Property of the week open for dissection
‘ You want more space? This has more space than an episode of Star Trek ’
Selling Houses Australia 7.30pm, LifeStyle
I AM one of the world’s leading television property show addicts. Anything you need to know about Scotland’s offers- over system or getting on the property ladder in Basingstoke, I am your woman.
The best property shows are set in Britain, which is why I could probably resign my job this minute and talk my way into a position as a real estate agent in the Cotswolds.
There are also spin- off sorties abroad, mostly in Spain and Italy. In Relocation, Relocation , my favourite team of Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp often have to find European life- changer properties for their dithering buyers. Our Kirstie takes no prisoners; she is Miss Bossy Boots, with a penchant for knocking through walls and lecturing on unrealistic expectations. ‘‘ Space? You want more space? This house has more space than an episode of Star Trek .’’ She is my idol.
Andrew Winter is a British real estate agent who tells it like it is in his Selling Houses series. He gives homeowners a blunt reality check about their dumps that have been on the market for, say, 125 years. These unlovable tips invariably feature mouldy carpet on the bathroom floor and hallways that smell of cats.
Winter has brought his sharp tongue and agent’s patter to Australia in this 10- parter based on the British format. It’s all about greed — ‘‘ maximising your profit’’ in the parlance — but also the reality TV staple of humiliation.
What fun it is to see inside houses that are worse than our own, to laugh at people who think black leather lounges are the height of posh.
While Winter does get the gussiedup properties sold, invariably the process comes at enormous cost to the homeowners’ self- esteem.
Tonight’s episode is set in Sydney’s waterside Bilgola Plateau. Winter has been called in to help Erana Clarke sell her property, which has been on the market with $ 900,000- plus expectations for seven months. It has a wild garden with no proper access, a grotty second bathroom and mishmash decor.
Behind every successful TV property makeover presenter is a band of get- down- and- dirty experts; in Win- ter’s case it’s landscape designer Charlie Albone and an interior designer with the suitably decorative name of Shaynna Blaze- Vaughan. Theirs is a quick- fix approach, but there are good ideas here to be applied to one’s own domestic dump.
Which is one reason I am such an addict. That, and curiosity, and the viewing of others taking risks and doing the hard slog. It’s why I love food shows, too. Not because I want to cook but because I want to eat.
Icy reception: Andrew Winter, host of Selling Houses Australia