A couple years ago, Sydney couple Aleisha and Matt Lancaster were struggling to find themselves a home with $140,000 in savings, now they find themselves renovating their eastern suburbs home towards a $1.7 million valuation.

The couple told news.com.au all about their experiences in the property market and plans for the future.

Mrs Lancaster talked through the initial search when they were working with the $140,000 budget.

“We knew that we didn’t have much of an option in which suburb we could move into particularly. We just looked for anything that fit our budget and we didn’t care where it was, but would make it work.”

They eventually found a tiny one-bedroom property in Beaconsfield, a small inner Sydney suburb neighbouring Alexandria and Zetland.

The property was not pretty.

“It was a deceased estate; it needed a lot of maintenance and work. When we walked into the house straight away you could smell bad odour.”

“They had huge drapery covering all the windows so there was no light, the floors were squeaky, the kitchen was dirty and almost unusable and the bathroom, which was probably the newest addition, was about 30 years ago. The kitchen and living room of that property had about seven layers to the floor that had been added over about 100 years.”

However, Mr and Mrs Lancaster got on their hands and knees and fixed the place up, transforming it with $40,000 worth of renovations. They were at Bunnings every Saturday morning, and would work on transforming the property through the weekend and after work on weeknights.

The couple kept a keen eye on the market and despite it not being their original intention, when they realised they could make a profit they snapped at the chance.

“We were watching the market for three to six months so we really understood the market. We knew exactly what every single house was selling for and we knew how much houses were getting purchased for, so knew it would sell for between $950,000 and $1 million, so we got an offer of $965,000. It was a good offer and we took that.”

It wasn’t easy work. The couple were funding the renovations from their monthly pay having spent all their savings on the deposit.

Six months and 100 house later, the couple found their next property. This time, it’s a property in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and they’re documenting the renovations on Youtube.

The property was purchased for $1.15 million and despite being bought as a “deceased estate that had been left filthy,” the couple plans to renovate it over a year with a budget of $300,000. Real estate agents have valued the property as up to $1.75 million for when the renovations are complete. That would mean another $300,000 profit for the couple.

If one of the things holding you back is that you think DIY renovations with your partner will be the inevitable undoing of your relationship, Mrs Lancaster can maybe put your mind at ease.

“We hear a lot of people say when they renovate that their relationships almost break down and they almost get divorced but it brings myself and my husband together, so it’s a bit of a bonding thing actually.”


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