out amidst dozens of new homes, check out the video below.

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