“People might say they are sick of me but that’s fine”
With Buying Blind about to debut, Shaynna Blaze knows she is a risk of over-exposure.
She already has two shows on TV but with a third about to get underway, Shaynna Blaze admits over-exposure is a real consideration.
“Yes absolutely,” she tells TV Tonight. “I have Buying Blind, The Block and Selling Houses. But I think if they were all really similar I would be very worried about it. I feel like I’m allowed to be myself in different ways in all of these shows.
“In Buying Blind I have got a bigger hosting role. In The Block I’m a judge standing back.
“People might turn around and say they are sick of me, and that’s fine. I’m more than comfortable with that. But I feel like there’s another part of me people haven’t seen in this show.”
Based on an overseas format Buying Blind sees Blaze joined by buyer’s agent Rich Harvey and master builder Marshal Keen, purchasing and renovating properties on behalf of six couples & families.
“I wouldn’t do it!”
Parting with life-savings for a property unseen is not something she cares to replicate.
“I wouldn’t do it!” she admits.
“But some people say ‘The pressure is off me!’ Some people have been trying for 2 years and are frustrated at not being able to do it. Or the thought they were never going to get a home was quite defeating.
“So the sense of relief was quite huge.
“One of the problems is these people can’t afford the house that they want in the area they want.
“So you are really going to find a house that needs a lot of work to fit to them.”
Behind the scenes the team were informed of the area and the style the couples were seeking, and given a shortlist of potential properties. All the houses were purchased privately, in Sydney or Melbourne, ranging in price from $500,000 to $1.6m.
“I said ‘No way. I’m not putting people in that house.’”
But not every place they wanted could be secured, and Blaze says she rejected some outright.
“With the timelines we were given we had to get things that would settle quickly. If we wait for auctions we don’t have the bargaining power,” she explains.
“A lot of the houses we looked at but then they would just go.
“And there were others where the property buyer was interested but I said ‘No way. I’m not putting people in that house.’
“Or Marshal the builder would look at a house and say ‘It looks great but it’s crumbling on the inside.’”
Around 80% of the each budget is for the properties while 20% is given to renovate each for the couples, some of whom have teenagers or primary-aged children.
“One of the couples was about to get married so we had to be in the house for them to get ready at their wedding. So the drama to get that deadline was pretty incredible. You can’t predict what the market is going to do!” Blaze observes.
“I haven’t done any of the houses in a ‘safe’ look.”
“They give us Power of Attorney to buy the house for them. They don’t know where the house is or what it looks like. We do the renovations and then they turn up with the blindfolds.
“So that’s where the jeopardy is. They don’t have that point where they can say ‘I don’t like it’ until we reveal it to them.
“But I haven’t done any of the houses in a ‘safe’ look. It’s quite out of their comfort zone and very specific to these people.”
With filming for The Block already completed at The Gatwick, St. Kilda, Blaze is hoping the 6 episodes of Buying Blind will resonate with viewers. If it works she may well find herself part of yet another hit TV trio with newcomers, Rich Harvey and Marshal Keen.
“I met them for dinner 2 days before we started filming,” she reveals.
“They’re great. They both haven’t done TV before so they had a hard task adapting. But like Andrew (Winter), Charlie (Albone) and I this is what they do fulltime, so it was really about putting on their skill-hat and adapting it.
“They were thrown into it!”
Buying Blind begins 7:30pm Tuesday on Nine.