‘We don’t just want to build within the box’: Inside the sale of Cypress at Bilinga

Cypress at Bilinga
RELIEF and joy flowed as owner-builders Andrew and Jasmine Smith popped the champagne to celebrate the sale of ‘Cypress’, their newly completed home at Bilinga on the Gold Coast.
Through Covid, the couple behind Merico Constructions poured everything into this beachside “passion project” which sold under the hammer for $3.19m to a Brisbane family.
There was a frisson in the air on auction day, as a crew of neighbours in sundresses and bare feet climbed the stairs to the main living area to watch as the avant-garde home went under the hammer.
Auctioneer Justin Nickerson, of Apollo Auctioneers, gave an enticing introduction to the Golden Four Dr property, while marketing agent Troy Dowker, of Kollosche, described the view from the top deck as, “50 shades of blue”.
The plunge pool surrounded by greenery
The top level is ideal as guest accommodation
About seven bids were fielded from two buyers, both bidding by phone, then extended negotiations took place behind closed doors, before the auction resumed.
The home, named for its striking facade of Australian pine, was the culmination of a boutique project spanning four years since the Smiths purchased the original 507sq m block for $950,000 in late-2018.
They split the block, building a New York loft-style two-bedroom home on the smaller 175sq m lot. It sold last year for $1.2m. Mrs Smith said the buyers of the smaller home had relocated from a northern Coast suburb and loved the lifestyle.
But the journey hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
Cypress first made waves on the market with an earlier high-profile marketing campaign, launched in July with another top agent.
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But the auction date was pulled, and the campaign abandoned because offers received fell far short of the vendors’ expectations.
“We definitely didn’t scrimp on anything with the quality of this very high-spec build, and that’s been really tricky because we did come across financial battles because of the pandemic,” Mrs Smith said.
“Our costs had doubled, and so our initial price point [for Cypress] was much, much higher, but the market had shifted and we had to completely re-think our strategy and go back to what we originally paid for the block.
“We had to sacrifice a bit for us to be able to move onto the next project, but that is what drives us. We are both so creative and it comes from a very genuine place. We don’t just want to build within the box.”
Upstairs lounge
By Merico Constructions
The couple worked with Shane Denman Architects to conceive the five-bedroom, four-level home that pushes the boundaries of design, while responding to the changing natural environment.
Mr Smith said he relished the creative licence of developing his own projects.
“We wanted our home to stand out in every element, not just one,” the 34-year-old said.
“When I build for clients, I’m building their dream, not ours.
“I don’t want to sell a home, I want to sell an art piece, or the essence of a vision with symmetric flow and an unmatched sense of elegance.”
Bespoke American Oak joinery featured throughout the interior lends warmth and textural contrast to dramatic concrete curves and burnished floors, while commercial fit floor-to-ceiling glazing maximises airflow.
Jasmine and Andrew Smith with children Dekota and Harlow at the smaller property before it was sold
The New York loft-style property
Timber was sourced from a single, 100-year-old tree, with cabinetry on each level variously concealing electronics, kitchen appliances, a dry bar off the kitchen, and a wet bar serving the rooftop.The full-length glass lift provides a further functional focal point through the centre of the home.
Mr Dowker said the sub-divided block’s highway position had narrowed the buyer pool, but the result showed demand was outstripping supply for high-quality new-builds.
“The market really responded to the high quality of construction and really avant-garde design, however it really proved to be a niche or very thin market,” he said.
“From when the owners bought the land to now, they have done very well.”
Mr Dowker said honest communication was the key to educating vendors on how to navigate the shifting market.
Ocean views from the top deck
The Smiths and their two children, Dekota, 10, and Harlow, 8, have moved between projects on the Gold Coast over the last ten years, never staying for longer than a year in one home.
They lived in the small property on the rear of the block while Cypress was in progress.
Jasmine, 33, has a design background and works closely with the architectural team, selecting finishes and sourcing materials.
Now Merico has finally wrapped at Cypress Bilinga, it’s onto “scouting” for the next obsession.
“We are already onto considering our next project. We are scouting,” Mrs Smith said.
“We know we build for a niche market, but it’s like artwork. Not everyone is going to like it, but someone will love it.”

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