Selling Houses Australia: Tassie makeover thrills owner

Host Andrew Winter and homeowner Charmaine Jensen at the updated Bridport property. Picture: Foxtel

IN a season interrupted by Covid delays, Selling Houses Australia kept the best for last.

The team’s transformation of a modest fixer upper in Bridport is little short of amazing. And somehow, they knocked the project out in less than one week.

Host Andrew Winter said a list of what the property needed most would be a pretty lengthy one.

And he said it was a huge challenge to try to sell the property in its original “lived in” state.

“One of the problems was, on a subdivided block, the house was put there before the boundary. It was not in the right spot or facing the right way,” Mr Winter said.

“The lovely view that the property could have had, was not being embraced.

“The entrance to the property was on the side and the back door was on the front.

“And to be blunt, it was a bit of a dump. It had seen better days.

“It had been battered and bruised … there was nothing to be house proud of.”

When there is so much work that needs to be completed to bring a home up to a presentable position, tough choices come with the territory.

Mr Winter said that was the case here.

“Big decisions have to be made when you are doing a makeover to get something sold, you have to be very careful not to spend too much money or time,” he said.

“That issue means, with big projects – and this home needed a kitchen and a bathroom – we had to take the view that we could only do one, and we chose the kitchen.

“We had to find a way to make the orientation of the building on the block work, which is an uncommon challenge.

“Trying to make sure that people could work out where the main entry to the property was, that was unusual but could be achieved with good landscaping and pathways. Inside, we had to make sure people could see the view.”

Mr Winter said in its initial state, there was no access from the living space to the backyard.

“Say you wanted to have a barbecue, you would have to leave the kitchen-living area, go through the laundry, through the back porch to the front of the house, around the side and eventually to the rear yard.

“We had to punch a hole in the wall to better link the spaces.

“But there was a drop-off, a problem that was solved with a deck.

“I would say this project presented a lot of problems that were fairly unusual for the team.”

It takes only a glance at the before and after photos to see how far the home has come in such a short period of time.

And naturally, the owner Charmaine Jensen is happy with the results.

“Yes, indeed, the owner and the agent are thrilled with it all,” Mr Winter said.

“It looks absolutely fantastic.

“All the owner wants is to get the original investment back, perhaps a little profit to help buy something more suitable for the family’s needs.

“It was supposed to be an investment property that would also house her family, but this property was not any good for that.

“This home was a challenging project but a good one because we all got to visit Bridport for the first time!”

Following the renovation, Water/House Real Estate property consultant, Jodie Faulkner, said the home was under contract within the first week of advertising.

Unfortunately, this has since fallen through, she said.

“The home will be back on the market come November as the vendors have decided to keep it until the nicer months of the year.”

When people take a property to market and it struggles to sell, there are a few things that pop up as typical issues.

Mr Winter said complacency was quite common.

“In a booming market like we have seen in the last two years, people might expect properties to sell really easily, and often they did,” he said.

“However, the market will be back to normal before we know it.

Landscape designer Dennis Scott, homeowner Charmaine Jensen and interior designer Wendy Moore.

“I’d suggest price expectations need to be based on fact.

“That’s a genuine mistake people make, but the market couldn’t care less about things like the blood, sweat and tears you put into it.

“It’s all about houses that are similar to yours and what they are achieving in the current market – that be less than you paid or $1m more than you paid.

“If your expectation exceeds market value, or you don’t present the home well, or you choose a bad agent with a dull marketing campaign, you might end up needing the services of Selling Houses Australia!”

The outer rear, before.

Looks lovely from the front, too.

Mr Winter said people can’t sell their home if they don’t “play by the rules”.

“It is important to remember, your home is just another listing on the market. It’s no longer about “your home”, it is a product to sell and people should treat it accordingly.

“That is probably the most common mistake.”

Mr Winter said season 14 of Selling Houses Australia had taken three times longer to shoot than any other season due to the pandemic.

“We had massive issues with travel restrictions,” he said.

“We ended up posting some of the projects until this year to try and get back on track.

“But now, as this season that you are watching is finishing up, we are already working on the next one.”

Watch Selling Houses Australia On Demand on Foxtel.

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