Home is where the heart is - even when that home is bursting at the seams. Can Andrew convince this family of greener real estate pastures?
Andrew has his work cut out for him in episode 7 of Love It Or List It Australia.
Mel and Macca have nine children, and even while their 4 bedroom home in suburban Melbourne is packed to the rafters, Macca believes their home is still the perfect fit. Mel, on the other hand, is frustrated with the home's pitfalls and is ready to move on.
The family’s home is located in leafy Park Orchards, about 23km outside of the Melbourne CBD and features a sprawling backyard, large modern pool, and - importantly - is filled with family memories.
Even for the closest family in the world, 11 people living in a home built for four will inevitably throw up issues. The home has a lovely, calm feel to it - and while it isn't necessarily small, the single level brick house will need to have at least six bedrooms to accommodate the family.
The kitchen is tucked away at the back, and there's not enough room in the meals area for everyone to fit comfortably. Pantry and storage space is scarce too, which is troublesome considering how many meals stay-at-home mum Mel prepares each day.
The family has a serious overcrowding problem, but Macca is convinced there's nothing in the home that can't be fixed.
Neale's design idea
With the couple's renovation budget of $150,000, Neale must deliver a large open plan living dining area for the family to spread out and spend time together. They also need a bigger kitchen and a pantry space, two extra bedrooms, and more storage throughout.
To add in the extra bedrooms, Neale will shapeshift the floorplan - including knocking out the brick fireplace and chimney. The kitchen will be reconfigured entirely, and have double fridges and double oven to serve the family more efficiently. Skylights will draw in light and make low ceilings look a little higher.
Andrew's pitch to sell
With a buying budget of $2m, Andrew needs to find Mel and Macca a home with 5 - 6 double bedrooms and a study, open plan living and dining, a large block of land, and a swimming pool within the local area.
His greatest challenge, however, will be prying Macca from his family Eden.
The first property they visit is a little over 12km from Park Orchards in a suburb called Research. The sprawling, private home has a sauna and cinema room, multiple dining spaces and plenty of space for the whole family. However, neither Mel nor Macca is very impressed - the family soul is missing, it's a bit too far from the city, and Andrew will have to keep searching.
Property two is in Croydon North is a historic, fairytale-like home dating back to 1913. With six bedrooms, four bathrooms, and beautiful, ornate features - it has tonnes of charm. Mel and Macca agree it's a stunning home, but it's still missing something.
Lastly, Andrew takes them to a home in Ringwood East, with five bedrooms and five bathooms and ample room for 11 people. Each bedroom has its own ensuite and walk-in wardrobe, and the spacious master suite includes a sitting room space. Macca can't find a fault with this one, but is it enough to convince him to sell up?
After Neale's inspired transformation the property has risen in value from $1.35m to $1.7m. As well as increasing the value of the property significantly - his design magic also convinced the family that home is where the heart is. Neale has given them the best of both worlds with a near-new, refreshed version of what they loved so dearly. Mel and Macca decide to love it.
Watch Love it or List it Australia on Lifestyle, Wednesdays at 8.30pm.