Rodney and Barbara Hampton bought their 1950s, three-bedroom brick house with magnificent ocean views opposite Wanda surf club for a song in 1967.
"It was worth $24,000, but I got it for $17,000," Mr Hampton recalled after the Mitchell Road house sold at auction this month for $4.7 million - smashing price expectations.
Mr Hampton said the price they paid for the house nearly 55 years ago was partly due to real estate values in the area dropping after the Wanda beach murders two years earlier.
The bodies of schoolgirls Marianne Schmidt and Christine Sharrock, both 15, were found in the adjoining sandhills in January 1965. The killer has never been found.
Mr Hampton, who is 87, and his wife have begun moving to an aged care village.
While sad to part with their home, they share many happy memories with their children, Stephen, David, John and Ann Maree.
"It's the best position in Cronulla," Mr Hampton said.
"I love the water - I had a surf ski, sailed and fished from the beach in front of the house.
"Our kids loved it too, and a lot of family and friends came to visit.".
Mr Hampton grew up a short distance away in a cottage, which stood alone among sand dunes at the top of Bando Road, North Cronulla.
"We had no water, no electricity - we used a hurricane lamp and a meat safe," he said.
"Every time we had a storm, we had to shovel the sand to get the car out."
He returned to his roots by buying the Mitchell Road house after he and Barbara married.
The property attracted huge interest when it was auctioned on June 5.
Payne Pacific Real Estate issued 32 contracts and there were 16 registered bidders.
Agent Christian Payne said it was very difficult to give a price estimate because nothing comparable had sold in recent times.
"We started out thinking in the $3 million range, but some of the neighbours were saying around $4 million," he said.
"We set the reserve close to $4 million with a view to bringing it down if need be.
"The opening bid was $3 million and away it went."
Mr Payne said developers dropped out about the $4 million mark and the property was sold to a long-established local family.
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