We turned down $1m to sell our home – now it’s the last house standing and Augusta golf course has been built around it

AN American homeowner is holding out against the might of the Masters golf tournament, as she refuses to sell the house she has lived in for more than 60 years.

The modest three-bedroom two-bathroom house on the edge of the Augusta National Golf Club is still standing, despite multiple offers to buy it off the owners and tear it down.

It was built by Herman and Elizabeth Thacker in 1959 and was once surrounded by other houses.

But as the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia where the Masters Tournament takes place each year has expanded, it bought up the entire neighborhood around the Thackers' home, spending more than $40 million in the past decade to bulldoze them.

The club has spent more than $200 million buying some 100 properties spanning 270 acres in the past 20 years, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Now the house at 1112 Stanley Road is the last one standing.

In a 2016 interview with NJ.com, the couple stated that they wanted to live out their final days in the 1,900-square-foot home.

"We really don't want to go," Elizabeth said.

"Money ain't everything," Herman, a huge golf fan, added.

Herman passed away in 2019 aged 86, and his wife of 64 years remains in the house alone today.

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The land around the house has been turned into free overspill parking for the golf course, and once a year, Elizabeth is surrounded by cars.

Over the years, a representative for Augusta, which has hosted the Masters since 1934, has often visited to make an offer for the house.

The ever-polite Thackers would always invite the rep inside and would listen to the offer, sometimes up to $1 million.

In 2016, Herman said: "He'll come by here every so often and he'll say, 'Just want to let you know we're still interested in your property'. And we'll tell him the same thing again."

Today, the house is estimated to be worth $300,000.

A few years ago, the Thackers caved in and sold a smaller house across the street for $1.2m.

"They called us over there the first time and made us an offer," Herman said.

"I asked him, 'Is that your bottom line?' He said, 'Yeah'. I said, 'Well, we'll see you then,' and we got up and walked out.

"It wasn't long before he was calling back over here, wanting to know if he could come talk to us again."

Augusta wasted no time after closing the sale, and within a week, the house and everything in it was gone.

Money ain't everything

The home is where Herman and Elizabeth raised their two children, and during the holidays, their five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren often come by to visit.

Despite their apparently strained relationship with the golf giant, sport has still been a huge part of the Thackers' lives.

One of their grandchildren Scott Brown is now a professional golfer and PGA Tour Member, although he is yet to qualify for the Masters.

"I've been watching him play ever since he was knee-high to a duck," Herman told Golf.com in 2017.

At the time, he said he believed his grandson would play at Augusta eventually.

"He's going to be over there one day," he said. "I just know it, but I don't know if I'll be around to see what he's done."

The Thackers aren't the only homeowners to hold out in the face of a major corporate developer.

In Sydney, Australia, one family have refused to sell their house to property companies, despite receiving offers of up to $50 million AUS.

The detached house at The Ponds sits alone among hundreds of identical modern houses.

Its owners, the Zammit family, have rejected multiple offers for the house because they love living on a cul-de-sac.

Local estate agent Taylor Bredin told 7News that if the land was bought, up to 50 houses could be built on it.

"The fact that most people sold out years and years ago, these guys have held on," he said. "All credit to them."

It sits in a highly-desirable development about 40 minutes drive from the Sydney city centre, with views of the Blue Mountains.

And in China, homeowner Luo Baogen refused to allow his home to be demolished, despite sitting slap-bang in the path of a new motorway.

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