Rosebrook house stuns after Selling Houses renovation


A ‘time warp’ house with a lilac bathroom and a bricked-in terrace has sold $260,000 above expectations after a shoestring renovation brought a jaw-dropping response from buyers.

A “time warp” house with a lilac bathroom and a bricked-in terrace has sold $260,000 above expectations after a shoestring renovation brought a jaw-dropping response from buyers.

The Rosebrook house had failed to attract an offer anywhere near the owner’s expectation of $1.6m before they turned to Selling Houses Australia for help.

Instead, interest was capped at $1.4m when buyers inspected the property before its transformation.

While home values in the Hunter River town had surged 30 per cent in just one year thanks to the treechanger movement, homeowner Jane had struggled to sell her late mother’s house on 40 acres of riverfront land.

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But after receiving a once-over by Selling Houses Australia experts Wendy Moore and Dennis Scott in episode nine of this year’s 14th season, the house was snapped up by a local buyer for $1.64m.

Just $80,000 was spent on the improvements, which included adding a new kitchen and accentuating the home’s country views.

Selling Houses Australia host and real estate expert Andrew Winter said while the house had been well maintained, it hadn’t really changed since it was built in 1975.

“It was literally like stepping back into my youth,” he said.

But while the tiny galley kitchen and bathroom “with every shade of purple” had been off putting for buyers, the layout of the house was the real problem.

“People forget, it’s not just decor and colour schemes that change – it’s layout,” he said.

“Nobody would build a house that small on a piece of land that big anymore.”

It also had captivating views – only they couldn’t be seen from inside the house.

Even the outdoor entertainment area was bricked in.

In fact, the house was so far removed from modern taste, it was literally devaluing the land – which Mr Winter described as the nicest block he had ever seen while filming the show.

While most buyers saw the house as a knockdown job worth no more than $1.4m, the deceased estate held a special place in the seller’s heart.

Designed by her late mother, the house was the home the local schoolteacher grew up in – and something she didn’t want to see flattened to the ground.

“Our team had the rather unusual challenge of trying to get the home in the condition whereby the next owner would want to retain the house,” said Mr Winter.

The team focused on bringing the views into the house and building a new open-plan kitchen in the dining area.

They transformed the original galley kitchen into a butler’s pantry.

Then, it was a matter of removing the brick walls around the rear patio and trimming back the overgrown garden to reveal a 180 degree view of the Hunter River.

The purple bathroom was transformed by repainting the wall tiles white and adding modern floor tiles and new fixtures.

Mr Winter said while some types of retro decor could add value within a home modernisation, there was only so far the seventies could go without detracting from a property’s sale price.

“Retro cool is fine in decor and fixtures and fittings,” he said.

“What doesn’t age well or carry on into the 2020s is the fact you have a house with a beautiful view that you can’t see, or the fact that it’s got a tiny little galley kitchen.”

“Those types of things just don’t translate into a modern home.”

For those selling a house from the seventies or eighties, he suggested creating an indoor/outdoor flow and opening up the kitchen to the main living area.

Selling Houses Australia is now showing on Wednesdays 8.30pm on Foxtel’s Lifestyle Channel or watch On Demand.

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Originally published as Rosebrook house stuns after Selling Houses Australia renovation


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