Like many other colonists, Sanders had commercial success that encouraged him to buy land – for example, a section he named Myrtle Bank near Glen Osmond. He also ventured into pastoral pursuits, taking up leases east of the River Murray, and Canowie Station and Curnamona.
He soon moved from Waverly in 1873 to an equally fashionable seaside residence, Lixmount Cottage in Glenelg, where he lived until his death in 1880.
Thomas Richard Bowman, the second owner of Waverly, was one of 10 children born to John and Mary Bowman who first settled in Tasmania in 1829, having emigrated from England. Members of the family took up land in South Australia in the early 1840s. About 1856 brothers John, William and Thomas purchased the 560 square mile property of the Crystal Brook Run, which they worked for 20 years before purchasing the Lake Alexandrina estates of Campbell House and Poltalloch. The brothers’ association with this area led to them being referred to as the Bowmans of the Lakes, a title affectionately used in 1910 after it became known that Thomas Richard had donated £25,000 to more than 20 charities. Commended for his 'splendid beneficience', Thomas was described as a “pathfinding squatter – a fine type who honestly earned the wealth acquired. Not only did the Bowmans labour for years under conditions which few young men of today would be prepared to endure, but time and time again they experienced the bitterness of what appeared to by overwhelming misfortune.” T.R. Bowman lived in Waverly until his death in 1910.
Waverly was designed by James MacGeorge, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 and set up as an architect. He designed such buildings as the Savings Bank of South Australia in King William Street, the Congregational Church at Port Adelaide and his own house in North Adelaide, St Andrews.
The contractor was Charles Farr who, upon his death in 1888, was described as a worthy old colonist and a prominent builder responsible for erecting several of the best buildings in the city.