MOV­ING RIGHT ALONG

The rules around re­lo­cat­ing can some­times be bro­ken

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page - By Neale Whi­taker Neale Whi­taker is Edi­torat-large of Vogue Liv­ing.

For the past six months, my steel toe caps and I have been cross­ing the coun­try, film­ing the sec­ond sea­son of Fox­tel’s Love It Or List It Aus­tralia. The show airs later this year, and if you watched Sea­son 1 you will know that I’m Team Love It and my co-host An­drew Win­ter is Team List It.

My job is to per­suade Aussie home­own­ers that their dream houses are the ones that they are al­ready in, and that clever ren­o­va­tion with a spritz of style is the an­swer to all of their woes. An­drew, on the other hand, tries to lure them away with a pock­et­ful of real es­tate dol­lars. It’s ba­si­cally a twist on the age-old adage of “bet­ter the devil you know”.

So, in the spirit of con­fes­sion – and be­fore I am outed – I have to con­fess that Team Love It has just listed, which proves that: a) I’m hu­man and fal­li­ble, and b) some­times ex­ten­u­at­ing cir­cum­stances, such as a much-needed tree change, mean sell­ing up re­ally is the only an­swer.

After al­most two decades in Syd­ney, my part­ner and I de­cided it was time to fol­low our hearts to the South Coast of NSW, and that no amount of creative ren­o­va­tion or lat­eral think­ing was go­ing to bring our in­ner-city apart­ment closer to the coun­try or spec­tac­u­lar Seven Mile Beach. I think our souls (and our dogs) will thank us for it.

But while I’m in the dock, there are a few other trans­gres­sions I’d like taken into con­sid­er­a­tion. I pur­chased our home in the coun­try be­fore I sold our apart­ment in the city. In a volatile mar­ket like the one we’re now in, that’s a Real Es­tate 101 no-no. To avoid weeks, if not months, of angst please don’t fol­low my ex­am­ple. And while show­ing our (ad­mit­tedly lovely, though I might be bi­ased) apart­ment to po­ten­tial buy­ers, we stub­bornly kept our mas­ter en­suite as a li­brary room, be­liev­ing that if we could see how ef­fort­lessly it con­verts to a lux­u­ri­ous bed­room, then of course buy­ers would. How easy it is to make three bed­rooms feel just like two. Guilty as charged. I should also add that one man’s Eden is an­other’s hell. Un­less you re­ally are buy­ing (what you be­lieve to be) your for­ever home, then the old “lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion” rule def­i­nitely ap­plies. Beauty may be in the eye of the be­holder – namely you – but (a bit like that tree that falls un­heard in the forest) if no­body else sees it, is it re­ally beau­ti­ful?

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