In pics: Lesley McWilliam and Peter Roche's renovation.
Lesley McWilliam and partner Peter Roche had been together just one year when they decided to put their relationship to the test and buy a home to renovate. Little did they know that the eight month exercise would lead not just to a small profit but to them establishing their own business importing and selling Balinese pots and furnishings.
"I've always loved colour and design and Peter is a builder so we thought we'd make a good team," said Lesley who admits upfront that the profit wasn't as high as they would have liked due to them being overly enthusiastic with decor and a Balinese theme.
"We got so excited about decorating, you should have seen us. We sent home a huge container from Bali with everything from pots to door frames. Some might say we over invested," she said.
But the over-investment paid off on auction day when a three-way bidding war helped to achieve a final sale price of $919,000, setting a record price for the area. But it was an other, unpredicted payoff that caught Lesley and Peter by surprise.
"Just about everyone who toured the property took note of the interior design. It was a major talking point, especially the tall pots. People would come for a look and stay for an hour after open time they'd stay to talk about the furnishings," said Lesley. After such keen interest, the couple thought it only logical to launch a business importing Balinese furnishings.
Prior to the renovation Lesley describes the home as being functional but unappealing due to its dated interiors. The renovation was structural as much as it was cosmetic and the couple took eight months to transform the home from a four bedroom, one bathroom abode into a stunning three bedroom, two bathroom residence set around a tropical pool area.
At the time of the renovation, Lesley worked four days a week in property management, while Peter was committed to the project on a fulltime basis. They both invested labour where possible and lived in the home for most of the renovation something Lesley says she wouldn't do again.
"The lowest point for us both was winter. It was freezing cold and we had holes in the walls and dust everywhere. We had to shake out the bedding before we could get in," she recalls. "I'll never forget it and I can honestly say that my best tip to renovators is to renovate room by room," warns Lesley.
"Once we finished we wanted to keep it it was so beautiful, especially out the back by the pool. We would have held on had we not achieved the right price but setting a record for the area made us proud," she said.
When asked if she'd do it again Lesley laughs. "Probably not," she answers quickly then thinks for a moment. "But you just never know where one experience will lead you," she adds, referring to the couple's newly established importing business.
You can visit www.exclusivepotsanddecor.com.au here.