Selling Houses Australia rescues Victoria Park home with squalid kitchen

The kitchen before the revamp.
The kitchen before the revamp.

WOULD you pay $850,000 for a house with a kitchen that has no working stove or oven – and that looks like this?

Perth buyers said a firm “no” during the 90 days the Victoria Park home was on the market initially.

The rest of the property presented beautifully, with its street presence possibly one of the nicer ones in the area and a stunning front half of the home featuring stylish bedrooms and a welcoming living and dining area reminiscent of luxury hotel rooms.

The home’s streetfront presented well and needed little help.
The previously renovated areas required only small tweaks by interior designer Shaynna Blaze.

But then it all came to a grinding halt when buyers discovered a largely original kitchen with a broken cooker, as well as a completely gutted bathroom that had not much more than new plasterboard and a layer of waterproofing.

Beyond that was a set of unstable stairs that led down to an incomplete backyard and the controversial and mindboggling addition of a pool.

The controversial pool and the incomplete backyard.
The bathroom was completely gutted and unusable.

Couple Ryan Stewart and Frances Azzopardi own the character residence and had a fairly impressive track record with four houses renovated and sold before their 25th birthdays.

They purchased this rundown Victorian cottage on a 506sq m block in 2013 and rewarded themselves with a boat, living out the Aussie dream.

But buying during the boom and overinvesting in the renovations had left them with an unfinished money pit on their hands.

They even sold the cherished boat to fund the revamp.

“I think bad budgeting is an understatement,” Mr Stewart said.

“It was terrible budgeting and we planned on doing a big extension, expanding the house to a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house but unfortunately, with the change of the economy and the market dropping, we just wouldn’t have gotten a return spending $300,000 on the house so we just left it.”

Enter the team from Foxtel’s Selling Houses Australia to the rescue, which took the home from drab to fab in just three days.

Owners Ryan and Frances with Selling Houses Australia host and property guru Andrew Winter (centre).

“The turning point was four years living in a house with no real functional bathroom or kitchen,” Mr Stewart said.

“Our boat had better cooking and shower facilities than our house, so I suppose it got to a point where we had to realise that was not sustainable long-term.”

The project was not the hardest faced by the Selling Houses Australia team, which consists of interior designer Shaynna Blaze, landscape designer Charlie Albone and property veteran Andrew Winter, but it required some thoughtful planning to bring the unfinished home up to scratch.

Landscape designer Charlie Albone hard at work transforming the couple’s backyard.
Interior designer Shaynna Blaze talks viewers through the home’s revamp.

“I think bringing in the Selling Houses Australia team isn’t really a blow to the ego,” Mr Stewart said.

“Selling it half-done was more of a blow to me than having to bring in the professionals and let them put their touch on it.

“What they did in the time period they had was nothing I could have ever done, especially in the space they had to work with. It was quite impressive.”

Owners Frances and Ryan help out with the renovations.

Now that the home has a new lease on life, Mr Stewart is “extremely confident” the property will sell.

“In the area there are no full-sized blocks, there are no fully renovated houses, and it’s also unique in that it’s small although that does limit the buyers,” he said.

“But it’s got a full-size yard and in Vic Park anything with more than 300sq m is a big block, so it’s quite a unique parcel of land for its location.

“So we are extremely confident that when the market does pick up, and having the right agent and right marketing, that it will sell.”

To see the home’s transformation, watch Selling Houses Australia on the Lifestyle channel on April 18 at 6.30pm.