Home Tours

How this Auckland family revived their ’70s home for less than $40,000

When Nita Pearson and partner Francis Scordino were looking for a family home, they saw potential where others saw problems. While nothing had been touched since the Seventies, Nita loved the location of the property and they were able to snap it up. 

Meet & greet

Nita Pearson, 49 (administrator), Francis Scordino, 48 (sports club manager), Jordan, 23 (PhD student), Noah, 15, and Raphael, 13, plus Indy the dog, Miss the cat and Birdie the budgie.

When Nita Pearson and partner Francis Scordino were looking for a home, they saw potential where others saw problems. While nothing had been touched since the Seventies, Nita loved the location of the property and they were able to snap it up.

Best lesson learned?
Nita: We had our new kitchen appliances stolen because we’d stored them in our carport, ready for the installers. We’d never had anything stolen from our carport up until then and had just taken it for granted that they would be okay.

What would you never do again?
Plumb in a sink and paint those dirty, dark-stained beams.

Any DIY disasters?
Francis broke his ribs trying to fix a window seal.

One thing you would change about your home if you could?
The exterior cladding and roof tiles.

Most memorable experience in your home?
Christmas Days.

Budget

How did your budget forecast compare to your actual spend? We haven’t had to borrow anything to renovate yet. I try to get a reasonable estimate and add on 10 per cent, then we save towards that. I think that helps you stick to a budget better than using borrowed money. We will have to borrow for the next phase, though.

Where did you save?
Price-reduced laundry cupboards and the flat-pack kitchen.

Any splurges?
Trades and quality paint (cheap paint never lasts with so many kids).

Do you tend to buy high-end homeware or seek out a bargain?
We can’t afford high-end. Quality secondhand suits us.

Best advice when it comes to spending money on a home?
Make a list, set a budget and stick to it.

Cost breakdown

  • Bathroom $5000
  • Laundry $2500
  • Deck and stair rebuild $6000
  • Plastering and painting $5000
  • Carpet (bedrooms and hall) $3500
  • Insulation (to prep for floor) $1500
  • Kitchen and flooring $15,000
  • Landscaping $1000
  • Total: $39,500

See more of this renovation below


Words by: Tina Stephen. Photography by: Helen Banker.

This article was first published in Your Home and Garden. Follow YHG on Instagram, Facebook and sign up to the fortnightly email for inspiration between the issues.

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