In the very first episode of Love It Or List It Australia, did this growing Brisbane family decide to sell or stay in their little Queenslander home?
Brisbane couple Jess and Chris’s family home is located in a leafy, up-and-coming suburb called Cooparoo, just a few kilometres south east of the Brisbane CBD.
The classic Queenslander is painted in heritage colours, green and yellow-gold – even on the inside.
It’s timber built and raised on elevated stumps. Many rooms peel off a central corridor, and to create additional space for newly arrived twins, Chris and Jess have enclosed the side veranda to create another bedroom.
As the family has grown, issues with the property have sprouted too. Like many heritage homes, there is a certain charm – but generally, floor plans have not been designed for modern living.
To make way for a play space, the dining room was forgotten – and there is only one bathroom, which will surely become problematic as the girls grow up. For Chris, the large garden is a challenge to maintain too.
However, Jess is deeply attached to the big heart and soul of the place, and is certain she wants to stay for years to come, despite the home’s quirks and flaws. But where Jess is romantic, Chris is far more practical.
He believes the family has outgrown the little Queenslander, and needs more rooms and more space to spread out.
Neale’s design idea
Within Chris and Jess’s $75,000 renovation budget, Neale needs to deliver more bedrooms, more living space, a dining area, a new laundry, a kitchen refresh, and an ensuite bathroom.
To do this, he lightens the entire home with a fresh slick of soft white and grey paint. To give back the family their missing dining room, Neale divides the third bedroom into a separate playroom and bedroom. Last but not least, a stunning ensuite and spacious walk-in wardrobe are added to the master bedroom, as a quiet and stylish parent’s retreat.
Andrew’s pitch to sell
Chris and Jess have a purchasing budget of $1.1m. Within that, Andrew must find a single story home with 2 or more bathrooms, 5 bedrooms, a low maintenance yard, and a deck to enjoy the outdoors.
Andrew’s first property in the neighbouring suburb of Morningside has three bedrooms, three bathrooms – and a pool. It’s a subdivided block with outside space, but not too much garden to maintain. The three bedrooms each have their own self-contained deck. For Jess however, there’s not enough so-called ‘soul’ in the modern home.
Property two is in Hamilton – where the couple’s eldest daughter goes to school. It’s a big and bright renovated Queenslander, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It’s on a pretty street corner position, with a wraparound veranda, and happily too – is well within the couples buying budget at just under $1m.
Andrew saves the best for last with a larger renovated Queenslander on the best street in Morningside. It’s a spacious and sunny five bedroom, two bathroom house, with a striking open kitchen space. While it’s at the upper end of the couple’s budget, the benefits are plain.
And in the end – despite Neale’s miraculous makeover, it is the future that Chris and Jess have in mind. Will the little Queenslander fit their growing family? Andrew has convinced Jess and Chris it’s time to List It.
Watch Love it or List it Australia on Lifestyle, Wednesdays at 8.30pm