The Buyers Advocates believe our Queensland couple are now officially The Ones To Beat.
It was the one that really counted. And when it came time for The Block’s three Buyer’s Advocates, Frank Valentic, Greville Pabst and Nicole Jacobs to cast their verdicts on which apartment they thought had the best saleability, our five teams were on the edge of their seats. In the end, it was Jess and Norm - by half a point - that impressed them the most, making the sunny Queenslanders officially the team to beat.
"We can't believe it," says Jess, who is still reeling from the verdict - especially as she thought they had zero chance of a win.
But though they won them over, it was a close race, with Greville Pabst now believing the competition is split in two.
“[He] thinks there is two very different competitions going on in The Block this year - Penthouse vs Penthouse and old Gatwick vs old Gatwick,” Scotty explained. “This is the first time this has happened, where we have almost got two Blocks going on.”
Find out more about what those all-important Buyer’s Advocates thought here:
Apartment One - Kerrie and Spence
Alice’s verdict: “I think you are clearly playing it safe, but I am actually really happy with that, because I think you are going to have a broader buyer appeal.”
Frank was immediately impressed when stepping into Kerrie and Spence’s apartment and loved their deluxe high-end kitchen. “This is an entertainer’s delight. My clients will be gagging for Gaggenau,” he said of the inclusion of those deluxe appliances. Nicole agreed, saying that the high-end gadgets, worth over $100k in total, will “tick all of the boxes” for her potential buyers.
Nicole wasn’t a fan of Spence’s beautiful coffered ceiling, but still thought there would be lots of buyers seduced by their quality finishes. Greville disagreed, saying he thought his buyers would like their choice of ceiling, believing it set the space aside from others inside the old Gatwick building. “I think this whole room, it feels modern and cosy,” he said.
Frank thought, overall, altering the plans to include a study space was a wise idea and “could be all the edge you need to win The Block.”
Apartment Two - Hans and Courtney
Alice’s Verdict: “I have made no secret of the fact I love your apartment and I think, on paper, the square meterage by itself is really something incredible you have got going for you that no one can even come near you on.”
Greville was very impressed with the kitchen on entering the apartment, but Nicole and Frank both agreed it had the potential to polarise buyers, especially those looking to utilise a bigger island bench space.
Frank liked their apartment, but, like Nicole, was not too sure about their enormous living area, which he thought was let down by having two ‘lounge’ spaces placed side by side.
Once again, Greville disagreed, saying he liked the way the couple had positioned their entertaining space. He was also excited about their master. “It has a sense of space and this is what buyers want when they are spending two and a half million dollars.
Apartment Three - Hayden and Sara
Alice’s Verdict: “You have got lots of memorable pieces in every room. And I think they are the sorts of details buyers notice.”
As expected, Hayden and Sara’s apartment had our Buyer’s Advocates divided, with both Frank and Nicole unsure about some of the additions - especially the green wall in the main bathroom and that controversial brass bath in the ensuite. But, on the other hand, Greville thought those were the things that gave their space the ‘wow’ factor.
He was particularly excited by their main bathroom. “There is really only one thing that excites me in here, and that is the vertical garden,” he said - music to Hayden and Sara’s ears.
Frank didn’t like the Luna Park mural in their living area, saying, “I think my buyers will see it as a bit tacky. It’s not something I would expect to see when I walk into a high-end luxury”, but he did love the fireplace.
Nicole liked their living/dining/kitchen space too, but thought their master ensuite would polarise her buyers. Frank agreed: “I’m not sure how my buyers will react to that gold bath,” he said.
Once again, Greville disagreed, and was blown away by what they achieved. “Wow, look at this gold and black,” he said on entering. “That is certainly the wow factor, and befitting of a king or queen.”
Apartment Four - Norm and Jess
Alice’s Verdict: “I think Jess and Norm are doing luxury in a beautiful and very clever way. So I think [they] need to keep going in that direction.”
Jess admits she was so nervous going into the Buyer’s Advocate jury, she was going to vomit. But, as it turns out, she had nothing to worry about, with all three Advocates saying the Queensland couple had done a superb job - awarding them first place!
All three loved how well the spaces flowed together, especially Nicole who admitted she was in love with their kitchen/living/dining area. “I think it’s a great space,” she said.
Her first impression was that buyers for a penthouse in St Kilda will love this apartment. “There will be a strong pull for this apartment as it blends the new with the old world charm of the Gatwick,” she said.
All three judges loved the height of the ceiling, but they all admitted that the fireplace may work against them. “I think the contestants will have to decide whether they keep that in,” Nicole admitted.
Greville particularly loved the inclusion of indigenous artwork and furniture, and all three loved their bathroom spaces, although Nicole thought their ensuite may be a tad too small for buyers expecting grandiose master suites.
Frank disagreed - he loved the finishes they used, and thinks their space “sets a benchmark for the others to follow.”
Apartment Five - Bianca and Carla
Alice’s Verdict: “What stuck with me is the idea of this being a very “New York-style apartment, which I love. And I think you are going to get someone who has got the money [wanting to buy this apartment].”
The girls only missed out on a win by half a point, with all three judges admitting they loved what Bianca and Carla had done with their “‘beautiful, light and a really contemporary space.”
Greville’s first impression was that it felt warm, modern and New York Luxe, something that Alice said would surely work for them on auction day. Frank liked the study area in the kitchen and thought it would appeal to working professionals, and Greville thought their main bedroom, though small, would appeal to his buyers, who would be impressed by that custom-made cabinetry.
All three loved their parquetry floor, and the way their timber detail flows through the whole house. “There is a New York loft feel and space about this. And the kitchen gives this sense of luxe,” Greville enthused
And though all three judges thought their space needed better cooling in the form of an overhead fan, they agreed the girls had done a great job of presenting their living space.
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