Brad and Lara buy a 27-hectare Hunter Valley farm, while estate agents become The Block 2013 prima donnas
Brad Cranfield and Lara Welham, the winners of the fifth season of The Block after their South Melbourne reno fetched for $1.62 million, some $506,000 over reserve, have bought themselves a farm between Cessnock and Maitland.
It was some six months ago they also took home the $100,000 winners' prize, which took their total winnings to $606,000.
It's now been spent on a $510,000 farm at Bishops Bridge. The farm had been for sale for two years until their recent purchase, having been initially listed with $640,000 hopes.
Cranfield, a fitter and machinist in the coalmining industry, was born in Taree to a family who operated pubs. Welham is a physical education teacher. They have called East Maitland home for several years.
The couple, who had renovated two houses before The Block, have been in the process of garden and fence works around a cute weatherboard house on a block that cost $245,000 in 2007.
They recently become the face of McDonald Jones Homes, pushing a "next generation" marketing brand aimed at younger people who want to build new homes across the Hunter region.
It seems that no sooner has the last remnant of The Block 2012 came to a conclusion – the ugly duckling challenge house sells for a loss making $1.125 million – than Title Tattle is stumbling across snippets from the next series.
It's being promoted as the 2013 The Block: All Stars, but that really means four losing couples have been offered a second chance at the marathon renovation challenge.
There are whispers from insiders that its the best series yet. Near walkouts by the contestants just the tip of the Bondi iceberg.
Last week Title Tattle gathers the estate agents were selected given planning needs to get underway for the pre-Easter March auction of the four Tasman Street, Bondi, cottages.
But not before estate agents battled to get the prime listings – even having shouting matches in the street. And they were from the same estate agency franchise.
The four couples to star in The Block: All Stars season hark back to Adelaide's Phil and Amity (2003), who were inaugural contestants at the Block in Bondi Beach, then Vaucluse Sydney's Mark and Duncan (2010), Richmond Melbourne's Josh and Jenna (2011), and South Melbourne's Dan and Dani (2012).
The couples are filmed renovating four run-down cottages in Bondi – a few kilometres from the near beachside location of the first season at 67 Roscoe Street, Bondi Beach, almost 10 years ago in boomtime 2003. Its Bondi location is a little more suburban than beachy. The hush-hush purchase of four adjacent properties cost around $4.4 million in late 2011. Each of the semis sits on a 260-square-metre holding.
As the social media buzz grows tell us what you anticipate:
Block All Stars best designer
Block All Stars winner
The Mark at Sydney's Central Park
Much has been spoken about the global property market and that our market will ultimately follow a similar fate and I am always at pains to point out not all property is created equal.