TV SERIES GETS TO THE HEART OF THE HOME
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.