Love it Or List It? Sorry Andrew, We’re With Neale

Neale Whitaker and Andrew Winter

The Lifestyle Channel’s hit TV series, Love it or List It Australia, has just returned to our screens with their second series.

No TV program better sums up the dilemma facing the families we work with: they love their home but it no longer suits their needs, most of the time because they’ve outgrown it.

Should they sell up and buy a new house, or renovate the home they love?

The Challenge

Love it or List It frames this as a challenge between high profile designer Neale Whitaker (also seen on The Block) and residential property expert Andrew Winter (from Selling Houses Australia).

Each episode, Neale hopes to persuade a family to stay put by using his design skills and understanding of building work to recreate the home they love as something that now also suits their needs.

Andrew shows the family three ‘for sale’ homes that already tick all their ‘dream home’ boxes, hoping to tempt them to move.

Reality TV vs Real Life

The difference between this version of reality TV and ‘real life’ is that every home is given a makeover before the family has to choose to stay or buy a new home.

That means the families are able to compare their newly remodelled house with the alternatives Andrew finds.

And should they decide to sell, they also get to keep any profit resulting from the extra value Neale creates, which is at times substantial.

Each family gives Neale a budget to work with for the design and building work. In series one, this varied between $75,000 and $280,000 – not too different to the range that Addbuild customers approach us with.

Seeing the Renovation

Watching each program, you get to see the various phases of each project, as Neale presents his designs and then accompanies the family as they return to their home to see the building work in progress.

At the same time, the families are being shown the alternatives found by Andrew.

Whilst the program doesn’t go into great detail on the disruption each family experiences during building work – inevitable with any renovation project – you do get to experience most of the process as it happens in real life.

As a program that focuses on extensive renovation projects, what particularly stands out and makes it worth watching is the array of solutions that Neale conjures up – it’s really worthwhile seeing the range of possibilities available with good design.

Who Wins?

You are surprised how often the result doesn’t go the way you are expecting. In the first series, a classic example was the family with nine children who eventually chose to stay in the home originally bought whilst the family numbered four in total, not eleven!

We aren’t surprised that Neale generally wins. Yes, he is a highly skilled designer, but it also demonstrates the potential that every home has if you combine expert knowledge on design with comprehensive building experience.

As a ‘design and build’ company, we like to think that it is exactly this combination that has given Addbuild an edge, allowing us to continue delighting Sydney homeowners for over 40 years.

Addbuild also offers other services, for example looking after the development application process if that is required. That’s why we say we work “from concept to completion” to remove as much stress from the process as possible.

So whilst we always caution that ‘reality TV’ is inevitably a dramatised version of what happens in real life, Love It or List It is the closest you’ll get to the everyday renovations that people in real life actually build. Grand Designs is fascinating but often way over the budget and scale of usual home building work, and The Block should never be seen as anything other than a competition made for TV ratings.

Considering a Renovation?

And if you are reading this because you are experiencing the very dilemma at the heart of Love It Or List It, we’d love to hear from you so we can potentially be part of your next step … as long as you are choosing to love where you live!

Feel free to give us a call on (02) 8765 1555 or contact us using our online form.

We have also developed a comprehensive ‘starter kit’ via our free “Consumer Guide to Home Improvement“, and be sure to check our Home Improvement Blog regularly for new articles.