Love It Or List It Australia

Reno Recap: Toowong, QLD

Young professionals, Erin and Tom, live in the suburbs of Toowong, just 4 kilometres from the Brisbane CBD. The couple bought their home eight years ago, but as their family has grown (they've since welcomed twin daughters) the age and layout of their home no longer works for them.

The stunning Queenslander, built in 1896 had three bedrooms (one of which was used as a wardrobe), a cramped living room and run down kitchen, dining room and beautiful bathroom oozing character set on one level. Purchased for $667,000 eight years ago, this home was valued at $1.1 million pre-renovation.

Reasons to love it

Erin has a huge emotional connection to the home. Their Toowong property was filled with happy memories, such as Tom proposing and their daughters reaching important milestones.

Also, the beautiful Queenslander-style home was bursting with character, which is hard to replicate in newer homes.

Reasons to list it

The layout doesn't work for the family, with no visibility to the backyard and a long list of maintenance to be completed robbing Tom of much-cherished family time.

The severe lack of storage was another gripe with the pair, with the third bedroom being used as a makeshift communal wardrobe.


Neale's design idea

For a budget of $200,000, Neale had to overhaul the home. It had to have a new kitchen, open plan living, flow to the backyard, a master suite, second bathroom and the all-important internal laundry.

To achieve this, the layout was reshuffled in the back section of the house to fit everything Erin and Tom needed. Moving the kitchen to the dining room and knocking through and adding glass doors to the outdoors was also on the cards.

The beautiful bathroom had to be ripped out, causing some initial uncertainty for both Tom and Erin. While team 'Love It' were able to salvage the bath and tapware, this was necessary to include a butler's pantry, laundry and new family bathroom.

Lastly, to achieve the opulent master suite Erin and Tom desired, the front of the home was transformed into a bedroom with ensuite and walk-in-robe.

Andrew's pitch to sell

With the generous budget of $1.6 to $1.8 million, Andrew had a healthy budget to wow the pair with an open plan, low-maintenance home with a flow to outdoors in central Brisbane.

First up was a home in Ascot. The five-bedroom, three-bathroom Hamptons-style home had a two-storey open plan kitchen, living and dining, with entertainers deck and pool. It was within budget at $1.5 million, but the small living area and split-level didn't work for Erin.

As the couple mentioned sending their daughters to school in the suburb, Andrew's next offering was also in Ascot. A four-bedroom home on the market for $1.7 million with a stunning pool, large lounge and contemporary architecture still wasn't enough to captivate Erin.

Lastly, in Paddington, just three kilometres from CBD, Andrew unveiled the jewel in his crown - a four-bedroom, two-bathroom, architecturally-designed home exuding plenty of character, with a big living space, city view and a pool. Erin was totally smitten with the property, which was on the market for $1.8 million. 

The verdict

After the spectacular renovation, the valuations of the property came in from $1.28 million to $1.6 million. The family decided to 'Love It' for now... but after only a few weeks back at home, Erin and Tom had a change of heart and made an offer on the Paddington house. We think that's a win for team 'List It'!

Love It Or List It Australia, Wednesdays 8.30pm. Or watch it your way on Foxtel GO.

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