Who doesn’t love a good home makeover?
There are shows that hitch them to the sick and impoverished, others that pit hot, young competing designers, and some that make it seem like an entire neighbourhood has found a heart of gold.
On The LifeStyle Channel’s Selling Houses Australia it’s no-fuss practicality: how can we fix ugly homes so that their owners can sell them for a decent price?
With such a simple premise it’s little wonder this show was voted Favourite Program by viewers at last year’s ASTRA Awards. It even defeated profile shows such as Australia’s Next Top Model and Project Runway Australia.
There’s no better example of what the show can achieve than in the first episode of its third season.
A four-bedroom house in Chatswood, Sydney, is the worst house that host and property expert Andrew Winter has ever seen. And I believe him: it’s a pig sty.
There is rubbish overflowing in almost every room belonging to this family of four. From boxes of junk, to electronics eyesores, to dirty plates and overflowing ash trays -it is a repulsive abode. How can any parent let their lazy, adult children co-exist in such squalor? Packed to the Rafters this isn’t.
Just as concerningly, how can any self-respecting real estate agent list the property on their books? We are told it has been on the market for 14 months without a bid.
And the asking price? $1.2m.
I know Sydney prices are steep and Chatswood is just 10 minutes from the CBD but seriously…
Winter is gobsmacked by the sight before him, and who wouldn’t be? He perfectly expresses the horror that viewers would feel as he walks through the house, which has been home to the family in question for 17 years. But the parents can’t budge the two children, now both in their 20s, let along get them to clean up. It takes Winter to give the family an ultimatum which begins with the two children being told to leave home. Is this a show about renovation or family counselling?
The two heroes of Selling Houses Australia are Interior Designer Shaynna Blaze-Vaughan and Landscaper Charlie Albone. Between them they have $17,000 and one week to renovate the home from the ground up. In truth they have assistance, but it is still a big ask.
Bedrooms are given makeovers from top to bottom, plants are added to the garden, doors are unhinged, painting takes over -and yes the owners are mucking in and doing it too.
The big reveal comes with Winter’s return, along with an awe-struck sales agent, when they view the finished product. The real wow factor will come with an offer to buy, and the house is given an open inspection. The auction /sales resolution was a big component of the success of The Block, just as it is here.
This is easy lifestyle television. Heart-strings are not being tugged, there are a few handy tips to be learned along the way, and it still manages to impress you with its “Before” and “After” shots. It’s amazing this show hasn’t been picked up by a Free to Air network.
Selling Houses Australia returns 8:30pm Wednesday March 31st on LifeStyle Channel.