Love It Or List It Australia

Melbourne versus Brisbane: Where will this family choose to call home?

This family weighed up an interstate move for what may have been the Love It Or List It Australia team’s most challenging week to date.

In episode 5 of Love It Or List It Australia, we meet a family living in a North Coburg, just 8km outside of the Melbourne CBD.

Matt, Nat, and their three children reside in a 1950s-era bungalow, which has its sunny charms and family history—but a world of sticky issues too.

Nat is keen to reconnect with her family and friends in her native Brisbane, but Matt’s not too bothered by the family home’s mishaps and quirks, and is keen to stick it out in Melbourne suburbia where he has a well-established turf business.


As well as the nightmarish original kitchen, the layout of the home is a tangled maze with lots of wasted space, a tiny gloomy study, and a strange tunnel-like wardrobe.

There’s lots of clutter and not a lot of storage, and with the girls growing up—it’s not ideal that they’re sharing rooms, and that there’s just the one bathroom.

Can Neale or Andrew sway the couple one way to finally settle their interstate move debate?


Neale's design idea

With a budget of just $120,000, Neale must provide Matt and Nat with a new kitchen, another bathroom, 4 bedrooms and a guest bedroom, and some storage space.

The key to improving the house is the kitchen—if Neale can get that right, he believes the rest of the house will follow. His plan for the kitchen is to introduce an island bench and new storage units. He’ll then remove the side wall to flow beautifully into the best room in the house—the living room.

In the master bedroom, he’ll remove the tunnel wardrobe to make space for a decent sized regular wardrobe, and add a fifth bedroom by expanding the space of the small study.

Unfortunately, however—with hefty structural changes needed, there wasn’t quite enough budget for a second bathroom.

Andrew’s pitch to sell

With the couple’s buying budget of $950,000, Andrew has the high stakes challenge of finding them a new home with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a little land and space, and a pool—either in the same area in Melbourne, or in the Western Suburbs of Brisbane.

The first home they visit is in Moonee Ponds—a Melbourne suburb made famous by Dame Edna Everage. The 4 bedroom home is a little outside of their price range at 1.1 million, and Andrew is having trouble finding them something in budget within the area.

In Brisbane, Matt and Nat are impressed by a sprawling property with extra entertaining space in Mount Ommaney, and another charming mid-century classic home in Kenmore. Is it enough to convince Matt to relocate his career?


The verdict

Neale proved once again the real power of good design by allowing Nat and Matt to see their home with fresh eyes. His transformation solved so many of the family's troubles—but in the end, it seemed that Andrew had shown the couple a little of what their new life in Brisbane could be, and they decided to list it.

Watch Love it or List it Australia on Lifestyle, Wednesdays at 8.30pm.

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