Alanah Eriksen

Alanah Eriksen is the New Zealand Herald's property reporter, and assistant chief reporter.

The Block winners: Other homes were 'a steal'

Caleb and Alice Pearson as the auctioneer's hammer closed the deal. Photo / supplied by TV3
Caleb and Alice Pearson as the auctioneer's hammer closed the deal. Photo / supplied by TV3

The winners of The Block say they think the other homes on the TV3 series were "an absolute steal'' at last night's auction.

Alice and Caleb Pearson, both 26, won $261,000 after the property they spent 10 weeks renovating on the corner of Lake and Eversleigh Rds in Belmont, Auckland, sold for $1.126 million.

As well as $181,000 - the profit on the reserve price - the Pearsons took home $80,000 in prize money.

Alice and Caleb's house during The Block open home day. Photo / Doug Sherring
Alice and Caleb's house during The Block open home day. Photo / Doug Sherring

Mrs Pearson said she was surprised two of the four homes sold for less than $1 million, despite having reserve prices of $925,000 and $922,000 respectively.

"Everyone focuses on the reserve price. Those two houses in particular, they got that for a steal. To have a three-bedroom property in Belmont with the things that are in those homes, they've just walked away with such a great buy.

They all are million-dollar homes and I really think they should have hit that mark.

"I don't think it's about the reserve price as much as it is about the fact that the bidders didn't seem to see the value or it just wasn't the right buyers at the right time. In our case, it's probably a better indication of how much all the houses should have gone for.

The bathroom in Alice and Caleb's home from The Block. Photo / supplied
The bathroom in Alice and Caleb's home from The Block. Photo / supplied

"Our mentality to the whole thing was it was all about making buyers emotional and to not just picture themselves living in our house but to fall in love with it ... There were three bidders in particular that just desperately wanted our house and they continued to bid. And there maybe wasn't that sort of emotional bidding for the other houses unfortunately.''

The couple said they only found out their reserve of $945,000, which was set by TV3 owner Mediaworks, minutes before the auction.

"We were always told the reserves would be the lowest they possibly could be for us,'' Mrs Pearson said.

"We weren't surprised when we saw our reserve price, we thought it would be that.''
Her husband added: "We had no idea and zero influence over them.

"No one's good at predicting ... I thought the first few houses would have sold for more money.''

The couple had no day off during the 66-day renovation period, but the other contestants helped them through, Mrs Pearson said.

"There were times where you were fed up and you wondered why you were doing it.

"We'd just give each other a hug, a little pep talk and get back to painting or sanding or whatever the task at hand. It was amazing to have friends to draw strength from and to encourage.''

The couple made a pact with the other contestants that whoever won would pay for the others to fly to the winners' home town.

So the Pearsons plan on flying Nelson couple Loz and Tom Heaphy and Rangitikei brothers Pete and Andy Walker to Auckland and possibly taking them to Matakana for a holiday.

Auckland couple Alisa Keall-Grant and Koan Vette live in the same suburb as the Pearsons so they could just "walk down the road'', they joked.

"We'll just have some time to reflect and celebrate together,'' Mrs Pearson said.

"That's something we're really looking forward to.''

The couple have been back at work for a few weeks - Mr Pearson in his role as a project manager for the Greenstone Group, a property consultancy firm, and his wife as a youth worker for LIFE church.

What they sold for:

House 1 (Caleb and Alice):
$945,000 reserve, sold for $1,126,000 (profit $181,000)

House 2 (Alisa and Koan):
$948,000 reserve, sold for $1,014,000 (profit $66,000)

House 3 (Pete and Andy):
$925,000 reserve, sold for $952,500 (profit $27,500)

House 4 (Loz and Tom):
$922,000 reserve, sold for $947,000 (profit $25,000)

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n3 at 25 Jul 2014 21:44:45 Processing Time: 567ms