The Block

winners, Alice and Caleb Pearson, will use some of the prize money to start paying off the mortgage on their own renovated homes in Auckland.

The couple, both 26, own two properties and have renovated and sold a third, hopping on the property ladder when they were just 23.

Their first home is a rental on Panmure's Coral Cres, which they bought for $320,000 when the valuation was $400,000 in June 2010, Quotable Value records show.

They spent nine weeks overhauling the 1950s weatherboard, four-bedroom ex-state house before living in it for a couple of years. Their second home was a two-bedroom Panmure unit they have since sold.

They live in their third home, on Mt Wellington's Camp Rd. They bought the 1930s two-bedroom character bungalow for $479,000 when it had a valuation of $390,000.


The Herald revealed before the show started in August that they were the most experienced pair in the competition, having already renovated three homes around Auckland.

Mrs Pearson said yesterday: "Having the properties that we do, it's massive financial pressure and to be able to take a dent out of it and not have that pressure, our day-to-day life will be incredible.

"We only pay our interest, we've never actually paid our mortgage because we just can't afford it. People may not understand but for us it's a really exciting thing to be able to pay back some of our mortgage.

"We have a big mortgage for a young couple so it definitely has meant there's not much more we can do financially. We put all our eggs in one basket in terms of property."

But Mrs Pearson said she would work on her husband to use some of the money for a shopping trip.

The couple also 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 to fly Nelson couple Loz and Tom Heaphy and Rangitikei brothers Pete and Andy Walker to Auckland and perhaps take them to Matakana for a holiday.

Auckland couple Alisa Keall-Grant and Koan Vette live in the same suburb as the Pearsons.

The couple returned to work a few weeks ago - Mr Pearson as a project manager for the Greenstone Group, a property consultancy firm, and his wife as a youth worker for LIFE church.