REAL RENOS

TV SE­RIES GETS TO THE HEART OF THE HOME

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - AM­BER MACPHER­SON

It’s the ques­tion many home­own­ers face at one point in their lives – should we stay or should we go? If we stay will our prof­its dou­ble? Should we sell dur­ing a hous­ing bub­ble?

Rein­vented lyrics aside, this is the premise of Love It or List It, where cou­ples are at log­ger­heads whether to love it – stay in their newly ren­o­vated home – or list it – sell up and move on.

With the first episode air­ing last night on Foxtel’s Life­style Chan­nel, co-hosts An­drew Win­ter and Neale Whi­taker say view­ers can ex­pect a tense sea­son with un­pre­dictable out­comes.

“(There’s) lots of ten­sion. There’s even more than in sea­son one of ‘will they love it or list it?’ Be­cause we rarely know,” An­drew says.

“The home­own­ers keep us guess­ing right to the very last minute. I think there’s been more con­fu­sion than we’ve ever seen be­fore.”

“Ev­ery­thing you love about sea­son one, you’ll love even more in sea­son two,” Neale says. “We’ve turned up the dial on ev­ery­thing, the ten­sion, the qual­ity of the homes, ev­ery­thing.”

Most would know An­drew as a real es­tate agent and tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity for his role on Sell­ing Houses Aus­tralia.

He’s joined by Syd­ney in­te­rior de­sign ex­pert Neale from Chan­nel 9’s The Block, and to­gether they over­see the ren­o­va­tion of a home be­fore giv­ing own­ers the ul­ti­ma­tum to love it or list it.

This sea­son sees the duo go fur­ther afield, with an episode fea­tur­ing Gold Coast cou­ple Belinda and Craig Kingston.

An­drew says Aus­tralia’s ob­ses­sion with prop­erty pro­grams could be due to their broad ap­peal, where home­own­ers can draw par­al­lels to their own sit­u­a­tions.

In the 2016 Cen­sus, about two-thirds of Aus­tralians owned their home out­right or with a mort­gage.

“The prop­erty show as a genre of tele­vi­sion is mas­sive,” An­drew says.

“We know with shows such as Sell­ing Houses Aus­tralia, The Block, House Rules, they’re pop­u­lar.

“They also have a longevity – you can watch an episode from five years ago. It’s also real-life sto­ries. Real dilem­mas.

“Some­where along the line you’re go­ing to recog­nise your sit­u­a­tion.”

Neale says in this sea­son we’ll see peo­ple fall in love with their home again, re­al­is­ing the po­ten­tial of the space they’ve had all along. “It’s emo­tional,” Neale says. “There are some whose ap­proach is much more cyn­i­cal, and there are oth­ers whose emo­tions are full-on tears.

“Some of these ren­o­va­tions I re­fer to as an in­ter­ven­tion, whereas some of them are more of a cos­metic ren­o­va­tion.

“Any house can have a makeover. I can’t think of any type of house that isn’t worth sav­ing.”

How­ever, An­drew says homes are also gut­ted be­yond recog­ni­tion to the point where all sen­ti­men­tal at­tach­ment has been lost.

“Some­times that men­tal at­tach­ment is di­luted be­cause we go and we rip out the lounge room, we rip out the kitchen, and the couch that they love,” An­drew says.

“It amazes me that peo­ple do still want to stay when in fact the emo­tional el­e­ment is gone.”

If you’re look­ing to ren­o­vate your home, Neale says it’s im­por­tant to fig­ure out if it’s for profit or plea­sure.

“I al­ways say it de­pends on whether you’re ren­o­vat­ing your home for your­self, or for the in­ten­tion of sell­ing, then dif­fer­ent rules ap­ply,” Neale says.

“If we’re talk­ing about ren­o­vat­ing for them­selves, I love a house that’s full of per­sonal things.

“I’ve al­ways said that a home should tell a story of a life that’s lived there.”

As the show ex­plores a huge turn­ing point in a cou­ple’s life, An­drew says there’s no drama be­ing forced by the pro­duc­ers.

“They re­ally are hav­ing a ma­jor build done, they re­ally are mak­ing a de­ci­sion,” An­drew says.

“This show is ac­tu­ally quite a big ask of peo­ple. They’re hand­ing over the keys to a builder and a de­sign team headed by Neale.

“It’s their money they’re part­ing with. There’s a lot of trust, and that’s a big deal for peo­ple to hand over their home.” Love It or List It con­tin­ues Wed­nes­day nights on the Life­style Chan­nel at 8.30pm

Gold Coast cou­ple Belinda and Craig Kingston with Love It or List It pre­sen­ters Neale Whi­taker and An­drew Win­ter.

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